One of the saddest moments in our lives was the passing of our beloved mother / grandmother, Bebeji Gian Kaur, on the 25th of January this year. We knew she was blessed with an additional 3-plus years after she was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2004. The extra three years, where she returned to normal life, had more than prepared all of us for her eventual passing on.

But, when the moment actually came, we were still lost. In the end it was no different from just like any other family’s moment of grief and loss. Most of us were just as lost as to what to do next. There was the expected support from members of the family and our close relatives, who helped bring some calm and understanding to the situation.

But thanks to the Sikh Welfare Council (SIWEC), especially to Jasbir Singh, our mother’s transition from this world to the next was, hopefully, a smooth one and good one. His help came from within five minutes of her passing. I called Jasbir to help arrange the funeral. The words on the other side were some of the most consoling in my moment of need.

“I am really sorry about your loss. Losing a parent is certainly a difficult time, for anyone. You need to be strong for your family and to be with them now,” he said. “You do not worry about anything. I will arrange everything. All I need from you is your mother’s death certificate and the time you want to book the crematorium.”

That was, indeed, all I had to do.

From arranging the embalming of my mum, to her coffin, to the booking of the buses for the funeral and the paraphernalia for the funeral rites, I left it to the office of SIWEC. Right down to the administrative details of collecting the ashes the next day. Indeed, it was all taken care of and everything went without a hitch.

But the involvement of SIWEC was not to end there. The day after the funeral, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from Jasbir. He asked if everything was alright, and at first, I thought it was a routine check. But his next words truly made the difference to my family in one of its greatest moments of loss. “If it is okay with you,” he asked, “can I come over to your home and we do simran as a family. I believe that it will help your family get over the grief and understand, as well as accept, the passing of your mum.” It was, he said, part of the services provided for by SIWEC as follow up.

At first I was hesitant for I did not want a preachy session at our home but, in hindsight, saying “Yes” was one of the best things I had done in those two weeks. The family, together, every evening, coming to terms with its loss was indeed therapeutic. More importantly, Jasbir, representing the softer side of SIWEC, and explaining verses from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji in relation to the passing of Bebeji, made it all the more meaningful and acceptable for my kids, and even grownup siblings who had come all the way from Canada.

I thought to myself -- if only there was such support from an organization for me when my beloved father passed on in 1970. Then, at 10 years old, I was completely lost as to why it happened. There was no direction and till today, I still feel that I was robbed of some potential to grow into a better person.

Thankfully, my children had an organization like SIWEC to help them rationalize their grandmother’s passing and return to normal life as soon as possible. Thus, it is from the bottom of our hearts that we thank Jasbir, his wife, daughter and the SIWEC for their support throughout our mother’s passing from this world to The Other World.

The family, as a whole, has accepted that our mother’s passing would not be in vain, if we remain steadfastly imbued in Sikhism, take comfort from the shabads so lovingly gifted to us by Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and live our lives the way in which Bebeji had prayed for us to do so everyday, as Sikhs.

These were messages that were heard and hopefully absorbed, from relatives and friends in their condolences and reinforced every evening by Welfare Officer in the sharing of Gurbani verses meaning in English and enriching Simran during the course of the bereavement. This form of follow up grief counseling using Gurbani would definitely help families in accepting the loss, adjusting to life after the loss, and coping with the changes within oneself and the world after the loss.

Thank you all.

By Santokh Singh Grewal
s/o of the late Dara Singh (departed Aug 23rd, 1970)
and the late Gian Kaur (departed Jan 25th 2008) “



"The organization has assisted my family for the past 8 years in various ways from financial assistance, monthly groceries to moral and emotional support, from tuition during my A Levels, and finally to pay fees for a semester or two during university. The Council was ready to help us whenever the need arose, to the best of its ability."

Sikh Graduate Assisted By SIWEC

"I was arrested for drug taking and had to be in DRC for the next two years. There at the DRC, SIWEC counsellors gave religious and emotional guidance and support. Although I had attended the sessions before, this time they were more meaningful to me as I had made up my mind to change for the better. The regular counselling sessions helped to build self confidence in me. I recall how one volunteer would give us a big hug and would listen to us attentively. This boosted our morale."

Drug Abuser

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Get In-Touch:
2 Towner Rd, #06-02, Singapore 327804.
Open Monday - Friday, 9am - 6pm.
Tel: +65 6299 9234
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Registered Charity