A hug for my soul

A journey of grieving and healing after child loss

Letter to Vincent’s Intensive Care Unit


Hi all,

The past two months in your unit seemed like infinity to our whole family. Usually people associate intensive care units with cold, creepy and emotionless images, and it was the case for us at the very beginning.

I remember how insanely sacred and numb I felt when I sat in the waiting room, so tired yet alert, ready to spring any moment you came out to give us the pass to go in and see our baby on the cooling mat. I felt very disconnected.

Yet kids are truly amazing. Vincent decided that the intensive care unit would be his home during his stay in this world, as his parents, we follows his lead. He came here through me, with his own purposes, in his own time, through the manifestation of physical suffering, choosing you all to be a big part of his life. As his mother, I know that beautiful and innocent soul was trapped in a weak body so hard to work with, but I also know that he felt safe and loved in your hands. Every diaper change, every time being fed, every time being gently combed and bathed, every try to reduce his pain and discomfort, Vincent allowed us to witness that all of you were not just doing your job as professionals, but also trying all you possibly could out of respect and love for his life, and lives of all the others kids next door.

I cannot represent the dearest and nearest of all other kids, however I am speaking to you from the hearts of all those who have loved and will continue loving Vincent. We are all grateful for what you have done for us, and all you have given through your healing hands and generous hearts. The intensive care unit has been Vincent’s true home on earth, and he made me feel bizarrely but honestly at home there too. It was also his choice to have come to you, be nested around you and be on his way out again there with you. It was the beginning of his end, it is the end of his beginning. Or the other way round.

We also want to thank you for having gently leaving us the space whenever we needed, and for making it possible for us to hold Vincent’s hands when he decided it was time to go. It meant more than words can say for us.

Thank you all beautiful souls.

27 July, 2018

We brought this letter to AKK Hamburg ICU two days after Vincent’s pass, to express all left unsaid during the dark and defeating two months of our lives with Vincent there, never being able to come home. This is especially to nurses and doctors E, A, A, B and N, who gave him so much love and me so much strength, your souls still spark nothing but pure white light for me. I decided to share this letter here today at Vincent and my space, for L, who is also a pediatric nurse at an intensive unit, as part of her birthday presents. Every time you took care of a dying child, they wanted you to know what’s been said above. xx

Acrylic on canvas: Held with Love by Goh Si Hua from Beatty Secondary School as part of the “Belong – Family, culture and Nation” exhibition at Singapore National Art Museum

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