Mrs Lee Kuan Yew had it all

It is very sad that Madam Kwa Geok Choo, wife of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, has passed away, especially for those who love her dearly.

They must be devastated, because no matter how slim the chance of recovery, no one is fully prepared or accepting when it comes to the death of a much loved spouse, parent or child.

It is also sad that Mrs Lee was in something of a coma for two years.

For those of us gadding about, two years may pass like the twinkle of an eye. But for someone in the twilight between sleeping and awake, two years could be a very long, lonely time indeed, not counting other discomforts.

Still, in line with the thinking of the late Balaji Sadasivan — he was reported to have said  the illness which in the end killed him was the only real tribulation he had suffered in his whole life — I would like to suggest, respectfully, that the last two years of Mrs Lee were the only bad patch in all of her 89 years.

Be4 May 2008, she led what could be deemed a charmed life that had rightly caused many to eat their hearts out, especially intelligent, educated, ambitious women of her generation — or any generation for that matter.

She had it all: brains, striking looks, a good man –who became a very important man –who remained deeply in love with her thru six decades and more, children who have done her proud, a posse of grand-children who ensure her genes will remain in posterity; plenty of worldly goods and worldly experiences (travel, food, meeting with important and interesting people) that you and I can only dream about. And of course active longevity which all of us can hope for but not everyone can attain.

She had people who loved her aplenty outside her family too. In the days since her passing, the people of Singapore, many of them considered to be the “little people” — such as the fruit seller, the tailor, the articled clerk etc — have come forward to speak about her with fondness and warmth. And most particularly they spoke about her kind, considerate and accessible nature. She spoke softly and carried no big stick.

And in passing away before her husband, she achieved what the Cantonses saying describes as the better death for a married woman.

Passing away before your husband, you remain a fresh bloom. Passing away after your husband, you are like tea dregs.

So, in death as in life, Mrs Lee has been dealt the better hand.

What a blessed life! What a blessing she’s been to her husband, her family and through them, to Singapore.

Rest in peace!

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8 thoughts on “Mrs Lee Kuan Yew had it all

  1. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

  2. Pet, I hink she was more his crutch than the other way around — going by what he said and wrote. Again, many would eat their hearts out to be that crutch!

  3. They were both the crutches for each other I reckon.

    And the stick is not from her perspective… it’s from others’ perspective. No one in their right minds would mess with Ms Kwa simply because she is Mrs Lee. And yes, she was blessed to be so loved by a good man.

    Which reminds me to tell The Husband tonight that I feel very blessed too!! 🙂

  4. Many who have met Mrs Lee, such as friends who did guard duty at the Istana during their NS days, and a friend who saw Mrs Lee joining the end of a queue quietly at the post office, Mrs Lee has earned the respect of the people by being basically an unassuming person. She is practically the most powerful woman in the country (even though she was never elected), and yet she has refused to wield or flaunt that power openly. She will be missed dearly even by people like me who has never met her, but have only heard of her deeds.

  5. Hi Xizor2000! U r spot on! I’ve never met the late Mrs Lee but everyone I knew who knew her personally always used to say what a gracious lady she is. U wld expect it fm pple who admired the PAP. But when the same verdict came fm those who wld like to eat the PAP for breakfast, that’s genuine praise indeed!

  6. Pingback: World Wide News Flash

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