Singapore broadcaster Jason Dasey and author Neil Humphreys have something in common that’s not all that unusual.
As Jason explained when opening our interview on Singapore’s Money FM program on Saturday: “Both of us (Jason and Neil) have been affected by sudden death in our own families.”
The week before Jason and Neil had interviewed an Australian man, Marco Petrovski who was coping with the death of his son, Stefan, killed by lightening during a soccer training session in Malaysia, three years before. Marco was still angry about his son’s death and was suing Malaysian football authorities over it.
As so often happens, Jason and Neil’s interest in what impact this has was sparked by a mixture of their own memories and a sense of empathy. They both wanted to explore more about what this grief meant.
In the last few years, Neil’s father-in-law died suddenly in a car accident and he was left with an unexpected sense of rage: “Sometimes not even repressed.” (I called it my ‘grief anger’, when I experienced the same feelings.)
Jason lost his father suddenly as a 15-year-old, back in 1977. It had a profound effect on him and has shaped the way he thinks about the world. He is reflective and goes deep in conversation, reaching beyond the superficial – no doubt a trait that has served him well in a career as a radio interviewer.
Unlike Neil, he did not experience anger: “I remember just feeling sad, not angry,” he said.
“When it happened to me people would avoid our family. But you always remember the people who stood beside you,” he said.
One of the enduring experiences it left Jason with, as a young man, was a continuous worry, that he would lose somebody again.
And then, in a sad way that fear became true when he was confronted only six years later by the sudden death of his first girlfriend who was then only 21.
But these experiences have taught Jason to: “Enjoy life and hug the people you love.”
And you can really hear that he means it. He has lost people he loved but he has learnt to live because of it.
To hear the interview:
Support for when young people experience grief can be found at:
For more information about A Good Death, a compassionate and practical guide to prepare for the end of life, go to: