My brother-in-law Ching Sim Lie was one of the most valiant men I have known. He was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer in March of 2018 and died soon after on 2 August 2018. When he was given the death sentence of advanced cancer, I thought I knew everything about dying and end-of-life care. But, I was very wrong. In the short time that he had, Sim Lie taught me many unforgettable lessons.
My late brother was not inclined to verbosity. He did not complain nor gripe about his illness and symptoms. Not even once. Yet, we knew for certain he had suffered tremendously. He was in so much pain that he needed high doses of Fentanyl (one of the strongest painkillers known to man; it is over 100 times more potent than Morphine) before he was able to carry out his daily functions. He vomited incessantly. He felt weak almost every day. However, through it all, he blamed no one and he was constantly thankful to God for extending his life. Through his actions and attitude, I witnessed courage in its purest form.
Sim Lie was not afraid of death and therefore even in his last days, he did not stop living and just 等死 (wait to die). He was determined to get out of the house for daily walks (albeit having to walk slower and slower), to eat his favourite hawker food (including chicken rice, char kway teow, prata, fishball and prawn noodles, beef burger and chicken cutlet, fried carrot cake) as well as to take photographs. He acknowledged his weakening state but would not cease squeezing the marrow out of life; he lived life to the fullest till he was admitted again for bleeding esophageal varices and ascites. I had a front row seat not only in watching him achieve a good death, but also in learning what it meant to live fully to the end.
In the end, my brother even found the courage to reconcile with his estranged father. He swallowed his pride and apologized to Dad; their chasm was finally bridged. Sim Lie had taught me an essential lesson in humility.
Sim Lie was always an adventurer. In life, he had taken the untrodden path; in dying, he had personified the free spirit of seeking by faith what God provided. Thank you for leading the way and inspiring the rest of us to finish well. This Monster Ultra 200 is dedicated to you, bro.