Does love mean letting go? Or holding your loved ones forever? There is no end to this debate.
A resident of Huangling Village which is in China’s Chongqing province, Tian Xueming is a carpenter by profession. After his marriage in 1979, Tian lived with his wife and six other relatives in a house made up of mud. In order to improve the living conditions of his family, he went to city in search of work. Tian’s hardwork and his excellent carpentry skills paid off and his lifestyle gradually improved. Tian and his wife Yang Hongying were blessed with a beautiful baby girl in 1982. After five years, she gave birth to a baby boy.
Tian decided to quit his job in order to take better care of their children. He returned to his home village and started his favourite job of being a loving and responsible father. He built the most beautiful and luxurious three-storey house for his children. He was living his life peacefully and happily with his family. But as everyone says good times don’t last long. The worst phase of this family came too soon.
The calamity struck when he lost his beautiful daughter, Yingying on a hot day. The 15-year-old Yingying offered to help his father when he had friends over. She went to town to buy vegetables. But when she arrived she looked very tired and pale. The worried parents asked her if she was okay but she asked them not to worry. However one hour later, she was found collapsed dead in the yard
There wounds were still ripe when fate struck again the poor couple. 9 years after Yinging’s sudden demise, their teenage son, Qinyuan, was diagnosed with last stage leukemia. Qinyuan had just joined his university in 2005. In March 2006, Tian was informed on phone that his son has been suffering from fever since last month. Soon the couple found themselves crying and praying at the hospital for the life of their only child left. Qinyuan, aged 18, could not survive longer and died in July 2006.
The poor couple was left devastated. They were unable to bear the terrible pain of first losing their daughter and now their beloved son. Tian decided he would never bury his son and keep his son. He decided to keep his son’s death a secret. His wife agreed. Tian dressed his son’s dead body and placed him in an ice chest. They kept this news a secret for six years. Whenever they missed him, they would go to the ice box, lift the lid and talk to him as if he’s still alive. The couple told the media that they knew that it is not the right thing to do but they had no other option. This was the only thing that kept them going. They just could not bear the thought that they would never be able to see him.
Gazing at the ice box, Tian said “One day the time will come when his mother and I can no longer look after him and we will then give him a proper burial, but now is not the time.