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Pui Har "Agnes" Yeung

11 juillet 194616 mars 2021
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Agnes Pui Har Yeung passed away peacefully on March 16, 2021 in Vancouver with her siblings attending at her bedside. She had been frail for a long time. Although she beat COVID-19, she couldn't beat old age.

Agnes was born in a rural town in the Kwangtung Province of China on the 11th day of the sixth month in the Lunar Calendar in 1946. She was preceded by her Parents Hok Hang Yeung and King Ho Lam. She is survived by her sisters: Sau Har Wong of New York City, Barbara Suen (Keith Suen) of Vancouver, Siu Ha Wai of Hong Kong, Debbie Yeung (Tim Grad) of Edmonton, Edith Wong (Kanman Wong) of Vancouver, and her brother Steven Yeung of Vancouver. She will be sadly missed by her nephews and nieces: David and Phil Wong of New York, Po Chu Wai of Hong Kong, Vincent Suen of Vancouver, Oscar Wai of Hong Kong, Theo and Freddie Wong of Vancouver, Tiffany and Brianna Grad of Edmonton.

Agnes grew up in rural China and moved to Hong Kong to join her parents and sisters when she was 12 years old. She completed training to become a nurse, and spent two years in England specializing in midwifery before immigrating to Canada in 1974. She became a Registered Nurse and worked at hospitals in Edmonton and Vancouver before retiring in 1986.

We would like to thank all the caring teams who provided dedicated support to Agnes and her family in her final years: the private team who worked at the Yeung's residence, Britannia Lodge, Three Links Care Centre and Little Mountain Place; in particular, the following personnel at Little Mountain Place: Dr. Judith Hammond (her family physician), Maricel Morella (Director of Care), and Maria Ilad (Nurse who provided the final care).

During this difficult time of COVID-19, we decline any flowers or donations.

Since the in person attendance capacity is limited to 10, family and friends of Agnes can watch the streaming of the funeral live or at your convenience later using the link provided below:

Funeral Service Saturday, April 10th, 2021 at 10:00 am. https://funeraweb.tv/en/diffusions/26393

Services

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Pui Har "Agnes" Yeung

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Barbara Suen

24 avril , 2021

潔霞的悼念

"蓮子心中苦,梨兒腹內酸"

佩霞走了這一段日子,是我一生裏最哀傷的。. 在眾多姊妹中,我與佩霞年紀最接近, 我也是留在她身邊到最後一刻的人。離開小山苑那一晚,我還很冷靜地駕車回家,發了短訉給家人,處理了急需的事項,倦極而睡。翌晨醒來,回想佩霞坎坷的大半生,我哭得肝腸寸短。接着一個星期,只要一想起她,我就淚如泉湧。這幾年來她過得很苦,整天困在輪椅上,連吞嚥也有困難。雖然我和宇光每星期都陪伴她參加所有的慈濟活動如素午餐及歌唱節目等,但她始终希望可以回家與宇光住在一起。我每次去探望她,她只重覆問两個問題:你下次幾時再來? 我幾時可以回家?我儘量餵她吃一些她喜愛的食物,從來不敢在她面前流淚,現在我终於可以釋放我壓抑多年的淚水了。

回顧過去七十載,我在佩霞的生命中扮演了很多不同的角色:

護衛

根據媽媽說:我幼年在中国農村時,已肩負了保護佩霞的責任。有一天,佩霞又被鄰居的孩子欺負。我聽到她的哭叫,面對一羣比我倆高大的強敵,我找了一枝長丫义,没頭沒腦的打,他們紛纷走避,一個走得較慢的,被Y义打中,傷了額頭。他的父母找上門來,我們的祖母答應会嚴懲我。徬晚時,祖母在媽媽的蚊帳後找到了我,她静静的抱起我,餵我吃晚餐。自從得到祖母的默許後,我成為佩霞的護衛,漸漸那羣惡霸就轉移了目標,不再欺負我們了。

家務及育兒的拍檔

幾年後佩霞來香港與我們團聚,媽媽又添了幾個弟妹。我和佩霞都要幫忙做家務及照顧弟妹。那時我上下午小學,媽媽出門買菜前,就將慕霞缚在我背上,我做功課也得背着她。待媽媽買菜回來,我就幫她做午钣。佩霞下午放學後,就負責用手洗全家的衣服,包括許多嬰兒尿布。

