I should stop thinking.  I shouldn’t let my mind wander and run wild.  Now I am completely emotionally drained.  If you can’t stand my mumbling, please refrain yourself from reading it.


While I was browsing the internet, my eyes were caught by the words “This is my farewell letter.  I am feeling calm and ….”.  I didn’t click on the article to learn about what exactly the content was.  Instead I let my mind run wild.  I thought of what would have gone through those people’s mind when they might have faced the death.  What came to my mom’s mind when she was harmed by the robber?  What was my father-in-law thinking as he underwent the third stage chemotherapy treatment and when his mind danced between consciousness and unconsciousness?   


For my mom, could the thought of her grandchildren pushed her to find a way to get out of the bad situation and to stay alive?  When the mobbing took place, she was heading to get her grandchildren’s pictures developed.    


For my father-in-law, I wondered what would have gone through his mind.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer about six months before we booked the air ticket back home.  He had gone through the first stage chemotherapy treatment with success.  Nobody would have suspected a twisted ending.  He was happily planning for an early birthday celebration for my son.  My father-in-law loved my son dearly.  When my son was about 4 months old, my in-laws came to stay with us for about a year.  My father-in-law couldn’t wait to see his grandson again after eighteen months apart.  However, just two weeks before we left for Taiwan, my father-in-law’s health deteriorated.  He went from taking the second stage chemotherapy treatment to the third stage.  Still, he tried to maintain his consciousness, waiting for his youngest son and his beloved grandson to visit him.  What could have gone through his mind as he waited for their arrival?  I would never know.  I was so glad that my son did not shy away from him.  He looked so happy to see my son.  I thought that I saw a sense of relief and overwhelming joy radiated from his face.  My father-in-law was admitted to the hospital the next day and stayed there during our entire trip.  Since I was pregnant at the time and my son was still pretty young, to keep us from getting sick visiting the hospital, we only visited him at the hospital once while he was still alive.  The next time, I showed up at the hospital was to attend his “往生 ceremony.


Oh, I have digressed.  It is hard to control the flow of emotions.  Anyway, I wonder what would have gone through his mind the time we were there.   I would never know.  But one thing I am sure is that he left the world with no regrets.  He got to see all of his children including his youngest son and his beloved grandson who live in another continent in person for the very last time.  The only regret that my mother-in-law has is that he didn’t live long enough to see his granddaughter coming to this world.


It is hard for me to write about this without breaking into tears.  I am flooded with emotions.  Anyway, there is no meaning to this article except the thought of what could have flashed through those people’s mind when they faced near death experience?        


Written By Elisa English

On 6/3/10 in Minneapolis

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