Preparing the body of the late actor Aloysius Pang proved to be a difficult feat for a funeral director who posted a tribute on her Facebook page reflecting on the process.
Ang Jolie Mei, funeral director of The Life Celebrant, said that she had to hold back her tears while preparing the body of the late actor, who passed away on Wednesday after he succumbed to injuries from being crushed by the barrel of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer while conducting repairs.
The actor served as an armament technician as part of compulsory military reservist training that conscripts in the Singapore army must attend yearly, after graduating from a two-year National Service military stint.
In her Facebook post (which has since been taken down) on the wee hours of Saturday morning, Ang said she could not sleep on the night she heard the news about Pang’s death and expressed her gratefulness at the actor’s family for allowing her to touch-up and dress his body. The body arrived at The Life Celebrant already embalmed by another company.
“When the lid of the coffin opened, my heart broke,” she said, recounting the moment she received Pang’s body. “I held back my tears because I have a job to do. To make you presentable. To make you stylo milo. To make you yantao yantao (handsome in Hokkien).”
It was the first time Ang had been in close contact with Pang, she said. She stepped in with her team to change him into a black outfit, trim his stubble, brush his eyebrows and touch up his face and hair.
“All I could think of during that hour was to send you home, to your family, to your friends in a better state, definitely not in the state we received you,” she added. “You deserve better.”
“Now, you are ready to walk down the red carpet.”
She ends off her post in a solemn note, expressing her thanks for allowing her team to be part of the process.
“With a very heavy heart, I bid your farewell as it was time to send you home to an anticipatory crowd,” she said. “Till we meet again.”
Members of the public can pay their last respects to Pang from Saturday 12pm to Sunday 12pm at 82A Macpherson Lane. A military funeral will be accorded for Pang and he will be cremated at the Mandai Crematorium on Sunday, said the Ministry of Defence.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article erroneously referred to Ang as the embalmer. We apologize for the mistake.
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