粵劇對手

那段日子我們除了上學,就待在家裹,沒有機会學習任何運動或社交技巧,看電影或粵劇是我們唯一的娛樂。有空時,佩霞和我就会披上床單當戲服,對唱我們喜愛的戲曲。

英文補習老師

佩霞在中國上小學時從未學過英文,所以她一直追得很辛苦。在1976年, 她重考中學会考時, 我每晚都陪她回崇真書院温習,成為她的英文補習老師,我和她苦練英文口試。放榜那天得悉她順利過關,舉家歡欣慶祝。

調解員
自從佩霞提早退体後,她與宇光及媽媽相處的時間很多。媽媽是個完美主義者,非常注重儀容,而佩霞則剛剛相反,不喜歡打扮。每次出外用膳前,兩人都為了衣着問題爭埶。為了解决這個茅盾,我悄悄的將佩霞那件心爱的殘舊羽絨和那双破靴子扔掉。她從此只好穿我們為她提供的新衣及靴子了。

康樂組長

在過去四十年來,我一直担當楊家的康樂组長。我們每個週末及每一位家人生日都会出外用膳。每逢中國的時節,媽媽都会準備丰盛的菜式款待我們,我就負責所有西方的節日,夏天的燒烤及冬天的火鍋等,這個習俗一直維持了三十年,直至媽媽不可以走路,在不方便出外用膳的情況下,我成為楊家的主廚。
在二零一二年末,為了實現媽媽最後一個旅遊心願,我帶領媽媽,佩霞及宇光乘坐遊輪作為期七天的夏威夷環島遊。那時媽媽和佩霞都巳經不良於行,宇光負責替媽媽推輪椅,我就替佩霞提她的拐扙椅。當我們去到海灘畤,我拖着佩霞和媽媽,站在水中拍照留念。雖然佩霞行動不便,我邀請她和我一起参加舞蹈班,她亳不猶疑就答應了,這是佩霞最後的一次跳舞了。

我的使命 (雞胸肉的故事)

往後的曰子漸走下坡,媽媽完全不能自理,又不願意入安老院。我們唯有僱用一個護理團隊在家照顧她。佩霞又常常進出醫院。我要兼顧媽媽的私家團隊及佩霞的位院處理,心力交瘁之餘, 難免有 “為何是我我” 的念頭。直到有一天,我突然記起媽媽告訴我 “雞胸肉的故事”: 我們很小的時期,只有在大節曰才有雞吃。因為每個小孩都喜歡雞腿,媽媽在分配時,總是將翼脾分给最大方的佩霞。為了補償她,又附加一塊雞胸肉。我終於明白了:在佩霞坎坷的際遇中, 我,就是上天補给她的那塊“雞胸肉” 。我生下來的使命就是在她有需要的時候去扶持她。

Barbara Suen

19 avril , 2021

Acknowledgement
I would like to thank Keith and Vincent who shared me and our resources to support my life long mission. A lot of thanks for all those who sent flowers and help with the funeral preparation / presentation.
For the rest of the family, we should all pat our back for our support for Agnes through different ways and different times. Now Agnes doesn’t suffer any more and rests in peace. We will soldier on and carry out her passion for life and her love for others.

Brianna Grad

11 avril , 2021

I remember the times Auntie Agnes came up to Edmonton to visit us like they happened yesterday. She would take time out of her day to play with me and make sure I was happy and safe. I distinctly remember playing "restaurant" with her for hours, and I could tell her smile, laughter, and happiness were all genuine. She loved children and cared deeply for her family. I remember her helping out with taking care of the plants and cooking too, if needed. Her training as a nurse showed, as she was always warning Tiffany and myself not to touch rusty metal for risk of getting tetanus, for example. She was a compassionate woman who wanted the best for her family, and I am forever grateful I got to spend time with her.
May you rest in peace, dear Agnes.

Tiffany Grad

11 avril , 2021

Over the past few weeks, I have come to learn so much about Auntie Agnes. Learning about her passing was painful, but it was also painful to discover that there was so much I never knew about her. There are decades of her life, her career, and her journey around the world that remained a mystery to me, all because I had never thought to ask. Despite this, I am extremely grateful that I had an opportunity to get to know her bright, joyful, and nurturing spirit while she graced this earth.
If I had to choose one word to describe Auntie Agnes, it would be caring. She cared deeply for all of her friends and family and always made sure that everyone was safe and taken care of. Despite only being able to visit her a few times a year, Auntie Agnes always welcomed us with open arms. Time and distance were never a concern because her enthusiasm made us feel as though we had seen her just yesterday. I will always remember her being like a mother bear protecting her cubs; her foremost concern was always ensuring that we were safe and that we were okay.
Auntie Agnes: although we didn’t have much time on this earth to get to know each other, I sincerely hope that we meet again in another lifetime.

