TikTok user Pamminnie's mum died four years ago.
Since her mother's passing, Pamminnie would send texts to her late mother's mobile number every now and then to feel like she was still talking to her.
On May 8, she sent a WhatsApp text that read: "Happy Mother's Day, mummy. Love you and miss you as always."
And amazingly, about six hours later, a reply came.
Not only was it a sweet "Happy Mother's Day" wish, but the person who took over her mum's mobile number mentioned that they too had lost their mother.
Pamminnie told AsiaOne that this experience gave her the "shock of [her] life".
Last Sunday (May 14), Pamminnie took to TikTok to share this special conversation she had with a complete stranger.
@pamminnie Cherish your mum…Happy Mothers Day to all mothers in the world ❤️ Song: 滴答 by @Rao Zi Jie ♬ original sound - Pamminnie
In June 2019, one of Pamminnie's earlier messages to her late mum had her saying how much she missed her.
"Good night mummy. I'm sorry for not cherishing the time with you," she wrote.
Over the years, similar messages were sent to the same number.
When she received an actual reply on May 8, she was stunned and offered an apology to the other person before mentioning that texting her late mum's mobile number was her way of dealing with the loss.
Amazingly enough, the person at the other end of the line was going through a similar struggle. What are the odds of that?
"My mum also passed away just three months [ago], it's okay. No problem," the person's reply read.
The both of them then had a genuine moment of connection when they promised each other that this WhatsApp chat could be used as a safe space to share anything about their late mums.
My entire world
Strong, kind and fun-loving.
These words came to Pamminnie's mind when asked to describe her late mum.
Despite going through chemotherapy and radiation for three years, she continued to live an active life and never gave up.
Whether it was working a full-time job as an interior designer or picking up a new hobby like painting, Pamminnie's mother lived life to the fullest.
She died at the young age of 49, and Pamminnie admitted to having a "really hard time" thereafter.
"I [would] always read back our old messages and listen to her voice recordings. Somehow, I just continued to text her whenever I miss her and it feels like I'm still talking to her," Pamminnie said.
Initially, she felt like the death of her mother would remove the possibility of her posting anything about her mother.
But her view on this has changed as Pamminnie now wants to commemorate her mum and remind people of the independent and capable woman she was.
"Your strong spirit will always be my motivation."
Dealing with loss
Grieving the loss of a loved one is a complex process in which one may experience a myriad of emotions.
Sadness, anger, guilt and shock are just some of the emotions that can overwhelm us during this period of time.
However, there are ways to help someone who is coping with loss.
It's important to lend an ear and allow the grieving person to talk about their thoughts and feelings regarding the deceased as a display of support, according to Brenda Lee, a clinical psychologist with The Psychology Practice.
Another way is to be patient with the grieving party and allow them space and time.
Candice Tan, the principal medical social worker with Tan Tock Seng Hospital, advises not to impose your expectations or offer patronising statements as they would make no sense to the bereaved individuals.
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