Dealing with Death Dealing with Death
Last year in June, my family and I had to face the inevitable with the sudden passing of my father. We were unprepared. My... Dealing with Death

We all know that death is a certainty, but we often think that death is still far away for ourselves and our loved ones, making us take the gift of life for granted.

Last year in June, my family and I had to face the inevitable with the sudden passing of my father. We were unprepared… My father wasn’t very old, in fact he was relatively healthy for a man of his age. He was not obese nor did he show any signs of developing an illness. And yet so suddenly, we lost him to a single episode of a heart attack.

I still vividly remember the day that unexpected incident occurred. That day, H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s students were gathered in Kechara Forest Retreat to attend the monthly Dorje Shugden kangso. My mother and I had been attending these pujas for months while my father, although not personally involved, had always been very supportive of our Dharma practice.

Strangely, on that particular day, my father had decided to join in the prayers. I remember being very excited and happy for him. It was his first time attending our monthly Dorje Shugden kangso but he already had many friends in the Dharma centre. Being a cameraman by profession, he had spent much of his free time volunteering in Kechara’s production house.

Not knowing what would happen just an hour before the prayers started, my mother and I went out to town for dinner. It was during this time that we received a bunch of messages and calls from friends in Kechara… they informed me that my father had passed out in front of the prayer hall and had been immediately rushed to the nearest hospital in Bentong. By the time my mother and I arrived at the hospital, my father had already passed away.

I can’t explain in words the grief of losing someone I have admired and loved from the moment I was born… At the same time, I was thankful to have my Dharma friends with me at that point of time, when my family was feeling so vulnerable. I felt that it was Dorje Shugden’s great blessing that things turned out the way they had… My father having to pass away on that day was inevitable. If he had not been moved to attend the puja with us on that day, my mother and I would not have spent those precious final hours with my father; and my father would have collapsed and passed away at home, alone… instead he passed away in such a holy place, receiving the blessings of the Buddhas until his final breath.

I was told that during my father’s final moments, he was happily chatting with his friends in the gompa; and at the point of his collapse, there was no sign of suffering. Although I am sad at having lost my father, I am also glad that he did not have much suffering at the time of death… I also remember what Pastor Niral said, that Hindus pray their whole lives to have a painless death in a holy place, just like what my father experienced.

I am forever thankful and grateful to Dorje Shugden for his blessings as my family found great comfort in doing his practice daily. I have seen how the loss of a central figure in the family can cause much grief and even ‘destroy’ the harmony… but in my family’s case, it pulled us closer together, and made us feel closer to Dharma.

Wan San

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  • Sharon Ong

    Posted on August 1, 2016 #1 Author

    Dear Wan San,

    Thank you for sharing your heartwarming and inspiring story. I was truly amazed at the way you and your mum handled the passing of your beloved father so calmly and beautifully last year and after reading your story, I know why. I believe that your full faith in Protector Dorje Shugden has helped carry you (and your family) through one of the most difficult times in your life. Not only that, it strengthened your family’s relationship and brought all of you closer to the Dharma.

    May you and your family be blessed and guided by Dorje Shugden until Enlightenment.


  • Sofi

    Posted on August 1, 2016 #2 Author

    Thank you Wan San for sharing your personal experience of receiving Protector Dorje Shugden’s blessings. Your father was indeed blessed to have passed on in the Mandala of our Guru, H.E. the 25th Tsem Tulku Rinpoche and on the very day that we were having our monthly Dorje Shugden Kangso. Hundreds of dharma brothers and sisters dedicated the puja to him for his swift and good rebirth. It was due to the merits that your and your mother’s faith and contribution as volunteers that brought such blessings by our Guru and Lord Dorje Shugden. I would like to add that a very clear formation of a cloud in form of a baby lion was seen above Kechara Forest Retreat at the point of your father’s passing.

    Thank you also for sharing Pastor Niral’s comment as it is what everyone should aim for at the very least. Only our Guru, the Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha will be able to help us prepare for the inevitable “Death”. May many people out there be blessed with the opportunity to receive the teachings of our Guru and the Protection of Lord Dorje Shugden.

    I echo Sharon’s sentiment in wishing you and your family to forever receive the blessings of our Guru and Protector Dorje Shugden until Enlightenment.


  • Wei

    Posted on August 1, 2016 #3 Author

    This is a real example of how Dharma can help people through one of the many tough samsaric scenarios we might be thrown into.

    Dear Wan San,

    To be honest, I could not imagine what it feels like to lose a parent, especially so suddenly. However if it were to happen, I would hope it would be in a similar way to your father, Wan San. Without immense suffering and in the company of warm hearted people and in the presence of great spiritual energy like KFR.

    I have often thought about how there is no ‘easy’ way to pass away as even death by old age is often riddled with physical and mental suffering beforehand. Such is the nature of Samsara.

    I would agree with Pastor Niral in that your father’s passing would be ‘desirable’ among many who have thought so far ahead and have not reached a level where they can choose when they wish to pass. I am glad that you and your family has recognised this which has helped make your bonds stronger, generating something positive from this uncontrollable event.