過去幾個星期,我對二姨媽的認識增加了很多。得知她離世固然令我傷痛,但令我更傷感是: 我發覺我知道她的生平着實太少。關於她過去數十年,她的事業,她去過的旅遊地點,我都一無所知,原因是我從不想起去問。雖然如此,能夠在她帶給這世界光輝, 歡樂,恩澤的在世歲月,有缘相遇,我非常感恩。
如果要我選擇一個形容詞去代表她的為人,那就是:愛心。她深切地關爱她身邉所有的親人和朋友,確保每一個人都安全和得到照顧。雖然我們每年只見一两次面,但二姨媽永遠都熱烈歡迎我們, 無論相隔有多久,或有多遠、我們從來都设有隔漠。我永遠記得她好像熊媽媽一樣,竭力保護我們幾個熊宝宝。
二姨媽, 雖然我們今生沒有太多時間去瞭解對方、但願來世有缘再見。

芬蘭

Tim Grad

9 avril , 2021

Agnes was sure to make dinner for me when I was working in Vancouver and staying at the house. She was always very concerned that we were all safe, especially after travelling. Goodbye sister-in-law. Rest in peace. To Agnes' siblings, Barbara, Claudia, my wife Debbie, Edith and Steve, and Agnes' nieces and nephews, my deepest condolences.

Ron Song

9 avril , 2021

Hi Debbie,

Sorry to hear about the loss of your sister, Agnes. My condolences to you all including your brother and sisters.

Hope you have a pleasant and safe trip to Vancouver and get all the necessary things sorted out.

Take it easy.

Ron Song

Dave Williams

9 avril , 2021

Dear Debbie,

We are so sorry to hear the news of Agnes' death. We are sure over the next while , you will remember good times you two spent together years ago.

Hope it helps to know that others are with you in thought and sympathy.

With love,

Helga & Dave Williams

FRED WONG

9 avril , 2021

My dear aunt Agnes, I will always be thankful for taking care of me and babysitting me when I was younger. My mom told me when I was younger, she told you to watch over me to make sure I don't go wandering off. And you indeed watched and followed everywhere I went. I even yelled in my toddler voice to stop following me!
Looking back now, you really cared about every family member and took serious responsibility for our well being. Thank you auntie Agnes

Lawrence Tattrie

8 avril , 2021

To Debbie and Family,

I hope to convey that while the ignorance in my brain is not small, the sympathy for you and your family in my heart is much larger. A loss distorts both time and space. What was so close now seems so far away, and a short time ago is now ages ago. Hope that your plants will bring many flowers in the spring.

Lawrence Tattrie

Barbara Suen

6 avril , 2021

Tears in my heart

The last 3 weeks have been the hardest part of my life. Among all the surviving siblings, I am closest to Agnes’ age. I was also the one who stayed with her till her last breath. I was calm and collected when I left Little Mountain Place and drove myself home. The next morning when I woke up, I broke down and cried like a baby. For about a week, tears kept coming every time I thought about her tough life in the past 35 years, especially the last 3: she required total support in personal care and had trouble swallowing. You can imagine a free spirit trapped in a non-functional body and relying on pureed food to sustain her life. Although every week Steve and I accompanied her to all the Tzu Chi activities such as vegetarian lunch and karaoke, she still preferred to go home. Every time we visited her, the only question she asked was: when are you coming back or when can I go home? I tried very hard to hold back my tears and just kept on feeding her with her favourite food that we sneaked in. After putting on a happy face for 3 years, I finally allowed myself to mourn.
When I reflected on my entire life with Agnes, I found I had different roles in different stages of her life:

Guarding Warrior
According to my mom: before my mom took me to Hong Kong, I used to protect Agnes when we were in rural China. One day, Agnes was bullied by a bunch of neighbouring kids. When I heard her screaming, I grabbed a laundry stick and beat them up from a distance. One kid had a cut in his forehead and they all fled. His parents came to our house and complained to our grandmother who was the head of the family. My grandmother promised she would discipline me and sent them away. When supper time came, she found me hiding behind the mosquito net. She picked me up and fed me dinner. I knew she condoned to my act of defence and my status as the young warrior for the Yeung family was established. After that, they changed their target and picked on someone else.

