These letters I am writing you were inspired by Julie Yip-Williams who wrote to her daughters when she was diagnosed with deadly cancer. In her letters, she was completely opened about her dying. Her hope was that her daughters would understand when they get a chance to read her words. I don’t want to wait until I become ill to begin to write to you.
Death is a heavy subject, especially at your age. I am still scared, but I have to accept the reality that I won’t escape death. I am still in good health today, but I don’t know what will happen tomorrow. These days, massive strokes and cancers can easily cut someone’s life short. If it were my turn to go, my greatest concern is you. I hope will remember me, but I want you to live on with your life.
One of the benefits of having four siblings is that you can rely on each other. When I was a kid, I loved this Vietnamese proverb: “Một cây làm chẳng nên non, ba cây chụm lại nên hòn núi cao.” It means one tree alone can’t do much, but three trees together will make a mountain. The four of you can make anything together. Even if I would end up in hell, I would be happy to know that you guys love and take care of each other. So don’t cry for me. Just remember my wish.
Sorry, this letter is a bit dark, but I want you to understand how I feel about death before it would be too late. I can’t take time for granted. Last week, one of my friends passed away unexpectedly. A few weeks before his death, we were going to get together with him. He met Đạo and Đán, but not Xuân and Vương. Unfortunately, we lost our chance. He had a massive stroke and could not recover. Life is short. So don’t wait before it’s too late.