Category Archives: On Death & Dying

Dealing with Death, Feelings Associated with Death

Passing Through, on a Bamboo Raft, a Poem

On burying one’s own, offspring, translated…

A Bamboo Raft, Like a Red Lotus Passed Through

Vanished, into the Fog

“Affinities of Children, Thin Like the Foams on the Waterfront”

So True These Words

Watching the Sunset Light Withering in the West

Time Has No Place Here

Memories Can’t Hide

The Awareness, Electric Shocked

Who isn’t, Like that Small Raft

Drifting in-Between Life & Death

Listening to the Heaviness of the Repentance of Love & Lust

With the Broken Bridges, Severed Off Streams, the Dying Smokes

And so, this, is finally, coming to one’s senses about the finality of life, because you’d lost the ones you loved when they were too young, and you are, still living, you’d, needed to, cope with losing the ones you cared for, loved, your, own young…

2 Comments

Filed under Awareness, Because of Love, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Despair, Lessons, Letting Go, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Translated Work, Values

Status

On death & dying, in the funeral home, translated…

On day, an Indonesian Woman Took Her Mother in, But, No Matter How We’d, Checked & Crosschecked the References from Taiwan, We Can’t See, that They are, Mother & Daughter………

That Column of “Spouse”, Left Blank

One day, the owner of a funeral home took an elderly person’s copy of identification, and left it on the desk at the office the moment he’d, walked in.

We looked at the identification, asked, “is the person, coming in soon?”

The owner said, “no, not the man, but his wife, she’s, almost, gone.”

I looked at the identification, there’s nothing on the spousal column, it’d been, left, blank, could it be, someone who’s, just like me, who’d imagined he had a wife, and, the air was, almost, out of, his air-filled dolls? As I thought, I’d, felt empathy, looking at that identification card, I’d felt, closer, and, it didn’t, look like that eyesore that it had become to me.

The owner looked at my face, knew that I wasn’t, thinking straight, said, “He’d been with a divorced woman a long time, they’re both, getting older, with no need to get married again, and, twenty years had, come and gone. Now, the woman is dying, and the man wanted to know, if you can, help take care of the final affairs?”

We’d first inquired, “are they, cohabiting partners?”

The man said, “nope, they are registered separately.”

Then, we’d inquired, “Would they need to set up separate wills?”

The owner shook his head, “They don’t have enough money for that!”

We’d sighed, “then, we can only, ask the social services to sort it all through”.

The owner smiled bitterly, “the elderly just thought, they’d been together so long, they should, help each other with one another’s, final affairs.”

illustration from UDN.com圖/Emily Chan

The woman who was, sweeping up the floors close by said, “Then…how about, marrying one another?”

The few of us were, lost in thought: one of them is in the eighties, and, the other one, about, to get, sent in here too, and, this marriage would be………

The owner smiled bitterly, “I’ll go and ask them.”

About a week later, the owner took an elder into the funeral home, to set the affairs up, the elderly took out his identification, it looked, familiar, I’d, flipped it over, there’s a name on the spouse column now, and the elderly said firmly, “I want to, check my wife in”.

This elderly looked like he was from the lower end of the socioeconomic statuses, leaving the final affairs to the social services, it would surely, help him save up on a lot, and, is, “status”, really, that important?

The Woman Who Wheeled My Mother in

One day, an Indonesian woman sent in her mother, but, we’d, read the paperwork, and just, couldn’t believe, that they were, mother, and daughter at all.

The woman said, back then, it was her aunt who’d, married to Taiwan first, so she could, come over here too, she’d, used some measures, and, managed to have the mother’s name become her aunt’s, and her birthmother, she’d, called her “aunt” instead.

Waited until she’d started living stably here, she’d, moved her mother over to Taiwan to live, and, within a few short months, her own mother tripped, fell, and died.

As I heard this story, although I felt bad for her, but, aunt is aunt is aunt is aunt, and, we’d, slashed the services for those from other countries, that only the blood relatives can be taken care of. We’d, told her the situations, as she’d heard, she’d, waved to us, said, “the cost is nothing, I want to know, can I, help her sort through her final affairs as her daughter?”

We’d thought a bit, consoled her, to go back to Indonesia to try to get the status changed, but, it’d been, a very long time since she’d, changed her information, and, the costs of the funeral would not be, something small.

She’d thought for a bit, and we could tell, she was, really, distraught.

In the end, other than registering her mother as her “aunt” and her being the “niece” of the deceased, she’d, used their real status, but, as the funeral processions happened, she’d started, wailing in front of her own mother’s coffin, cried on how she wasn’t fitting as a daughter, not being able to, give her own mother, a rightful status when she’d died.

