Turn grief into positive energy for Singapore

I share the sentiments in Mak Mun San's tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew ("It's time to let him go", Monday).

Like many others, my family mourned in our own ways. My mother, 76, cried when she heard the news over the radio on March 23. My father, 85, a traditional Chinese man, reacted indifferently. However, he was glued to the TV and read all the Chinese dailies he could get his hands on over the past week. My wife, a very private person, did a lot of writing in her diary.

I joined one of the residents' committees in the late 1990s, but left after two years as I was disappointed with some of the ways things were managed. While I have my share of misgivings, I always held Lee Kuan Yew in high esteem and with respect in my heart. Last week, I lamented not having expressed my admiration and affirmation of his work in a more open manner.

I tried to make amends, but following two failed attempts to visit Parliament House, I visited two community tribute sites as an alternative instead. Besides penning my thoughts at the two centres, I updated my Facebook profile and cover photos as a mark of respect.

With a week of reflection, I concluded that the grieving for missed opportunities to express our appreciation should instead be transformed into positive energy to spur more of us to continue building the foundation and legacy of our founding father.

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