Comments: What is it you want to know? I've nothing to hide.
My name is Tan Jit Seng and I've a strange story to tell you - it's about my father's death of lung cancer and the strange visions he had seen before his death on 29th December 2000. How should I start? Perhaps I should tell you a little about him. He was a difficult man, a loner who could be highly strung and emotional. In fact, he didn't talk to us - he shouted and yelled. He was never a religious man and patronised undesirable places like gambling dens. I guess that was where he got his cancer - thanks to the 2nd hand smoke he inhaled (He was a smoker but he quit smoking for 20 years). It was 2nd hand smoke that did him in. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer, our world shattered - the trauma, the grief. The worst part? He was dying and we didn't even know him very well. But we stood by him despite the abuses. I was and still am a devout buddhist. Before his death, I had instigated him to take up a religion - any religion. It was easy actually. I told him only religion could save him from his suffering. Oh, there were many evangelists propagating their saviours' teachings. But what made him choose Buddhism? He told me that it was his ancestors' choice of religion - he didn't see a need to change. He was told of his disease by the doctors but he was in denial. I was to blame for that. I kept saying a miracle would save him and he bought into that. I knew from day one it would be hopeless - but I needed him to believe in something - anything. I believe in the afterlife. I know karma, cause and effect. I knew what he was in for and I wanted to save him. I prayed and things began to happen. The dreams came for me. And he started seeing ghosts roaming in the corridors of the hospitals... waiting. He said a man in white was at the window, staring and waiting. I knew what I had to do. My mother and I took turns to care for him. Once, he screamed in his sleep and woke my mother. She had been drilled by me to do what had to be done - she recited Namo Amitabha Buddha's name. It woke him up in cold sweat. He revealed to us later that 2 of his dead friends had tried to drag him to another place in his dream. Time was running out. He didn't believe in the religion as deeply as he should. He wasn't ready and I feared for him. The others in the hospital could already see some ghosts roaming about. My mother and I couldn't. Once, a little girl complained to her mother that she saw a ghost roaming about at night. The mother hissed at her to keep quiet. You're probably wondering why they were there in the first place. The answer - they were caring for their loved one (who was suffering from TB)- like my mother and I. Oh I digressed, I'm sorry. Yes, there were many deaths at the hospital. Drug addicts, lung cancer victims and the likes. The visions coincided with the deaths and I feared for my father. One day out of the blue, a group of Buddhists made their rounds in the hospital. I told them of my father's plight. A girl donated a transistor radio that was tuned only to mantra recitals - specifically Namo Amitabha Buddha. Things began to happen so fast. The fluids in his lungs were building up and had to be drained. I could see a piece of his lungs trapped in his tube. The doctor asked us if we wanted to transfer him to the oncology clinic in Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. We said yes, even though we had been told the theraphy wasn't going to save his life, merely making him more comfortable. You see, a growth (I think it's SVGA or something)had gone worse and made him really uncomforable. So, he listened to the chanting day and night. He was still in denial. He was then transferred to Kuala Lumpur General Hospital as per his wishes. My mother and I went along with him. I bought extra batteries, never daring to keep the radio out of sight or hearing range. He didn't complain. I made him do his prayers. He did it willingly but not intensely. The morphine was a big help but I think it made him paranoid. He began to think my mother and I were out to murder him. He pleaded and cried.And broke our hearts. He named the doctors and nurses as accomplices. He refused to take the morphine. I had a huge quarrel and left - me and my temper. That evening,something happened. My mother told me he crawled to the opposing side of his bed when he saw a picture of Namo Amitabha Buddha (which belonged to another cancer victim). He hugged and cried intensely. He wasn't on morphine and I knew what kind of pain that he was in (although lung cancer wasn't typically as painful as the other types of cancer). He cried for the Buddha and Namo Kuan Yin Pu Sa to save him from us. It was intense my mother said. And suddenly he stopped, stunned for a while. "You came," he said. He turned to my mother and cried, "You know who they are that have come to save me? And you still dare to do me harm?" He had to be restrained, I was told. You could imagine the immense sadness my mother went through. They had tried to get hold of me. Somehow, I missed the message. My brother and his wife had reached Kuala Lumpur by the time I went back to the hospital. He hadn't taken the morphine and woke up briefly - again to plead us not to harm him. One of the nurses gave him a morphine jab. He never woke up from it. After the cremation,my family and I sat together and recalled the incidences. Like how he freaked out the entire cancer ward with his vision. Like the ghosts and dreams he had before hearing the chantings of Namo Amitabha Buddha. Once, someone recalled having heard him complained about someone sitting on a chair near him. He had asked one of my relatives to chase the intruder away. My bother had also taken care of him. He also recalled some incidences. Someone had said he was surrounded by apparitions before, but he ignored them. Oh the dreams.Before his death, I had 2 strange dreams. One in which he had hurriedly told me he had to go. He was on his motorbike, my sister Lyna was on another. We were separated by our glass door. He gave a kiss on the glass door and went on his way, my sister on another bike following him. Then, I heard the sounds of motor revving. I sensed he came back, or was it my sister? I woke up before I know the answer. In the second,it was more abstract. I dreamed there was a celebration. I dreamt my sister had a baby and she was sitting on my grandmother's bed smiling. It was a happy occasion. I dreamt my grandmother couldn't walk but was happy to see the new addition to the family. My sister's face kept changing. At one point it resembled my sister in law. I dreamt of goldfishes swimming in an aquarium. I dreamt my cousin, Pei Ling had new shoes. I dreamt my father came back - as a light-skinned Rastafarian? He was trying to tell me something I couldn't comprehend. Before I woke up, I was sure I that the addition to our family was a girl. Before I woke up I wasn't so sure. You know what? I found out later that my sister-in-law was pregnant. Eventually,she gave birth to a baby girl she named Beatrice. Guess what? Now, my sister is pregnant. Would it be a girl like I dreamt? Or would it be a boy, because I woke up unsure? Then, there was this dream my Catholic Uncle Peter Witson had. He dreamt my father was in a "garden" having a conversation with him. I was at the edge of this "garden", reciting my mantras. He told the dream to my aunt Irene. She quizzed him on what he was wearing. He said a checkered brown sarong, and he was shirtless. "Wrong" she said. "My father was wearing a checkered blue sarong. Of course, he was shirtless - he was lying down waiting for his coffin to arrive. After listening to more mantra recitals, I seem to have more dreams. But that's another story.
Fri Jan 19 05:41:35 2001 back to other Contributions page