Losing Dad (3)


After his death, I was shocked when one of my father’s colleagues turned up at the wake to ask me for the money borrowed from him. I ended up repaying my father’s debt using money from the donations. Days after, I went to three different banks to close his saving accounts. Each trip to the bank left me drained.

The TOTAL amount of money he left behind added up to the sum of S$14.14. Fourteen dollars and fourteen cents. The man was living from hand to mouth. It was saddening, but who was I to judge? I’m not much better off myself in terms of my finances. Still, I have 3 mouths to feed, so I also couldn’t understand why a monthly salary of S$1,500 was not enough for a single man without dependents or other financial obligations.

From the documents I found in his drawer, I knew he still had some money in his CPF. Only in the MediSave account in fact, the only CPF account which you weren’t able to draw the money out in cash no matter how old you get. (At this point I wanted to kowtow to the Singapore Government for implementing this rule). There was of course virtually nothing left in his other CPF accounts.

I had no idea if he had made a nomination on who would get the money. There was no way to check this information, because it was confidential. I was told by CPF that if there were no nominees, it would be up to the Public Trustee to distribute the money.

Today we got the letter from CPF.

He left his money to my mother. She was his sole beneficiary. Not me.

The woman who divorced him in 1989, who wouldn’t speak to him for 24 years.

The woman he felt so much guilt towards, the woman whom he had hoped would forgive him.

The woman he hurt so much that she couldn’t even bring herself to bade him goodbye.

If only he had learnt from his mistakes, if only he had the will to turn his life around earlier.

He was making amends for his mistakes, but it needn’t have ended this way.

Dead  – alone – poor – guilty.

It’s all terribly, terribly sad.

(to be continued…)

Explore posts in the same categories: Drama, Family, Life

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