Monday, September 10, 2012

The Final Days

It's hard to be prepared for death, be it our own or a loved one's. Too much is unknown about what dying feels like or what, if anything, happens after you die to ever feel truly ready.

Health professionals speak of “dying trajectories” that suggest how persons with specific diseases will die. For example, those with a terminal illness, such as advanced cancer, will show a steady decline toward death. Those with serious chronic illnesses may have peaks and valleys that sometimes give the impression of recovery.

 Dying involves a process in which the body gradually shuts down.  There are signs of dying, some of which are as follows:-
  • Decreasing level of consciousness, possibly entering a coma
  • Decreasing ability to communicate 
  • Loss of ability to swallow
  • Loss of ability to close eyes- whites showing
As the person moves closer to death, he sometimes slips into a coma. Coma is a state of  unconsciousness lasting more than six hours, in which a person: cannot be awakened; fails to respond normally to painful stimuli, light, or sound; lacks a normal sleep-wake cycle; and, does not initiate voluntary actions.  The person is still alive, but the brain is functioning at its lowest stage of alertness.

I was told that Chang stood up and hugged his mother three times yesterday. Then, during the early hours of this morning, he slipped into a coma..

Pain medication (morphine) continues to be administered. Apparently, comatose patients still feel pain because their brain is still functioning. (Belgian doctors discovered that some comatose patients develop the same "pain matrix" in the brain as healthy individuals do when subjected to pain stimuli. This gives further justification to medics administering painkillers to patients previously believed to have had no functioning pain receptor). 

He is breathing on his own and resting at home surrounded by his family, parents, brother and sisters. We continue to speak to him and his Buddhist friends were at his home, chanting to him. While we do not know what unconscious patients can actually hear, extrapolation from data from the operating room and ‘near death’ experiences suggests that at times their  awareness may be greater than their ability to respond.

The time is near.  Let us pray for a peaceful journey home for Chee Teck.

(Updated by Chang's Friend)


  1. CT should still be able to hear. When my dad was slipping away, we spoke to him and he would sometimes nod. Could also detect movements beneath his eyelids. What we did was reassure him that he no longer had to worry about us, our children and our mum. Even the maid (they got along very well) promised to take care of our mum in his absence. Think all this assurance helped him let go and start his next journey.

    If CT develops an itch all over, it's because the liver is failing and is releasing an enzyme that makes skin itch. Boil guava leaves and wipe him down with the liquid; it helps a lot.

    Fare thee well, CT. Be at peace and have a good journey. Hope to meet you some time in the future.


  2. Dear kk,

    Thank you.I continued reading and talking to him today. Still so many things to tell him.

    Chang's Friend

  3. In another half an hour, it will be Sept 11. Chang has gained 3 full years of meaningful life.

    Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
    Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa
    Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa

  4. Dear Chang,

    You have tried your very best. What you shared here in this blog will benefit others greatly in all angles. You have inspired many people and have taught us many noble values. I believe you have no regret and ready to move on.

    Let go Chang and move on to a new life, a more fruitful and meaningful one than your existing life.

    I told Justin before that I seem like knowing you somewhere eventhough I have not met you before meeting you that day in my shop. That faithful day, I bought rice noodles for you as my restaurant didn't use such noodles.

    You are always on my mind, my friend.

    Gary Kang

  5. Thank you for updating. I am going to miss Chang.


  6. I am speechless Chang.Having lost two of my relatives ( One is my father and the other an uncle ) in less than one year due to cancer I can feel my grief for you too.I will always remembered you as someone who has break all the barriers of a terminal disease and manage to survive despite being told by your doctors that you won't be able to.Though it is still hard for me to say goodbye to you yet.

  7. Dear CT,

    Have a peaceful journey home.


  8. Chang,

    May you return to the Creator who formed you from the dust of the earth.

    May the angels come to meet you as you go forth from this life.

    May you have freedom and peace.

    May you be admitted into the garden of paradise.

    May God forgive you of all your sins.

    May you see God face to face and enjoy the vision of God forever.

    Eternal rests grant unto Chang and May Perpetual Light always shine upon him.

    The love of God is beyond all our understanding.

    So long, my have ran and truly finished the good race.


  9. Thank you CF for updating us, you r indeed a true friend of CT.
    Chang, Have a peaceful journey home, be at peace, no more pain and suffering, CT.

    a good rebirth awaiting you.

    Mr & Mrs Heng Yee Choon

  10. Bro CT,
    During this period of stillness, do maintain your samadhi like the Tathagatha during his Mahaparinibanna. Else do think about all the kindness you have shown to others, near and far. Though you dont know me, your blog has made you my friend, and will always be. We will all meet again in the future, so there is no need for goodbye. Above all, i wish you will gain enlightenment soon and pls remember to guide us to that path too.

    Koot & family

  11. To this friend of Chang: Thank you very much for volunteering to provide updates on this blog. If not for you, I would have missed the opportunity to visit Chee Teck yesterday.

    Chee Teck: It is time to let go, my friend.
    I have seen you race and I know you won't give up until you complete this one. Just like the marathon you ran many years ago, you don't give up easily.
    Today, you have completed the full 3 years and finished the race. I have seen you suffer, seen you persevere, seen you fought bravely against all odds. You had shown to everyone that you have a choice in your life and won't take things lying down. But that stubborn character in you brought about many changes in people's life, something which ordinary people couldn't even harbour or think about. You are truly extraordinary in showing the way.

    Many people ask what is called success in life and many would say money, cars and houses. Actually success is when you are lying in coma, hundreds if not thousands of people came by your blog to express concern or say a prayer. Your friends from far or near drop by your house within hours notice showing their caring thoughts even though they can do nothing about it. Your family members rallied around you. That is what I call success in life and you got that respect, friendship and love from all of us. You are an outstanding example leaving all the good memories. A true friend.

    May you have painless, peaceful and smooth journey back.

    How Beng

  12. Dear Chang,

    You have already done great things in this world. Its time to move on to a much better place, a place where no more illness, no more pain, a place where you will be forever healthy besides our Creator.

    We are thankful to God for sharing you to us. Touching our lives through this blog and inspiring so many across the globe. Having a true friend who continuously give us update.

    You, your friend and family are always in our prayers.

    God bless you!

    Mike (Philippines)

  13. Dear Chang,

    Always sad to say goodbye. We can be comforted that you are in a better place and ended your sufferings. You have enriched our lives and benefitted us by sharing your knowledge & experience in this blog.

    Indeed it is a good deed, Amitabha.