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Mikael--A Letter from his Dad

November 11, 2009

Dear Mikael, my precious, dearly beloved and missed son,

I miss you so much already! My heart is broken without your earthly presence.

When I tried to resuscitate you yesterday morning, it was my last embrace and kiss for you, Mikael.

You lived a Godly life, a colourful life, a life that is full of adventures that was beyond human comprehension. What I just said is not a hyperbole; nor is it a metaphor. No one has the will power, imagination, and gumption to do the things you did so daringly well, like riding solo on your bike all the way to Sioux Ste. Marie in 12 days, jumping over tall buildings, kayaking in the Assiniboine in April just after ice-break-up, driving all the way to Kananaskas, Alberta to climb the foothills with your brother, Konrad, and so much more.

Quoting directly from your will, you gave me an exceptional advice on how to live when you wrote, ”A life full of friendships and close relations; a life full of love; a life full of music; a life full of adventure and activity; a life full of contemplation and spirituality. If I can achieve this, and I think I'm living life to the fullest right now, by those definitions, death is welcome at any time.”

I am so happy that you knew you had lived your life to its fullness. You certainly had attained all your goals within a brief life time. I am particularly humbled that at such a young age, you had the wisdom to discern that the things that can be counted may not count, but the things that cannot be counted, count. None of your goals in life had anything to do with fame, fortune, and success as measured by the world.

Kael, you were indeed a superman! Not a metaphor either.

Now, you’re safe and sound, happy and painless in Heaven with God, the three Guys whom you read about and we had talks on after you had finished reading The Shack.

How does God look, sound, feel, and be like? He must be so glorious and an essence of warm tingling love!

Mikael, say “hi” to God for me, and tell Him I am so sorry for all my sins that nailed Him on the cross. I want to be with God, too. But, now, I want to be with you.

Mikael, it must have been a very trying life which you lived. You must have to fight off valiantly, as you did on Saturday night, the lies of the enemy and your heavy self-doubt.

From what I see and where I stand, there IS NO DOUBT who you were and what you did. You were a young man of honour, noble spirit, gentle heart, and deep faith in a loving Triune God. All you did in your life and all you were attested to that fact.

I wish I had written this letter two days before and told you what I think you are… a masterpiece of God, His poema.

Mikael, in the past two years, we had talked and done so much together, including moving you out, and moving you back home. I will always treasure the canoe trip we had together this past August at Caddy Lake, and the trails we walked. You lived your keenest when you were in the outdoors, climbing a hill or canoeing in swift currents.

This afternoon, the Carneys came over to grieve our collective loss with us. We all agreed, one after another, about your zest for life, living to the hilt.

Heather and Sean shared with me your last good-bye e-mails to them. God! Why was I not attentive to catch you before you fell?

Kael, you were a great son, a faithful servant of God, and an inspiration to all!

“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24. Your life has been positively impactful, and your death, though tragic, is a call-to-arms to follow God no matter what, as you had so faithfully done.

I love you, son, and I shall always cherish memories of you as long as I live on this earth before I join you on the other side of the Great Divide.

Much love and affection,

Your Dad on earth

[Taken from Tom's blog at and read by him at the funeral.]


Francine said…
Maggie, please tell Tom that I was deeply moved by his letter to Mikael ... it was beautifully written and touched my heart. His grief seems monumental but I know God will show him monumental comfort thru His grace. I continue to pray for all of you. Much love.

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About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …