Sandakan man's free funeral van service for poor man’s dead wife, touched by love and devotion

Melanie Chalil
The kitchen was turned into a makeshift place to wash the body before it can be buried. — Picture from Facebook/Yunizam Yusop

PETALING JAYA, Nov 18 — One elderly man’s loyalty towards his life partner never wavered even until the day she died, despite living in destitute conditions.

Facebook user Yunizam Yusop shared the heart-rending story of the impoverished couple who were living in Kampung Tanah Merah in Sandakan, Sabah.

Yunizam met the senior citizen man after offering his hearse van services at no charge when the man’s wife died on November 12.

“I was shocked and at the same time sad and down. When I asked their neighbours if they had children, they told me it was only the two of them.

“No kids, no relatives and no property to their name. This means they have to manage the funeral all by themselves,” Yunizam told mStar.

Yunizam Yusop, 31, runs a hearse van service in Sandakan, Sabah. — Picture from Facebook/Yunizam Yusop

The hearse van service provider also had to prepare white cotton cloth to enshroud the body as they could not afford it.

The couple lived in a rented room that cost RM100 monthly and would pay the landlord RM1 if that was all they had.

The 31-year-old Facebook user said he was shocked to see their kitchen that was turned into a place to bathe his wife’s body.

“I was relieved when the husband said his wife’s body will be bathed and that there were neighbours who will handle the body — everything was in place, just waiting for the funeral.

“But when the dead woman’s husband showed me the kitchen, I was speechless,” Yunizam said.

The kitchen was bare, had no gas and was patched up with wooden boards.

Yunizam said the couple only ate plain rice that was bought from a nearby market.

“I asked how they cooked without gas. The husband told me they bought rice for 50 sen from the market and would only buy side dishes if they had extra money.

“I couldn’t control my tears when I heard that. The husband used to work at a supermarket but he had to quit when he fell sick.”

The tragic story of the elderly man and his late wife saddened Facebook users. — Screengrab from Facebook/Yunizam Yusop

Yunizam said the man was too devastated that he could not bring himself to accompany his late wife to the cemetery.

“When they wanted to bury his wife, he said he couldn’t do it. He said he was too saddened by the fact that there will be no one with him anymore after this.

“At that point, I cried too because it was so sad. Their love is so strong but I’m glad because the funeral went smoothly,” Yunizam said.

The post prompted social media users to express their sympathy and sadness for the couple.

Even though they lived a hard life, they were happy together, said Yunizam.

“The lesson here is that the two of them remained together until death parted them. We hear a lot of divorce cases because of financial reasons.

“But this couple were able to defend their love and home until the end, even though they lived from hand to mouth,” Yunizam.

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