By: Tan Jit Seng <>
Fri Jan 19 05:41:35 2001
Visions of Strange Beings
Dying of cancer, my father saw ghosts and Buddhas.
By Tan Jit Seng
Age:[ 32++ ] Gender:[ Male ]

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

It was easy actually. I told him
only religion could save him from his

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...

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

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

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

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

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

They had tried to get hold
of me. Somehow, I missed the

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

In the second,it was more

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

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

But that's another story.

-- Tan Jit Seng . . . [ ]

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