In 1999 my husband's cousin had passed away of liver failure. We all knew he was not going to make it since the life support machine is just helping him stayed alive after the surgery. This situation occurred in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. My husband's cousin, Ted, (not his real name) has suffered for almost a year and he got skinner and skinner before they took him to the hospital for a surgery. That year was my student teaching; trying to get ready to become a school teacher.
My husband's relatives said December XX, 1999 was Ted's last day to live because they all agreed to take the tubes off. His relatives expected everyone to take a day off and say goodbye to Ted. I didn't want to be rude because it's too hard to say good-bye, so I decided not to take a day off from my student teaching. I knew that some of my husband's relative would probably think I'm being rude but I wasn't and I knew I'm going to feel very sorry with lots of tears.
At 12:00 on that December, I knew my husband's cousin, Ted passed away. The sky was very mellow, quiet, and eerie. On my way from school, I did a lot of thinking such as where would he go or how was his final death like? When I arrived home, I tried to call my husband and asked him did he die? I know it's a dumb question but I just had to ask. I couldn't get a hold of him so I called his other cousins house. When they answered, I asked, "Did Ted passed away, and where is my husband?" His other cousin said they went to look for a coffin and a grave, they'll be back later. I told his other cousin on the phone that I'll be there shortly tonight.
In our Hmong culture, when a family member passes away, we have to stay with the survival family until the funeral begins. Every cousins, families, and relatives take turn staying with them for sympathy, sincere, and warmth. Sometimes we even spent the night with the survival family to keep them safe and secure. That is how the Hmong people are so bonded with their families.
Anyways after the phone call, someone called me again, a girl, was saying that she was going to come to my house for something. As I recall, it was real, I mean real, but it happened so fast like it was a dream. I told her can come; I don't know why she wanted to come for what reason. I went to the kitchen digging for something to eat and my brother and my son was watching Bart Simpson and other cartoon shows. All suddenly, there was a door bell rang. I asked my brother, was that the cartoon? He said no it wasn't the T.V. The door bell rang again, and then I went down stairs because my house is a split entry home, where basement is downstairs and living and sleeping area is upstairs. I opened the door and no one was there. I didn't scratch my head but I was puzzling. I thought to myself... Hmmm that's weird. I closed the entrance door and climbed three stairs up, and then the door bell rang again. I was getting impatient; I went back and opened the door one more time and no one was there again. As I was thinking, if someone is playing a trick, I should be hearing movements and etc.
I asked my brother to go to his room and looked through his bedroom window to see what was going on and if he could see a person standing on the front porch. I don't know why what took my brother so long in his bedroom. As he was checking, I did a test where I closed the storm door and opened the entrance door widely. I climbed the first two steps and staring directly outside and guess what? The door bell rang right in front of my eyes, ears, and myself. I was so mad and frustrated. I stepped down and swung the storm door widely and guess what I said...
"YOU NEED TO STOP PLAYING AROUND, IF YOU'RE GOING TO COME IN THEN COME IN OR GO AWAY!" I don't know what other people are thinking if they were me but I don't remember to being afraid and didn't realize it was a ghost or my husband's dead cousin that just passed away 4-6 hours ago. I guess people at that time don't remember getting spooked when unexpected things happened to them. When people want to get spooked nothing shows up and they are already preparing to be afraid. After that incident, my brother finally came from his room with a scary face. I asked him, "Did you see anything?" He just shook his head.
I finally got a hold of my husband and explained him the situation and he said I guess Ted missed us and he just wanted to drop by and said goodbye which he never seen our house before. I told my husband I guess you're right, I'll be there shortly. I asked my brother to stay and watch my son but he insisted not to stay and want to go with me. We packed up and left.
My husband cousin's funeral lasted for 4 days and 3 nights for 24 hours. Hmong people who are not Christians, the funeral lasted for a week but in America we stared on Friday and end on Monday afternoon and buried the dead in the afternoon. The hardest part was staying 24 hours for your love ones. They believed the dead will pay its debt in the afterlife and then reincarnate to a new family or something. Well, after the funeral, my brother did not want to sleep in his room and have requested if my husband and I let him sleep in our room on the floor. I assumed he must be really scared because he slept in our room for a week until everything was back to normal. After that my husband's cousin did not show up. Moreover his death was really scary because 6 months later his (the cousin) older brother passed away and a year later his mom passed away because of grieving for her two dead sons.
It was like one person dying one at time just like a disease. I recalled my mom came to visit me on Christmas in 2000 and she said "Thank God, your husband's cousin, Ted, didn't take your husband with him." I was confusing and asked my mom why? My mom said after Ted's death, my dad had a dream saying that Ted was lonely in the other place. He wanted to ask my husband if he can have a drink with him. In my dad's dream, my dad said "No, you cannot have a drink with my son-in-law, if you want to have a drink, why don't you have a drink with me." After the dream, 6 months later, Ted's older brother died in the hospital suffering a head injury car accident. Everyone thought that family was cursed or did something horrible in the past.