Some 10 years before she was killed in a deadly bomb blast in Bangkok, Ms Melisa Liu Rui Chun had made her mother a promise.
"She wanted to go to the United States to further her studies, and she said 'Mum, I will do you proud'," said Madam Katherine Woo, tears welling up at the memory of her daughter. "She kept her promise, she scored very good marks."
The 60-year-old told The Straits Times yesterday at Ms Liu's wake about how her daughter had asked her for permission to go abroad.
Ms Liu, 34, was killed on the spot after a bomb ripped through the busy Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok on Monday evening.
She was the only Singaporean killed in the terror attack at the popular Erawan Shrine that left dozens injured and 20 dead.
"It's very heartbreaking. Now she's gone, it's so painful, so painful," said Madam Woo, adding that the family just wanted to give Ms Liu a good send-off. Ms Liu's death is the second blow to the family in two months, after Madam Woo lost her husband to cancer in June.
"I didn't expect this to happen. I lost my eldest brother, now I've lost my niece," said Ms Liu's uncle, Mr Benedict Lew, 52. A procurement manager, he said Ms Liu was "very reserved, but very sensible" as she was growing up.
He added that his niece did what she wanted while she was alive and both he and Madam Woo were "very proud of her". Ms Liu had worked with the claims team at AXA Assistance Singapore.
More than 40 people - including friends, colleagues and family - attended Ms Liu's wake yesterday evening, held at her home in New Upper Changi Road. East Coast GRC MP Maliki Osman also attended to pay his respects.
But Ms Liu's husband, Mr Ng Su Teck, remained hospitalised, and was not at his wife's wake. He suffered glass shrapnel wounds to his right leg and burns to his left arm, and has been warded since he returned home on Wednesday.
At the hospital yesterday, he was limping along the corridors, his left arm still wrapped tightly in gauze.
Mr Ng, a director with a marine company, put on a brave front when approached by The Straits Times.
"I'm fine," he said meekly. He would not talk about his wife yesterday, and would only say: "Everything has been taken care of."
Ms Liu's family thanked Singaporeans and the Government yesterday for extending their support to the family in their time of grief.
Mr Lew said: "We'd like to thank all Singaporeans who have shared with us their kind words. We should all treasure our families and spend as much time as possible with them."
This article was first published on August 22, 2015.
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