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Perhaps, you would say I am not old enough to tell the stories about death. The youth has not yet experienced so many worries by far; but in order to compose a line of poetry, he has no choice but to show that he does worry a lot. I have faced death in my life several time. Those true story have been formed a valuable memory of my childhood.
What was mom doing? Why did she cry so deeply grieved? What happened?
"Mom, mom!" I yelled out loud. But she did not react. Why did she not pay attention to me? I heard that someone said my grandfather died. What did death mean? He was here, lying on the bed. He was sleeping now! Little children did not know what death was.
"Waigong*, wake up! Please wake up! Let's take a walk!" My sister and I hit my grandfather’s feet lightly to attempt to wake him up. But he did not have any reactions. He might have a good dream that he was not willing to wake up.
At that time, I did not realize that this was the last time I could see my lovely grandfather. I did not know he was going away. Little children could not keep attention for a long time. When I was hungry, I forgot to wake him up but ate food. The last memory of my grandfather is his smile and silver teeth. And he was a nice gentleman who always took a walk with us.
I heard the sound of wooden fish* from my neighborhood when I got home. And I had seen many people got in and out of my neighbor's house. The small quiet yard became bustling with noise. Neighbor's sons and daughters had come back.
“What happened, mom? Someone died? ”
“Yes, Daye* died in the morning.” My mother said.
“And his sons decided to invite Buddhist monks to release his soul from purgatory and sufferings. His body would be put on the yard for several days.”
I was startled. I had seen him yesterday. He looked very energetic. Was that the last radiance of the setting sun? A person could die so easily and quickly. You never knew that the person you saw today may die tomorrow. Beyond that, I did not have any feelings about his death.
However, after I opened the door toward the yard, everything was changed. I began to be afraid. I was afraid of facing his dead body. Even though there was a blanket covered on his body, I could not force myself to be calm without any fears. It made me feel horrible.
“Don’t open the door!”
“Don’t open the window!”
“Don’t pull off the window curtains!”
“Don’t … …” I yelled at others not to force me to face dead person.
I tried to treat myself as nothing happened. There was no death and funeral. But it did not work at all. I still felt scared. Even though I kept myself busy to have no time to think about him and death, I could not stop myself fearing. When I stayed alone, it seemed that there were ghosts around me. They wanted to hurt me. And they wanted me to be a part of them. When I went downstairs, I would feel the ghosts behind me and I was wet with cold sweat. Going downstairs and being alone became a challenge in that time. I became very cowardly.
But in fact, I did not know what I really fear about. Was I afraid of death? Or just the dead body? I had no idea. My mother said to me,” An alive person is more horrible that a dead person.” I tried to convince myself there was nothing I am afraid of desperately. Yet, I still could not overcome the fears. It was a horrible time of my memory.
“Mom, what’s wrong with you? Something bad happened?” I put down my schoolbag and looked at her.
“Your aunt got breast tumors.” She said with worried look. And her eyes showed incredible.
“She is in the period under observation. If the tumors are malignant, she will die of cancer!”
Oh, on. My aunt was just fortyish. I could not believe that she may get the cancer and face death. She was not old enough to die. My mother’s eyes were filled with tears.
“Now what? How about aunt? Is she OK?” I used words carefully because I was afraid that my mother’s tears rolled down her eyes.
“I think she is OK. Eat well and sleep well. ” My mother could not believe that aunt looks at the bright side of things but she had worried about aunt much more.
“Mom, don’t be too worried. There is a half chance to be benign tumors. The good is protected by Heaven. Aunt will be all right. ”
But I did not think this way in my mind. If I would face death, I cannot be relaxed like my aunt. I knew that death was not fearful. The fearful thing was to lose courage of living and spend surplus time of life to complain everything. Because of facing death, some persons would decide to give up and escape reality. But some persons decide to live in present and spend their time wisely. Leave smiling face in other’s mind but not sad face. My aunt was the person like that. She was so brave. I admire her.
“All right, I plan to get along with your aunt.” My mother got busy to prepare for taking care of aunt.
"Mom, I wait for your good news!” I said with a big smile.
Ten days later, I got a phone call from my mother, “I have good news to tell you.” Even though I did not see her, I knew that she had a big smiling face because of her happy voids. I guessed my aunt was in the safe place.
“Is aunt getting better?”
"yes, the doctor said it was benign tumor. Even she will need to be operated, it is much better than cancer.”
“I had told you don’t worry too much, everything will be all right.” Aunt was so lucky that she did not have cancer. Maybe, it was because she did not give up herself before the result came out. She was so optimistic. Although she steered by death, I still think about death and how I live.
I had heard someone said that the perfect life was when you were closed to death, you had no regrets during your whole life. However, I knew that there were few people could be in this level. Like me, when I refreshed my memory, I had something wanted to change. But the world did not sell drugs to regret. No one could go back to change. And everyone knows there is a day he or she will die. But no one knows the exact days until it comes. Perhaps it is tomorrow. Perhaps it is next year. Not all people will be lucky enough to say goodbye to the world and have time to finish their dreams. So I am learning to spend every second wisely and spend every day as the last day of life. And do not give myself a chance to regret.
* waigong: grandfather in mother's side.
*wooden fish: percussion instrument.
* Daye: a respectful form of address to male who is above 60 years old.