my cancer striken ah kim
many years back, my ah ku who was what i used to address since young and who was my mum's elder brother passed away from stomach cancer. his surviving wife who i call ah kim is now also down with the same cancer :(
ah kim stays just opposite block to me. living with her now is my cousin ah siong who is the youngest among his siblings and an indo maid.
my cousin ah siong is a remarkable person. he gives up his well paying job as an engineer to be a driver with a mega-church where another cousin is working there as a fulltime pastor.
of course, siong is baptised christian and most of his siblings and their children are also baptised christians.
sadly, ah kim who's now about 87 yo is down with stomach cancer. everyone is worried for her. she is on regular medication and chemo. my elder cousin, the only girl among all her boys siblings brings ah kim for regular TCM session.
chemo is a terrible process where anti-cancerous drug is injected into the body and kills many cell be it cancerous or normal body beneficial cells. hence, such treatment tends to weaken the body drastically.
ah choon's concern for her mum is understandable. the TCM sessions aren't cheap. it costs alot - a couple of hundreds per consultation. the chinese herbs are suppose to enhance the chemo treatment and at the same time strengthen the body to be able to handle from distress.
ah siong wants ah kim to accept Christ. that's good. but that's also bad :(
last week i was with his elder brother peter who's also christian and so is his whole family. he's from methodist church and it was he who brought me to conduct gardening in his church.
we chatted about his dead father. i learnt from him that while ah ku was in coma, some of his church members went to the hopsital to pray for him. to their astonishment, they witnessed ah ku feebly raised his both his hands as though in a gesture of "accepting Christ".
cousin peter said as long as the person within his heart who has accepted Christ shall eternally be with Him. however, ah ku finally passed on. a funeral wake was held but it was a buddhist rite.....
fast forward to the present....
now ah kim is also buying time. members from ah siong's church alo come to pray for her. each time they pray, ah kim would get emotional and cry. this drama is rather very sensitive. it could be misunderstaken by ah siong who's thinking that she might be moved to tears.
actually ah kim would exclaim , "mai ko kong la...mai ko kong la!" in hokkien which means "say no more...say no more!"
it's very sad that ah kim who is unwell should be put in such distress. do the praying christians really understand what's going in her mind?
well, maybe i do. i had explained to cousin peter. he seemed amazed as my thoughtfulness. he even wanted me to explain to his mum, my ah kim. i told him it would be best he do it himself as this could get very emotional and tedious.
i told peter that perhaps ah kim wasn't aware that ah ku could ve accepted Christ and who could be probbly in heaven now. ah kim has been since young a buddhist or taoist...anything but christian. we are traditionally chinese and we have our own tradition "chinese" religions which are either taoism or buddhism.
the fact that ah ku's funeral wake was a buddhist one affirmed that ah ku died a "buddhist" even though peter and his church members witnessed ah ku's hands rising to "accept Christ" phenomenon. that they saw but not ah kim and peter had never related the incident to his mum.
what i feel is my ah kim loves my ah ku very much and very deeply. she knows she approaching the end of time and she would definitely wish to be with husband after her passing. in life, they love; in death, they are eternally bonded together.
the unxplained fear now in ah kim is she knows what ah siong wants to do, i.e, to get her baptised as christian so that the whole family could be as one in Christ. what cousin siong isn't mindful or aware about is the inner feeling of his mother that she wants to be with her husband after she dies in spirit. so if ah ku was a buddhist and she being baptised into christian, they would be forever separated.
it could be just a myth. but hey! nobody knows cos no one has died, comes back and revealed the "real thing" of after-death.
maybe it would help to convince ah kim about what peter witnessed about his comatose father...about his "acceptance of christ". maybe that would alleviate her innermost fear and anxiety and probably she would be more accepting to oblige.
in my honest and sincere respect, i feel that my cousins shouldn't be exploiting to convert her mum at this last precious moments of her life. they should in fact bestow her with COURAGE to face death. whatever that happens beyond is still a mystery. each religions has their own unique explanation but none can really confirm the afterlife thingy. whether u go heaven, go hell, get reincarnated or just dissipated into thin air.....no one reallys know.
so before getting into the next plane or realm, it would be better we treasure the present. if the people is at the brink of his life, he should be as far as possible be bestow with the COURAGE to face the unknown in the next phase.
in my humble buddhist knowledge:
emptiness is form; form is emptiness.....
we think about so many things, i.e, create so many forms from emptiness that in the end, it's all returned into emptiness.....
if we need to go, we go. no attachment. no fear. relax, be at peace...just go with tranquility.