So, you're sitting at a table with a bunch of people. And suddenly they want to talk about jumping down from a building. They are all kidding, of course. What should one do? Tell them to shut up and take my feelings into account? Listen and try not to cry in public? What would you do?

Sometimes people are insensitive by accident. If you don't alarm them, they won't know. If you alarm them, you run the risk of being the fun spoiler. I happen to have a high tolerance for this kind of things. So I listen, I try not to cry, and most importantly, I don't hold grudges against them at the end.

Maybe I should "stand up" for myself. Or not. Or whatever. There are more important things about life to worry about.


It's been a pretty rough day today. Lots of sobbing for Alan. First time it's happened. It's actually quite satisfying. Not sure what's going to happen. Many uncertainties and I'm lacking some focus that I badly need. I think I will go to talk to some sort of doctor soon. Contemplating.

Hate to put a sour note to a wonderful weekend in Boston. But I just did. Played ball on Friday and Saturday, went to picnic on a super nice day near Boston, and the sailed in the Charles under a nice sun. And then Sunday went to Dim Sum. The rain came down and ruined the day, and somehow sending my emotions into a tailspin.


Do I need help? No. Do I want help? Yes.

I don't know, I just think that kind of predicament is quite pathetic and sad. Or maybe I'm just too harsh on myself. Anyhow, I do want you all to know that I AM okay. Just thinking a lot these days. You know me. I like to think.


A simple dream: I was crying hard and sobbing in a corner of a room. Body trembling and shaking. And I couldn't move. The room was Vicky's place (I was dreaming on her sofa, so it seemed extremely real to me). I was pleading for help from a person also standing in the room. But I cannot remember who the person was. It was either Vicky or Charlotte. The nightmare was very real. When I woke up I was very upset... but Vicky said I was just sleeping there. I was almost convinced that I was indeed unable to move in the corner of her room. Anyway, that was my dream.

My question: do these mean anything? Does this mean I need help? Does it mean that the two girls I suspect to be in my dream I am desperate to get help from? Because, I admit, I am very disappointed on how them two have treated me. And of course a question I might have asked before: do crazy people know that they are crazy? do depressed people know that they are depressed? Here's the bottom line: if I can think about all these, does that mean I've understood it better? I may not have an answer, but I clearly have thought of the problem and I'm dealing with it.


I was in Pittsburgh this past labor day weekend to pack up Alan's apartment. I think everything is set and gone. Except for his accounts. T Mobile, Verizon, Electricity, and Bank. Need to clear those out sometime. No big deal. The biggest troubles I got out of the way. My mom came regardless of my advice. She just wants to make a last tour of all the things and people that Alan loved and loved Alan. Some relatives came to help. Lawrence Tam Yik Wah also came to help. Perhaps I'm a little cold blooded, but all I wanted to do is pack his apartment and move on with my life. Mom doesn't think so... I think if given the chance, she'd want to live in Pittsburgh for a while and grief for a year or so.

Having random emotional attacks more now. Was listening to a song on the car and couldn't hold the tears. So weird. I'm serious when I say I am okay now. I've always thought more or less like Alan... Reason and logic with less emotions. Somehow I just came to terms with his death after only a week or two. I don't know how I do it. Sometimes I wish I didn't do it... that I could let go of my brain and just cry all I want. For what? I don't know. Maybe to show that I still love him. Other times I am so happy that I am comfortable with everything that has happened. That I don't have to go through painful memories like my mother. I do have memories. They are happy ones. And they don't make me sad.

That's enough for now. I guess one will never understand what one is going through. After all, is it really important to actually understand? What's important is merely the actual actions that take place. Hmmm... wondering into Matrix world... I may see Alan there and he's just laughing at why I still haven't figured it out.


Leaving Hong Kong

It's been a long time since I last cried. I'm not even sure if remarkable is the right word. It's tough to be relieved and calm when others around you are sad and hysterical.

Mental fatigue leading to physical pain. I guess everything has a first time. This is my problem... I try to heal all when I cannot. So glad to have friends like Frances and Carrie around, to give me a second of sanity when I've lost mine. Anger is just normal. I felt anger before. It's just that when I think about what the poor girl had to go through, I can't help but extend my hand. The fact that I've overcame sorrow and guilt so quickly meant that I also will have to help others overcome their sorrow and guilt. I was just trying to help. I have no anger - maybe because I no longer have sorrow and guilt? Anyway, I can only let them be. Feel what you want to feel and don't listen to those who want to tell you what to feel.

How funny... arriving just in time for the same departure. Love that feeling.

