The funeral of Ming Liu

I never saw this lady when she was alive. But I decided to attend her funeral.

Not only because she was from China, but also because she died so young.

Her mother, parents-in-law, her husband and son, her sister and nephew were all there. I did not see any of them before, though her family had stayed in this town for about one year.

Dr. Lee presided the ceremony, and gave the first eulogy to her. It was then that I learned something about this person – now only ash in the small urn.

She was born in Beijing in 1970. Her childhood might not have a lot of stories, like so many of us. It was just study, study and study. But she was also good in sports during childhood. She entered the most prestigious medical school in China and spent 8 (or 7) years there.  She fell in love with her husband at the late years in the school. Later, both of them came to USA in 1997. She spent a few years pursuing a doctorate degree in Wayne State University, Chicago, and worked as a postdoctoral in UCLA for 5 years, and gave birth to a boy. Last year, her husband got a job in my university, her family moved down, and she prepared for the medical board exam and passed the first part. Pretty soon, she was diagnosed with late phase colon cancer, and died last Saturday.

Just a simple story. Not too many twists. No hobbies, no travels, no adventures. Nothing but school and family. She even did not come back to her homeland for all these years.

Someone attended the funeral said that, he was of the same age as hers. And, I am just a little younger.

No coffin, no tomb, just a small urn, buried in the wall, along with many other names. I don’t know how long these names can last.

No one cried, as this is the custom in USA. I still remember vividly my pain in the funeral of my father.

Some time in the funeral, my eyes got welled. I saw other welled eyes, too. I totally understood why.

It will be our fate. Some day, we will die in this foreign land. The bell tolls not only for her, but for thee.


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