People Die Everyday, But What If It’s Your Family?

The pain is the evidence that we truly loved.

Watching the news on TV is our daily routine at the dinner table.

Typically, none of us makes comments about whatever happens in the world except for my mom. She likes to contribute her two cents while we chew on the food.

News Reporter: This morning, a fire at a karaoke caused 5 deaths and 6 in critical condition. One of the victims, a 37-year-old man, phoned his mother before being swallowed by the fire and smoke.

Scene cut to a grey-haired lady looking dishevelled.

News Reporter: His mother told the reporter she heard his son’s voice turning weak and finally became inaudible. “I kept calling his name, but there was no sound on the other end,” she said.

I stole a glance at my mom. She had an unreadable expression. Her face serious, eyebrows knitted.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Not yet a mother myself, I could not imagine what was going through my mom’s mind at that moment.

What does a sudden death to do a family?

Perhaps, for that mother on TV, her son’s voice will haunt her for the rest of her life.

We all knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of time.

My grandfather’s health had been declining, and he couldn’t remember what we told him most of the time. Just a few years ago, he prided himself on his golf achievements. Now, it was a challenge for him to put on diapers.

Standing in front of the open casket, I thought the makeup had made him seem too pale…

Monk: Please walk in circles. I will speak the prayer now.

My eyes searched for my dad. The image of him weeping is still vivid in my head.

That was the first time I saw him cry. It was a quiet type of cry, just visible by the two streams of tears reflecting off fluorescent lights.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

When the truth of our mortality confronts us, we remember to cherish those around us, however temporarily.

But if the threat of deaths looms over us daily, we may be paralyzed completely.

Where is the balance? How do we minimize regrets?

Perhaps, we can only live with the knowledge that we have done our best.

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