  • Lew

    Posted on August 1, 2016 #4 Author

    It is indeed very sad for anyone to lose a loved one in the family. It is always devastating. Why is it so? It is because we always take life (and death) as granted. We always think we don’t need to face death in near future, and we will only need to face it may be 10 or 20 years down the road.

    That is also one part which I don’t quite like about Buddhism previously, which is, why do you always want to talk about death? To us, death is quite taboo and we usually sweep it under the carpet. But unfortunately, death is ALWAYS certain, and we will pass away eventually no matter what.

    From what I learn in Buddhism, we need to prepare for our final days, and prepare ourselves to move on to the next life, which is one of the most important things.

    Previously, I also think that why the person will pass away in a temple? Isn’t a temple a holy place to protect people? From Buddhism, I learnt that, since death is inevitable, it is best to die in a holy place, and more importantly, die with a good motivation. Like what Pastor Niral said, “Hindus pray their whole lives to have a painless death in a holy place”.

    I know it is not easy for people to accept death, even to those who have Dharma knowledge, but I guess, that is part of our practice.


  • Wah Ying

    Posted on August 1, 2016 #5 Author

    It’s a sincere sharing from Wan San. I have an opportunity to work with her father Mr Eric on one of the voluntary project he worked on with kechara. He was a happy and optimistic man, even when we were stress up and keep re-taking for some of the shots, he will be always smile, sometimes cracked some jokes and asking to take some selfie to ease the stress…Wan San and Wan Hong are very lucky for having a father like Mr Eric and am feel the pain of her losing their beloved father…but glad that they have their Guru H.E. Tsem Rinpoche, Protector Dorje Shugden and dharma friends to be their side during the crucial moment and after…May Wan San and her family always be blessed by Three Jewels and close to dharma.


  • Sonny Tan

    Posted on August 2, 2016 #6 Author

    Thank you Wan San for sharing your personal life tragedy of losing your dad at KFR. It is indeed a very, very painful and devastating experience for all of us especially your dad passed on without any warning and so suddenly, just like you are with him today and when tomorrow comes, he is gone forever, no longer can you see him, hearing his voice, chatting, sharing stories and going out with him.
    I really cannot put it in here in words your pain as it is a kind of pain no one can ever understand and no words in the dictionary can spelled it out. My heart goes out to you and sincerely hopes that the many friends you have here in Kechara would help ease the pain. Though the fond memories of him still lingers on in you and I hope you would have him in your prayers daily and wish him a good rebirth.
    Now that we have Dorje Shugden in our midst and as our Dharma protector I am very sure your dad is well guided and taken care of on the other realm.


  • Stella Cheang

    Posted on August 2, 2016 #7 Author

    Thank you for sharing your feelings bravely. It is defintely not easy to deal with death. I can understand your pain. Please be strong, Wan San. I am sure your dad is well taken care of as he was in the warm embrace of the mandala both Guru and Dorje Shugden at the point of death. Even though I do not know your dad in person, I am sure he was a noble person and had spent his time doing dharma work, thus he must be in a very good place now.



  • graceleong

    Posted on August 2, 2016 #8 Author

    Dear Wan San
    I am inspired and admire your wisdom and maturity towards your spiritual faith. You and your mom have been very generous and kind in offering a lot of your time and other resources in the Dharma to benefit many people. I personally believe because of all the merits both of you and your father have collected from the Dharma, have resulted in a good condition arising for the passing of your very much respected father.
    I thank you for sharing your most heartfelt experience. This sharing will also benefit many more who may be facing a similar challenge now or in the future. May your father and your family always be close to the 3 Jewels and have a successful path to Enlightment.


  • Helena

    Posted on August 7, 2016 #9 Author

    Dear Wan San, Thank you for sharing your sad but heartwarming story of your father passing. It was a pain when we lost someone that we love and respect dearly in an unexpected moment. But how your mom and you handle it is truly amazed me and I believe having Dharma close to us is a big help of how we deal with it. May you and your family always blessed by Dorje Shugden.


  • Fong

    Posted on August 13, 2016 #10 Author

    Thank you for showing us what courage means; and, also what you have learnt from Rinpoche. Your being able to face this loss to be able to talk about it is commendable as it shows you have taken Rinpoche’s teachings about death, karma and rebirth to heart.

    You and your family’s faith in Dorje Shugden has comforted, and i’m sure, will continue to comfort and guide you. May you continue to find solace in Dorje Shugden.


  • William Chua

    Posted on September 4, 2016 #11 Author

    Very sincere sharing from Wan San. It was sad to read about this but the great thing is that it made the family stronger together. It was indeed a blessed environment that your dad passed on in a holy land surrounded by Buddhas and Dharma friends. I could not imagine how I would feel when i lone my parents but this will be an ideal when there is not much pain and in a holy place. It must have been the good merits that you and your family has gained from your Dharma work. Thank you for sharing.