I wish Ben and Lawrence were in Hong Kong.

Now is the real time to stand up. All of us are trying to resume our normal lives. Hence we'll see how we cope with the newest change in our life.


It's never easy leaving HK behind. But this time it is as difficult as it gets. I leave with so much behind me, so much I don't know, and so much I don't understand.

More time to think about things. Who knows what the human mind can come up with...


I had a huge amount of guilt over me when I first heard the news over the telephone from my mother. Alan and I had spoken the night before and he had told me he wanted to commit suicide. I spoke with him for a while and could not convince him otherwise. The answer he gave me was "I'm not happy, nothing will make me happy." Then I told him that "I will not tell you what to do, Alan, I never will. You're 21 and you can decide for yourself. Just have to live with the consequences." What I meant was a decision WITHIN life, not a decision BETWEEN life and death.

Over the phone, I kept saying sorry to my mother and crying with her. "I'm so sorry, mom, I didn't help Alan last night" repeating those words for maybe the next 5 minutes. I can't remember exactly what I felt or what I meant when I said those one thousand sorries. I suspect at the time, I just thought I killed him, I made him make a choice. I told him to live with the consequences, and he died with the consequences. I failed as a big brother. I failed to help him.

Later that day, sitting nicely on my chair on the balcony, I looked into the sky with a beer in my hand. I stared and I stared and I tried to remember every single thing I did with Alan. Good and bad. I tried to think like him, trying to understand what had happened. I knew the whole story from my parents... and I sat there and thought deep. The guilt disappeared. Sorrow took over. I don't know how I do it... the reason Alan passed away was cus he made a choice (remember "The Hours"?). I didn't make a choice for him. He did for himself. His choice was based on a lot of things and not one single thing. Alan has had suicidal thoughts before. He's had other problems before. There has been many things that went wrong (and less that went right) with him in life and it has all bothered him to an extreme point. So the choice he made on July 23rd was a choice that included all his frustrations, his unhappy memories, and happy memories. At least that's how I think of it. Of the happy memories, I was part of them. Of the unhappy memories, I was part of them too. Of the frustrations, I was certainly part of them as well. When I got that into my logic (again, I don't care if I'm right or wrong, this is just how I think about it), my guilt went away.


"And then I realized: with death, came strength." An idea still a little far fetched for my parents.

Searching for closure.

At the very beginning, I already knew the pressure would be on me to take care of just about everybody in the family. The first reaction I got from friends is that "oh, you should let your sadness run and don't take too much pressure." The first reaction I got from family friends is that "you should never be sad in front of your parents. YOU are the the one who will take care of them." The first reaction I got from relatives is that "you need to take care of James." Subsequent reactions usually consist of this: take care of you mom, your dad, and especially your brother. Anybody thought of taking care of ME!? Hardly.

Who said life would be fair? It isn't. So shut up and suck it up.

For a long while, I could not forgive myself for not talking to Alan more. I spoke with him the night before. He told me he was going to take his own life. I asked him why, he said he wasn't happy. I suggested many things for him to do, to see if that would make him happy. He said no to all of it. I told him, Alan, you know I love you very much, but this is your life and you must make your choices and live with the consequences. I will support everything you do. What I meant was choices IN life. Not choices BETWEEN life and death. The thought that I had encouraged him to make a choice and die (live) with the consequences just haunted me over and over.

I did not seemingly have enough time to grief when I got back to Hong Kong. The next morning (I arrived Friday night) we went to the funeral home to get the procedures done. And then I met with a family friend who would be in charge of some of the things we wanted to do in the funeral. That's when the idea for a booklet came out. And so with my mind still rumbling through chaos and body tired, I launched into editing this whole booklet thing while taking care of business in the funeral home. Just super tired.

My first break. I met up with Sharon, my ex-girlfriend from New York city. She's heading to Stanford at night and it would be sort of my last chance to see her for the next year or so. The booklet was almost set (or so I thought) and I've settled everything for the funeral home. Anyway, I finally got a chance to organize my thoughts and then talk to her about it. I have to say that while all my girlfriends have understood me exceptionally well, Sharon was the best cus she's the most mature. Anyway, after organizing my mind and talking to her, I think I found a solution for myself. Some call it "cheating oneself"... I don't know, maybe I am, maybe I am not. I am trying to find out, for my own sake, why Alan chose this course. I fancied that by understanding why, I could find a solution for my family and myself, as we are all filled with guilty feelings. On top of that, I wish that my 'solution' is not 'cheating oneself.' I cannot elaborate here. Words cannot do justice. Sorry.