Sometimes I’d wondered, so long, as she’d, treated her aunt like a mother in her heart, took care of her, like her real daughter would, would it be important, that the status of “mother” is, specified?

That Most Unforgettable Household Registry

On yet, another day, came, a man, there was a lady who’d, cried so hard outside, actually, this wasn’t, any sort of a big deal, for the death of a spouse, we’d thought, that it would be rarer, if the person doesn’t cry at all.

And yet, this man’s body was only, accompanied by this one woman in his family, and she’d told us, that she’ll, give us the paperwork of their relations later on.

And, as we’re, about to, place him in the ice bins, the woman asked, “can I, say some final words to him?”, we’d nodded.

She’d bent down, patted the man’s head, “Honey, this, is the very first time I called you honey, it’s also, the last, you need to take care of yourself on the other side. Thank you for looking after me so long. You and your older brother, are, the most perfect men I’d ever met in this life, I love you………”

She’d, started, crying like HELL at the icebins, but, as she’d, walked away, she’d, become, very strong.

At this time, the proof of relationships came.

This had happened a long, long time ago, but sometimes, I’d still, gotten reminded of that household registry, with only TWO people registered, the relationship being brother and sister-in-law.

Sometimes, I’d thought, “status”, didn’t seem, so important at times like these.

And so, for the sake of paperwork, you’d, needed to, prove your relationships to the deceased and sometimes, it’s, more complicated than that, because, the two of you may have, related to each other as a husband and wife, but, you’re, actually not, you might be related, in other ways, and yet, the system mandated that we need to proof our status, who we are, in relations, to one another, to have our, loved ones, properly, buried.

Leave a comment

Filed under Basic Human Rights, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Story-Telling, the Finality of Life, Things Left Behind, Values

Because You Don’t Want to Die Alone…

Because you don’t want to die alone, seeing how, nobody WANTS to be alone, when they’re, still alive, why would anybody want to die, all alone on her/his own?  Because you don’t want to die alone, you’d started, imposing your imminent death onto someone you knew from long ago, and that person, was the only one, that you’d known, who’d, come to, your beck and call.

And because s/he allows you to control her/him like that, you’d, started taking advantage of the fact of how s/he couldn’t, turn you down or away.  Unbeknownst, you’d, started, using manipulative ways, to control the other person.  Because you don’t want to die alone, but, you know what, EVERYBODY dies alone, nobody (not even G-O-D) can help you through the passage from life TO death!

Because you don’t want to die alone, such, a selfish motive, still, you’d, used it, as a VALID excuse, a form of, rationalization, of how and why people, should treat you kind, because you’re dying, therefore, you DESERVED to be shown, some extra kindness, right???  WRONG!!!

Because you don’t want to die alone, well, when I die, I’d much rather be, alone, on my own, and, someone will find me, a little while, AFTER I’m dead and gone, and follow everything I would’ve, specified, in my will, to handle MY final affairs…

1 Comment

Filed under Abuse, Abuser/Enabler Interaction Style, Bad Behaviors, Codependence, Excuses, Letting Go, Life, On Death & Dying

East 2

Life & death, encountered, in the walkways of a hospital, translated…

The passage I go through to work every day, I’d learned recently, that it was called “East 2”.

It was straight, passing through the hospital’s main building, on the one end, it’d, gone straight into the hallways of the lobby of the hospital, and on the other, into the E.R., with no twists and turns along the way, and naturally, this became, the quickest route for the medical staff to get to where they need to be. 

The flooring of this hall was the warm colored light yellow tint, with posters filling up the walls, and only a few doors opened here and there, nothing more.

Every single morn, a group of white coated people were, sucked in by “East 2”, and spit out at the other end of it, in the evenings, it was reversed.  Day after day, year, after year.

I’m like all other medical staff members, rarely thinking of why the hallway was designed as such, just felt that it was, convenient.  Several times I’d seen the ambulances parked outside East 2 and the E.R., with the family members all around, hands together, ranting something.  I’d understood, that those were the patients who were terminally ill, who’d decided to go home to die, and I’d, not paid enough attention to them.

Until one day, as I was walking into East 2, as I was about to exit out, there was, a group of people, pushing along the body covered in black cloth, and that was when the real purpose of this passageway was, understood by me.  The funeral systems in Taiwan are quite advanced, quick and efficient, those men who were, well-trained were, pushing along a body on a stretcher, in synchronized motion, silence, and worn those clean, white uniforms, and they’d, passed through East 2 without bringing too much attention to themselves.

