The Courage of Li-Shen

a letter from our friend Rong-Bang Peng in Taiwan

Dear Mike, Jamie, and Una,

Thank you for the heart-warming email.

Mike, don’t blame yourself for not knowing what to say; in face of the Real, no words really convey.  You know Li-Shen and I talk a lot, but in front of her suffering, I don’t know what to say either.  Words do not do much at this time, but a few words of kindness convey love and care, which I felt deeply when I read your email.

Li-Shen is going through a lot of pain today, but in her clear moment, she said to me, “don’t be afraid of what I am going through.”  I burst into tears and told her, “I am not afraid, it is just so difficult to see you suffer.”  The tumor cells are progressing very rapidly, which is causing her a lot of pain.  But if we are able to look beyond her bodily suffering, something wonderful and profound is happening at this stage of her life.  People here say that Li-Shen has made a lot of Shan Yuan (good connections) with others in her life, and indeed, those whom Li-Shen made Shan Yuan with show up to offer all kinds of help.  I am deeply touched by their kindness, and I am so proud that I married this wonderful wonderful woman.

To be born to this world is a difficult process, but we all forget about it; to leave this worldly body is also a difficult process, and I am witnessing it without fear (but with a lot of tears).  Li-Shen said to me once, “don’t be afraid of death, it is the nature of life.  There is birth, and there is death.”




Filed under: Prose