Sky Burial

rating: 3.5/5

I cried.

It’s a love story, but it’s not an ordinary one.

….and they will never find their happy ending…

Sky Burial narrates a true epic love story, of how a Chinese woman went to Tibet in order to find her husband, whom she just married. It was not even 100 days of them being husband and wife, and he had been taken away from her. He was a doctor, and he was sent to Tibet with his unit (China and Tibet were under ‘war’ at that time). The woman, named Shu Wen, received the news that her husband had died, yet no further information was given.

And she went to Tibet, and stayed there for over 30 years. She learned the language, the culture, the lifestyle, all the hard way. She wept at night, she had nightmares, she was longing for him. Then she started to feel accepted, covering one mountain, and then another, and another, to find any news about her husband. and yet…

30 years later, she found her husband’s diary.

I guess I was finally relieved that she finally knew what happened with him, yet my heart aches for the fact that they would never be together. What saddened me more is that this is, a true story. Someone out there had lost their loved one.

This was Kejun’s (the husband) last entry in his diary (note that his religious belief was Buddhist at that time)

“My darling Wen,

If I don’t return today, others will tell you what happened to me. Please understand and forgive me.

I love you. If I am allowed into paradise, I’ll make sure you live a safe and peaceful life, and wait for you there. If I go to hell for this, I will give everything I have to pay the debts we both incurred in life, working to give you the right to enter heaven when your time comes. If I become a ghost, I’ll watch over you at night and drive away any spirits that trouble your rest. If I have no place to go, I’ll dissolve into the air and be with you at your every breath.

Thank you my love.

Your husband, who thinks of you day and night,
On this day, which both of us will never forget.”

Even upon writing this, I’m still crying. It makes me want to hug my loved ones tightly and never let them go, telling them every second how lucky I am to have them right here beside me, and that whatever happens, I love them very much.

When I write earlier that they will never find their happy ending… Maybe I was wrong. I don’t know. But no matter how I see the story I feel the aching and the loneliness that they have gone through. What if the girl was me? What if I was born in China in 1930s? what if I was born in the times of war? what if I would never have the chance to pursue my fairy tale ending? That woman didn’t even have 100 days to live with her husband. Yet she carried her love for him for more than 30 years later. I don’t know how she survived.

People love happy endings, don’t they? That’s why in the book Atonement, the little sister tried to pay for what she has done, by trying to make a happy ending for her older sister’s love story – although in reality, that was not what happened. That’s why in One Day, the last part of the story was not the fact that Emma died, it was the fact that they had met. That’s why in Titanic, the ending scene was Rose and Jack’s reunion at the majestic ship… But those were fiction. This one was not.

While we are used to take our love for granted, remember, someone out there, may not be as fortunate as we are.


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