Sunday March 17, 2013
I READ with much regret the demise of Dr Albert Lim who had been a regular contributor to the The Star’s Fit for Life pullout.
Most of his articles were truly written from the heart, with loads of common sense thrown in, and a practical approach.
His first care and consideration was always for the patient, and he continuously harped on the well-known maxim for all medical practitioners, “First, Do No Harm” in whatever therapy or treatment was proposed.
He wrote like a philosopher, a scientist, a doctor, a human being and friend, and peppered his writings with musings, homilies, life-stories, and extracts of poems.
All these I enjoyed greatly, for one can learn a lot from a caring fellow human being. How often does one come across a doctor with that humanistic angle and the care and time to reach out to the public to share his thoughts and pain!
In his profession, one can never escape from reality and the “darkness” that threatens to become reality.
I borrow from one of his articles printed in the The Star in August 2010, it affected me greatly due to a personal loss I suffered.
Sometimes the bereaved suffer inexpressible sadness that is deep, prolonged and suffocating. It helps to know you are not alone in that dark labyrinth.
Funeral Blues by WH Auden (1907–1973) is possibly the most known poem made famous by a movie. In Four Weddings And A Funeral, Matthew recites this poem to commemorate his relationship with Gareth.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves.
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Can you feel the poet’s utter desolation? That he has lost the will to carry on? Can you suggest how he shall crawl out of the dark pit?
Any patient with a serious disorder or disability – cancer, spinal cord damage, a severe stroke, crippling arthritis – can feel vanquished, helpless and hopeless. Despite it all, some carry on. They dig deep within their psyche and find that last gramme of strength to face the adversary.
My sincere sympathies to Dr Lim’s family, he was their North, South, East and West, their working week and Sunday rest, their life indeed!