SINGAPORE - The recent public reaction to the news of a columbarium in Sengkang echoes past responses to news of a hospice being built near residential estates ("Columbarium in Sengkang 'will be out of public view'"; yesterday).
The inevitable truth that bears reiterating is that we all age and will eventually die.
With death comes grief; the remembrance of our beloved who have departed is an important part of life.
It is a way to show our love, respect and gratitude to them. A columbarium, in many ways, helps serve this need.
Over the past year, much ado has been rightly made about due recognition of the pioneer generation.
Similarly, in our families, the departed would have impacted our lives greatly, and there should be some form of recognition for them.
We should have space in our hearts to welcome columbariums or hospices in our neighbourhoods, in honour of those who have impacted our lives.
Worries about noise and the unease over living near the dead seem to be exaggerated, especially in the light of considerations taken into account by the authorities in choosing the site of the columbarium.
Let us respect the dead, as when they were alive, they were very much a part of us and our families.
In death, let us not "discard" them by refusing a columbarium in our neighbourhoods.
The message we are sending to the next generation needs to be carefully considered.
This article was first published on January 2, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.