NUS undergraduate killed in Clementi crash had imagined own funeral, shares father in Facebook post

Miss Kathy Ong (left), who died in an accident on April 19, and a photo of her wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru, which was shared on Facebook by her father.
Miss Kathy Ong (left), who died in an accident on April 19, and a photo of her wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru, which was shared on Facebook by her father.PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/KATHY ONG, FACEBOOK/KEITH ONG

SINGAPORE - At 19, Miss Kathy Ong had reflected on  death and wrote short paragraphs of how she imagined her funeral to be.

The National University of Singapore undergraduate had pictured a water hyacinth-woven coffin in front of a white, glossy wall, and carefully arranged flowers bringing a warm, soft hue to the place, among other things.

On Monday (April 23), her father Keith Ong, shared two photos on Facebook from her wake at the Church of St Teresa in Kampong Bahru.

Miss Ong was a rear-seat passenger in a taxi with three other friends when it was involved in a collision with a car at the intersection of Clementi Road and Commonwealth Avenue West last Thursday.

Both drivers and the four students were taken to the National University Hospital, where Miss Ong, an only child, died.

The photos that Mr Ong shared on Facebook were of a poster printed with Miss Ong's reflections displayed at the wake, where hundreds had turned up to pay their last respects.

In Mr Ong's Facebook post, which has since been shared widely, he said that he had initially felt it was "so weird and inauspicious" when he learnt that his daughter had written about her own death.

"Now, looking at you... I am thankful you wrote it. It's the closest I can get to hearing you because I never had the chance to have a last word with you," he said.

He added that the last time he saw his daughter was last Tuesday evening when he brought fruits to her and they hugged. 

 

In Miss Ong's piece, she talked about her parents standing close by at her wake, and said they were her "biggest sorrow".

She said: "Time is merciless, they think, not at all fair, let alone too fair the way their daughter had lamented, because how could enough be given to them yet so little to their child, such that they lived to watch her die?"

However, she added that if one believes in destiny, then maybe there could be fairness, as every moment of time had felt longer to her than it did for them.

"Everything in this hall has a time limit - the blooming of the flowers, my physical body, people's presence and their memory of me," she said.

There was an outpouring of condolences on Mr Ong's Facebook post, which has now received more than 12,000 likes and 6,500 shares.

An earlier Facebook post, where Mr Ong shared photos of a scrapbook that Miss Ong had created for his 43rd birthday, also drew over 2,100 likes.

He said: "Baby, remember this little notebook that you did for daddy's birthday, nothing expensive but filled with so much love and hearts... So much more precious than anything to me... I miss you... Love you dearly my sweetie."

President Halimah Yacob was among those who expressed their condolences. In a Facebook post on Sunday, Madam Halimah said she met Miss Ong and her friends a fortnight ago at a Tembusu College dinner. 

"The group was so full of hopes and aspirations. It is so unfortunate that an accident took that away from them," she added.

Miss Ong was cremated on Monday.