I was with Alan before anyone else saw him. I stood there and looked. Tears staying in. There is a sense of relief. It's difficult to describe, but I truly believe that he is now a happier person, wherever he is (or is not). The night went on. I don't like this 3 hour gather. It is merely a way to numb people's minds. You feel very sad when you bow, very sad when you see Alan, very sad when you INITIALLY sit down. Then you are in the room for a few more minutes, and you start chatting with others. Either about Alan or among friends. And the feeling of normal life begins to fade IN. Your feelings are numb and you forget that you are here because of somebody's death. At the same time, you do remember you are there for somebody. But the feeling is numbed. I don't like this process. On the other hand, I agree with the process. In this way, many can move on with life. I cannot.

After everybody left, I stayed for another few minutes. Went to take a look at Alan and talk to him a bit. Cried hard and silently, Kwun, thanks for waiting for me. I know you are worried. But that was really the moment where I spoke my mind to Alan and got a response from him. And then I know I will be okay and I can take all the pressure and take care of my family and myself. I got closure and I said goodbye. =) I once asked a friend this question: if you wonder whether you will burst or not, does that mean you will NOT because you are already calculating the effects? For the last few days, I always wondered when whether I will burst or not. I wondered if I will burst after all is settled and then I have this moment where I have nothing to do but to think about Alan. That night, after saying goodbye, I know I will NEVER burst. I will not. I will take care of everybody as long as I am physically able.


Random emotional attacks. They suck. But they release more.

Reason and logic are dangerous things. Just like what Neo said in the Matrix. What have I done now? Have I reasoned myself over Alan's death? Is this 100% reason and logic? Or has Eric's mind influenced it so that it has come out to be 100% what Eric and family wants it to be? Actually, is this even important? What does it mean?

Mom asks why. I have an answer for her. She asks me if I think I know, or I know? I think I know and I know. How much do I understand Alan? I have a story that ultimate lead to him playing video games with the man upstairs.


I believe with my family, we can all fight the guilt back and stay strong. We have an unbelievable family, all with strong wills. Even Alan. He's the strongest of us all. Perhaps the happiest now. Ultimately, he decided that he would be happier up there than down here.
I've never had eye sockets so dry and mind so rumbled.


For the first time in my life, I can't control my emotions. I can't stop my mind from rambling. I can't do anything. Except for remembering someone I loved so dearly. I'm helpless. Remembering is all I can do. All I will do.

I don't know what I should feel. I really don't. I feel guilty. I feel sad. I feel pissed. I feel hate. I feel love. More hate now. I feel disappointed. I feel dissed. I feel lonely. Very lonely. I feel isolated. Where are my feelings going? They can't go anywhere. I own them. Yet they are wondering around so much. Just floating in front of me, rotating, talking to me at times and ignoring me at times. Just there. Can't grasp it, much less control it. I wonder if I want to take control of them if I could. Maybe I don't. Maybe they will jog around in a while and decide to go away. Maybe they will magnify and haunt me. Nope. No idea what they want to do. They are rotating.

I can't feel my limbs. Seems like only my fingers are moving. I told my boss I need some time alone. I've got time alone now. What really do I have right now. Physical movements of my finger. That's about it. I can't even control what I type. Oh wait... I'm pausing. Thinking. What to type next...? Weirdo.

I can't feel any happiness. I just can't. I tried hard, oh I did. I tried to think of him being in a better place doing better things. It's not working. The world was too much for him. Too many things negative, too little positive. I hope I was a positive. I hope our family was a positive. Not enough for him perhaps.

When do you know how much you love a person? When you lose him. Or her. What a joke the upper powers play on us. Maybe trying to teach us a lesson. Cruel lesson, I'd say.

I sat there. Eyes shut. Mind open. I tried to remember our good times together. I tried to remember a lot of things. His face. His voice. His physique. His big hands. Big mind too. His persistence. His stubbornness. I said I tried. Ever stare at a cloud and see what it looks like? I kind of did that. A variation of it. I stared and tried to shape it into him. Hard and long I stared. Sometimes my mind would succeed in trumping nature and physics. Almost. Then my other mind will come in and trump the original mind. It'll comply with physics and shatter the image. Just like the phone call.

Good luck. Life up there would be nice.

Scary how the human mind works. So emotional at one time, so calm at the other. Is this normal? Or am I going nuts? I wonder. I wish he spoke to me in my dreams a while ago. He didn't. He made a choice to go to a better place. He made a choice to leave nothing behind. He made a choice talking to no one. I've once said you live the consequences. I guess he did. How cruel of me to say that.

Cry dry tears. That's me right now.