Woman held her own living funeral before dying of rare ovarian cancer

The New Paper
February 20, 2024

Ms Michelle Ng was only 27 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer in 2021. 

The cancer metastasised by the end of 2022 and treatment was ineffective.

Ms Ng, with the support of HCA Hospice, then spent her days at home with her loved ones. 

The slow down was a stark difference to how the entrepreneur, who was given a poor prognosis, used to spend her days – cycling, running and working on her own business.

HCA principal medical social worker Jayne Leong brought up the idea of a living funeral to Ms Ng.

“A living funeral is a celebration of a person’s life while they are still around. It allows the dying person to create a legacy, and to have the opportunity to connect and reconnect with loved ones," explained Ms Leong.

With the help of HCA’s multidisciplinary team and her family, Ms Ng organised her living funeral, a gathering she envisioned to be something like a birthday party.

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Friends attended Ms Ng's living funeral on Dec 23, bearing their final letters to her and books to exchange with one another. Ms Ng also requested that her guests channel condolence monies to HCA.

In her speech at the gathering, Ms Ng said: "I wish people would know more about HCA and palliative care. They have helped me so much, in seeing the light in the tunnel.

"Thank you for making me so happy today. Your presence is so, so appreciated. I am grateful to hear every single laughter, to see every single smile."

Ms Ng died on Jan 2.

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