It Changed My Life: Mum driven by grief over son's death seeks to help other teens

A mother shares how she felt after losing her 18-year-old son to suicide and offers guidance to young people and parents who might be going though something similar.
Madam Chng with Jarod, whom she describes as a witty and creative soul. Madam Chng now wants to not only move on but also to help prevent others, especially the young, from doing what Jarod did. Madam May Chng lost her younger son Jarod six years ago
Madam May Chng lost her younger son Jarod six years ago when he hanged himself. In her home, she has set up a corner for him. On one wall hangs a J-shape montage of images, put together by his cousins.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Madam Chng with Jarod, whom she describes as a witty and creative soul. Madam Chng now wants to not only move on but also to help prevent others, especially the young, from doing what Jarod did. Madam May Chng lost her younger son Jarod six years ago
Madam Chng with Jarod, whom she describes as a witty and creative soul. Madam Chng now wants to not only move on but also to help prevent others, especially the young, from doing what Jarod did. PHOTO: COURTESY OF MAY CHNG

Mum tries to come to terms with son's death and finds purpose through new helpline

Grief-stricken, Madam May Chng looked at Jarod as he lay, hooked to several tubes, in the intensive care unit of Changi General Hospital.

"I was just stroking his hand; I just kept sayang-ing him," she says, using the Malay word for showing deep love and affection. "Each time I touched him, I'd say sorry and asked him if I could have been a better mother."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 25, 2019, with the headline 'Driven by grief to help other teens'. Print Edition | Subscribe