  • jerry_sito

    Posted on October 10, 2016 #12 Author


    感谢克切拉佛教团体,秉着詹杜固仁波切的那一份,永远关爱与帮助着每一位的精神,无论我们发生任何事情时,尊贵的詹杜固仁波切与不同的部门不同的人员,总是给予最及时的帮助与关怀,在Jalan Imbi 的克切拉香积厨也是一样,我们并没有分你是来自哪里是谁,是什么种族或性别,宗教,当你是需要正真的帮助时,团队们都会给与他们帮助。

    我记得同样的,当我父亲大人脑中风进医院时,仁波切与克切拉佛教团体工作人员,给予马上的大量的帮助,关怀与支持等等.. 我记得来自仁波切的一段开示是,把佛法带给家人是非常重要的,而总有一天,我们的家人,爱人或挚友都逃不了生老病死,会离开我们而去,当我们的家人因为种种不同的原因而不能修持或听闻佛法的时候,倘若其中一位家庭成员,能够参与在佛法事业上的话,同样是能够把他的功德让其家人的到佛法的加持与保护的。

    Jerry Sito


    • Joyce

      Posted on November 5, 2016 #13 Author

      Dag nabbit good stuff you whnieprspappers!


    • kredit laufzeit 6 monate

      Posted on February 8, 2017 #14 Author

      It was truly an honor to meet you Mr. Bailey! I had a wonderful time listening to you speak and meet you. You made me rethink moving back home to New York! (Hehe!) It was a great evening!!


  • Sock Wan

    Posted on October 10, 2016 #15 Author

    Thank you Wan San for sharing with us your personal experience. Losing a loved one is very painful but seeing how they pass away peacefully somehow help to reduce the grief we have. Because of Dharma practice you and your family are able to accept and move on when your father away suddenly and do the necessary to help your father to transit to another life. I have also seen how helpful Kecharians were when this happened, helping in the hospital, the arrangement of the funeral and lastly the rituals.

    How long more we will live in this life as a human, we don’t know. Do as much Dharma work and practise it well so that when we face our death, we will not have fear.


  • Su Ming

    Posted on October 10, 2016 #16 Author

    Dealing with death of close family or friends is never easy. Thank you Wan San for such sincere article about your own experience on losing your dad. I am happy that your family has “moved on” and continue to live life as your late dad would have wanted you guys to…which is to be happy.


  • Wylfred Ng

    Posted on October 10, 2016 #17 Author


    生命本无常, 关先生在毫无预警的情况下就离开人世。 生老病死原本就是人生的定律, 无一可幸免。 不过我们在哪里去世、如何去世则是决定我们来世投生地的重要因素。

    关先生可以在克切拉禅修林这个多杰雄登圣地, 也在多杰雄登法会开始前去世是不幸中的大幸。 在这里除了有多杰雄登的加持之外, 我们这里还有一大班佛友可以立刻给予协助。 在医院急救室我们还有讲法师在为关先生祈愿, 为他做了最后的功德。

    云珊与母亲虽然遭受至亲离世之痛, 不过在这个佛法的环境很多人都给予她们关怀与帮助, 在她们最需要帮助的时候雪中送炭。

    关家一家人都是克切拉佛教团体的全职职工或志工, 在这个佛法环境下她们可以比较容易面对至亲离世。 仁波切给予的佛法开示不少都是说关于佛法工作的重要性, 在我们离世的过程中我们的财富、家人、朋友都不能帮到我们什么, 唯有佛法可以帮助我们。 所以我们都应该趁我们拥有健壮的身体的时候做更多佛法工作。



  • KarenC

    Posted on October 10, 2016 #18 Author

    Dear Wan San, Thanks for sharing above your story. I’m glad for the past few years you have been studying Dharma and spent much of your time volunteering in Kechara. Through your contribution of time and effort in Dharma, you were able to understand death more deeply and accept the fact. The tremendous benefit of learning and absorbing Dharma have helped you in developing your mind to accept whatever happened around you and move on. Your sharing of how Dorje Shugden has helped you and your family through difficult times is truly inspiring at the same time powerful enough to strengthen people’s faith in Dorje Shugden.

    Keep up your good work in volunteering for Dharma. We appreciate you a lot, as always.


  • Carmen

    Posted on October 11, 2016 #19 Author

    This is a deeply moving post, because it would not have been easy to write it, so thank you very much, Wan San, for sharing publicly something so private and close to your heart. It would have been a very painful experience, I am sure, but thank you for sharing your story on how the Dharma has helped you to manage and deal with the pain of your loss, and arising stronger.


  • Alice Tay

    Posted on January 3, 2017 #20 Author

    Thank you Wan San for sharing your heartfelt experience.
    Understand that one of the heartbreaking moments is when losing a loved one. Accept the fact, stay strong and be grateful when we have the opportunity to learn the dharma and close to the true guru.
    May your father have a swift rebirth and able to meet a qualified guru from the young age in order to learn and practice the dharma.