This morning, I got up rather early just because I wanted to be an early bird once as it says ‘An early bird catches the most worms.’ For me, every day is special though activities I will engage in might be dull or exciting. I promise to make the most of every day. Before I go to bed, I will think of what I have done during the day and think of what I change for the better. Especially, I will eradicate my bad feelings I receive from my environment. I will not keep them in my head and take them to my bed because the new day is awaiting a new ME. Whether every minute is dull or boring, at least they are all different forms with different colors that can make life tasteful.
When it was time to go to my school, I started to look at my watch, it turned 9:30 am. I usually feel very good and fresh when I am riding my motorcycle close to my university. The sight of my university’s roof cheers my spirit because it reminds me of my monkey friends and my funny lecturers. I like most of my lecturers, and I respect all of them for who they are; their mature behaviour and knowledge. Today was like a normal day, just like yesterday. I saw two figures on a bike. They were my two classmates, going out of university when they should have been in class. They both looked pale and one of them, Rithy, was stuttering some words. It was “Our Econmics lecturer passed away yesterday”. I shook my head for disapproval. I couldn’t almost believe what I just heard. All of my classmates were going to his funeral with the agreement from another lecturer who had to teach us this time. I went along with them to the funeral because I knew it was right to do and longed to know what had happened.
My classmates and I tried to find out by asking a few other people who were willing to tell us a bit about his cause of death. It would be very very rude for us all to ask my late lecturer’s wife how my Economic lecturer passed away. Standing in front of his funeral photo, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
There were three big bunches of yellow flowers, a piece of black cloth on which some letters were written on “Mr xxx died of an ilness at the age of 34 years old at 3:30 am on the 24th of Feb, 2008″. And, his body lying in front of me!!! I couldn’t almost hold these tears that almost fell down. My brain produced a lot of images of him teaching, laughing, smiling, getting serious and angry with us. I couldn’t believe that he died at a very young age. I looked at his beautiful young wife whose face was really red from grief and sorrow. I remember his very pretty young face when I met her for the first time. She was pretty and a bit sexy as a young married woman allowed herself to be, for her husband’s honor (as people say). But this time, she was different to me. She didn’t care about how she looked to other people at this moment. She looked exhausted and I was sure she wanted to rest a lot. My classamtes and I couldn’t help share the sorrow. We lit the incenses, lifted them to our forehead and asked his spirit to go to heaven.
If people ask either of us students of his about how he was while he taught us, everybody will agree he was such a wonderful teacher. We all remember his healthily white chubby face and very fair long hands which my female classmates always admired. After all, he was a good looking young man with Chinese descendency. For me, I will never forget his personal words to me. Once I was laughing out loud in his class, instead of scolding me, he said, “That’s very nice of you to laugh. I’m glad you are very happy.” He rarely laughed in the class but he smiled a lot. However, seriousness didn’t leave his face either. He looked quite strong and serious! Sometimes I wondered what he thought about. Sometimes, I wondered if he was a very sad man. He told us he was just a poor countryside boy trying to learn very hard. While he was in a second year study at IFL, he luckily received a scholarship to learn in Japan for four years. Later on, he finished his Master’s Degree in Economics in Thailand. At his work place, nobody said he was lazy or incompetent. He was very wise about his job. So, that’s enough information that makes us ponder about what happened.
Everybody who heard this new was really shocked! How could we believe such a young man with a great future would resort to this way? At 3:30 am (last night), he hung himself in his house. I believe there must be a reason why he decided to end it all. According to different sources, my lecturer had an incurable disease, too much stress. He went to other countries for medica check-ups and treatments many times but this time the doctors he saw often asked him to repeat his visit. However, he didn’t while he should have seen his doctor again. What kind of illness? I don’t know.
To me, he looked young and healthy. He was a mature man with high dignity and kind heart! While his wife came back from seeing traditional Khmer doctors, she only came home to see him hung up in the room. What a poor sight she saw! Other people said he had serious problems at his work place. Recently, he was promoted as a senior official! Yes, he was a very competent staff who devoted all his time at work. I remember asking to borrow his book ‘Wealth of Nation’ by Adam Smith. He had his own library and had collected many books he loved, he used to say to us. But why did he decide to resign from his job when he was in the position for a very short time?
The old man who claimed himself to be a neighbour told that my lecturer had just come back from Japan (work) and Malaysia ( check-up). Different ideas say, “He killed himself due to too much pressure from work. He killed himself because of voodoo, a bad attempt from other jealous workers. ” I heard of rumors that he had attempted suicide several times before but failed. He wanted to jump off a high building. But I believe more than the other that he decided to finish his life this way because he thought of giving no more burden to his family. Two years ago, one of his friends died of the same way. This year, he chose that path. He had a middle-aged mother and a beautiful wife with no children yet. That makes it even more heart-breaking! That makes his wife have nobody to turn to for love and care.
What we repent the most was that he was not more open-minded with his wife and family. He should have had more open communication with them, telling his own feelings and thoughts. However, we’ve been told that his wife and family were very busy people. His wife was even busier than he was. So was there time to talk? No. I feel that he really needed encouragment and support from us. If only we all had known it. We are waiting for his wife to recover from this shock. It will take time for her. Only his wife knew what had happened to him. I yearn to know how he felt or what he thought before he ended it all. What was on his mind? How did pain work in his body? But we want him to rest in peace, rest in a quiet place now. Thinking of his body lying on the floor with a yellow cover makes me think of how uncertain life is! It’s so uncertain that every human being can’t change quickly enough to suit the unexpected circumstance. Yet, we’re sure tax is certain but not life. One more thing is ‘Never keep stress’. I’m sure stress can kill.