Getting some form of closure

When Mr E. W. Lok dies, he does not want a funeral. The 59-year-old has end-stage lung cancer and only a few months to live, but his family does not know of his situation.

Mr Lok just wants to leave this world quietly because he has had enough of people being "kua suay" (Hokkien for "looking down" on him) .

However, he recently chose to do the "Last Interview" with social workers from charity Monfort Care recently. It is part of a project in which terminally- ill clients give consent for the last few verbal exchanges between them and their social workers to be recorded and released online after they die.

"My social worker told me to leave no regrets, so perhaps, through the video, I can leave behind my life story to encourage the younger generation," Mr Lok told The Straits Times in Mandarin.


The bachelor, who used to do odd jobs, has been struggling with low self-esteem and alcoholism for many years.

He felt there was nothing in his life to be proud of and turned to the bottle.

But his drinking problem ceased when he later started caring for his mother, who has schizophrenia and dementia.

Unfortunately, he had to give up his caregiving role this year when he found out he had cancer. Since then, he has started drinking again.

Said Ms Annie Lee, his social worker: "The Last Interview was more for him to review his life and for us to highlight his strengths so that he is able to get some form of closure."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2016, with the headline 'Getting some form of closure'. Print Edition | Subscribe