Message from the Founder

Thank you for visiting Singapore Obituaries.

How it all started

I first had this idea to create this website when my grandma passed away in 2005. When she passed on, things were very frantic and everyone in the family was busy with the wake and funeral. I had to physically rush to the newspaper’s office to manually post an obituary in person, bringing the death certificate, designing the obituary, and providing all the necessary information, all while running in-between the hospital, my home, the crematorium, and the church (where the wake was held).

I was also surprised by how expensive it was to post an obituary in the papers and had to wrestle with an appropriate budget I should allocate. Spend too little and it would seem disrespectful to my grandma, spend too much and it would seem extravagant and last thing the family would want was to convey the wrong message. Eventually we went for a quarter page colour obituary posting (which I still felt was expensive and the money could have been put to better use).

Over the next few days at the wake leading up to the funeral, friends and family would still be asking for details of the wake so that they could visit, pay respects, and also to send flowers to offer their condolences. Initially, we would ask them to refer to the newspapers, but since we only paid to post an obituary in the newspapers over the first 2 days, the subsequent days we relied on SMS to share the wake and funeral details. During that time, many people also donated money, of which we passed on to the church.

After the dust settled and I had time to pause and reflect, I felt that the whole experience could be handled in a much better manner, but I did not quite know what to do yet. Over the years, I had many friends, family and colleagues who had loved ones that passed away too and I would see the same cycle repeat itself over and over again. Even during the death anniversaries, people were seeking a better way to remember their loved ones, whether it was to honour them, remember them, or simply to grieve respectfully.

In 2008, a dear friend and ex-neighbour of mine, Ms. Lo Hwei Yen, was shot and killed in a terrorist attack in Mumbai. This news greatly saddened me and I was lost in disbelief in the evilness of the whole disaster. Tens of thousands of Singaporeans mourned her passing. Strangers from all over Singapore showed up at her funeral to pay respects and even more shared their condolences online. For me, reading all the kinds words written by others comforted me, that she was loved by so many and how her death moved and brought so many people together. Even years after she passed on, I would sometimes go back to read these condolence messages online. Sadly, many of the websites hosting these kind comments have been lost or shutdown, and the thousands of tributes are now lost forever. Once again, I felt a great sense of loss.

After many years of mulling around and feeling disappointed, I finally managed to gather the time and resources to properly start this website and also officially register it as a non-profit organisation.

Why the website:

I hope that this website will benefit everyone in Singapore, and the purpose is to provide a platform:

  • to quickly and easily share the funeral and wake details with their family and friends
  • to allow loved ones to contribute and capture news, pictures, videos and kind words of condolences to be forever remembered
  • to allow needy families who need support to easily share their plight and continue to get support
  • to allow altruistic families to channel their donations directly to their charities or organisations of their choice
  • to allow altruistic families to promote a cause in honour of their loved ones (donate blood, volunteer, recycle, stop smoking, etc)
  • to prove that you do not have to spend lots of money to show that you care for your loved ones
  • to allow friends and family all over the world to remember their loved ones, even years after the passing of their loved ones
  • provide as a useful resource during a difficult life event

The best is yet to be

There is still much to do and improve on the website. There are many opportunities to explore and partnerships to develop. If you have any feedback, suggestions or ideas that can improve this website, please share them with me and I thank you in advance for your contributions.

I hope that this website proves useful to you, and that we may always remember our loved ones with the memories and life lessons they gave us.

Sincerely,

Robin Pho
Founder and Executive Director