Housekeeping / Babysitting Partners

When Agnes reunited with me in Hong Kong, Mom had a few more kids. As the oldest children, Agnes and I were Mom’s assistant housekeepers and babysitters. Since I went to afternoon primary school, I took the morning shift. Every morning, Mom fastened Debbie on my back with a baby belt. I had to carry her when I did my homework. When Mom got home from her grocery shopping, I had to help her with preparing lunch. When Agnes got home from her junior high school, she had to do laundry by hand for the entire family, including a lot cloth diapers
Cantonese Opera Performers
Since we were not allowed to go out to play, we never learned any sports or social skills. The only entertainment we had were movies and Cantonese opera. When we had spare time, Agnes and I would put on sheets and performed our version of Cantonese opera.

English Tutor

As a late comer to the British education system, Agnes struggled with her English. When she wrote her high school public exam the second time in 1967, I went to her school and studied with her every evening. I became her English tutor. We had many drills before her Oral English exam. The day we found out she passed her exam, the entire family celebrated.

Mediator

Ever since Agnes took her early retirement, she spent a lot of time with mom and Steve. Mom was a perfectionist and Agnes was the exact opposite. Mom felt embarrassed when Agnes insisted on wearing her old dirty jacket and broken boots when we went out for lunch or dinner. To resolve this conflict, I quietly discarded her favourite jacket and broken boots when she was not watching. She had no choice but to wear the new clothing and shoes that we provided.

Entertainer

Ever since the early 80’s, I have been organizing all social activities for the Yeung family. We dined out every week and on every family member’s birthday. Mom used to cook on all the Chinese festivals and I was responsible for Easter, Thanksgiving, X’mas and summer BBQ’s. This went on for 30 years until Mom lost her mobility.
In December 2012, I fulfilled Mom’s last wish on her travel list and took her, Agnes and Steve on a Hawaiian cruise. By that time, Steve had to push Mom’s wheel chair and I had to carry Agnes’ cane when we went ashore. When we went to the beach, I took Mom and Agnes to the water and took a picture with one on each arm. Although Agnes started to have problems with walking, she had no hesitation to join me when I invited her to our hula dancing lesson. That was the last time Agnes set foot on the dancing floor.

My mission (the chicken breast meat story)

Then life took a downturn after that. Mom lost her mobility entirely but refused to go the care home. We had to hire a private team to take care of her at home. Agnes was in and out of the hospital all the time. I was exhausted with coordinating with Mom’s care team and the ongoing liaising with the hospital staff for Agnes. The “why me” question popped up a few times. Then I remembered the “chicken breast meat” story that Mom told me: when we were little, we only had chicken for very special occasions. Mom had to ration the chicken parts for the kids because every kid loved drumsticks. Since Agnes was the most easy-going kid in the family, she always received a drumette. To make up the difference, she was compensated with a piece of chicken breast meat. It dawned on me one day that: since Agnes always got the short end of a stick for everything, I am her “chicken breast meat”. I was born with the mission to support her whenever she needed my help.

Misunderstanding resolved

Although I was always there for her for almost her entire life, I wasn’t sure I was her favourite sister. I used to wonder if she resented that I have dethroned her from her “big sister” role which she was very proud of and I nagged her about her diet. The one thing I regretted the most was I wasn’t able to retain the care team that we hired for Mom in her final years. Agnes longed to stay home with Steve but I couldn’t grant her that wish.
Just before the second wave of COVID and the outbreak, Steve and I took Agnes out for a weekly picnic in a park close to LMP. I was starting to get chilly and we had to stay in the sun for the short stay. After lunch, Agnes looked me in the eye and said, “I am very grateful for everything you have done for me. I have misunderstood you all these years. I am sorry.” I held back my tears and said, “I am sorry too for all my nasty comments over the years. But we are sisters, remember? Sisters don’t hold grudges.” Back then, I knew her final days were near.

Agnes' Mission plus the Lame & the Blind Analogy

To most people, they only see my support for Agnes. The truth is, Agnes’ mission is more noble and broader in scope. While my dedication is only for the Yeung family, she reached out to the world and sponsored kids in the 3rd world. I remembered about 3 years ago, she could no longer walk and started to have difficulty swallowing. I was asked by the hospital to find out if the family wanted CPR for Agnes if she needed one. We couldn’t make a decision so we asked her directly. To everyone’s surprise, she said, “yes, I love life”. Throughout the last few years of her hard life, she never complained. Whenever I was tired and discouraged, I looked at her and said to myself, “this is nothing compared to what she has to endure”. Yes, you have given me strength. You taught me the value of family, love, honesty and empathy for the unfortunate. Through your own example of your passion for life, I learn to treasure everything I have, and not take anything for granted. We are like a team of the lame and the blind. She has navigated my way while I carried her on my back.

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