I’d only, brushed shoulders with these men, but, I’d glanced over at their shirt, and saw three bold black characters printed on their shirt.

Odd, out of place, or even, a bit, ironic, it’d said,

Fighters of life.

And so, this, is where it all ends, for everybody, we get, carried out, like what these men the writer bumped into at the hospital by, and it makes you realize, just how unnoticeable life actually is…

6 Comments

Filed under Life, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life

Learning to Let Go from Saying Goodbye, to Be a Man of High-Quality

On the last rites, the final rites of one’s passage, translated…

I’d gone to two funerals of my high school classmates in these past few months, and, at the funeral, the collages of their lives were played.

Those old scenes all came back to me, I’d thought about the laughter, the sorrows, the ups and downs of life we’d shared, our friendships which were kept, I couldn’t help but start crying hard! And, in the three, or five-minute short film, it’d, told of the stories of their over fifty years of life, and this was, saying goodbye to life.

We are all, staying afloat in this sea of mirage, and we’d felt, that cold chill! In this mirage of a life, we’d gone to the funerals, and we were often, impacted by the mixtures of emotions. Looking at others, then, thinking about ourselves, our whole life is a huge lesson in learning to say goodbye, and the hardest part of it all, is learning to say goodbye to ourselves, to say farewell to the youth that’s slowly going away, to wave goodbye at the beautiful faces that time had, sculpted, to say farewell, to those whom we loved and cared dearly, our families, to say farewell, to all our meaningless pursuits of fame and fortune…to bid farewell, to everything earthly. Life is learning to let go!

As I’m about to become Buddha! My funeral, I’d wanted to be like how the Buddhist Master, Shen-Yen’s making myself into a better person.

Before I go, I shall, have that slight smile, and with a heart of gratitude, for everything that’s happened in life to me; before I go, I hope that my loved ones, friends, families, and relatives can, use the Buddhist chants, to help my soul return to the West. As for the rituals, I’d wanted everything to be simplified, I shall become nothing but mud, to become the guardians of the flowers.

And so, this is, what life is reduced to, when we all die, we’d become, NOTHING, it’s what we did whilst we were still living, that will, hopefully, get remembered, it’s the lives we managed to touch when we were still on earth, that will keep on flowing, even after we’re gone, and, like this person, just keep everything simplified, because, there’s NO need, to have a flashy funeral, because you’re, already D-E-A-D, and you should NOT care who shows up at your funeral, besides, why would it matter to you? You’re, no longer “here” (on this PLANET???)………

Leave a comment

Filed under Aging Gracefully, Awareness, Expectations, Letting Go, Life, Observations, On Death & Dying, Perspectives, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, the Finality of Life, The Right to Choose How One Will Die, Things Left Behind, Values

Lives We Can’t Save…

There are, just, too many lives that we can’t save, we only have, two hands, and, looking out, there are, so many who are, hollering out for help, and, it’s just, IMPOSSIBLE, to get to all of them in time.

Lives we can’t save, what do we do with them?  They’re still alive for each of us, even AFTER they all died.  We are, forever, plagued, by the what could’ve beens and if…only’s…

…not my photograph.

Lives we can’t save, there’s, NOTHING we can do about them, they’re all, already dead AND gone, all we can do, is, stop focusing on the losses, and, focus more on what we’d done right.  But, it’s hard sometimes, ‘cuz, that life that’s lost, with you close by, had, imprinted itself, etched, onto your soul.

Lives we can’t save, no matter how hard we think, we can’t, go back to the past, and remake the choices we’d already made differently, to change the outcomes………

rescuers in the aftermath of an earthquake in Nepal, photo from online…

Those lives that we can’t save, are we going to, allow them, to imprint deeply, onto our guilty consciences, or, are we going to, turn cold, and, think to ourselves: it’s just the way things are, there’s no way of changing that now.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Lives Lost, On Death & Dying, the Finality of Life

Hobbies, the Haiku of Light

Translated…

How I Loved

Collecting Everybody’s Laughter

So I Can Open it Back Up

On My Funeral

So, this, is how you want everybody to remember you after you’re gone, you don’t want others to mourn for you, instead, you wanted them, to remember the happier times you had shared with them, that, is a great way to leave a legacy behind.

and no, still NOT my photograph…

4 Comments

Filed under Coping Mechanisms, Expectations, Life, Loss, On Death & Dying, Philosophies of Life, Properties of Life, Values