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Peter Mikael Pan

by Lauren Kosta
November 22, 2009

To Peter Pan:  Mikael was so unique that to draw similarities to anyone else (even a fictional character) seems almost silly. Yet, what I saw when I looked at Kael’s adventures and the rather extreme games he invented, was someone who had somehow managed to keep hold of that childhood imagination that most of us lose as we grow up.  I remember one day we were going up the back alley to his house and for no apparent reason he climbed, laughing, into the tree in their back yard. I envied him in that moment as I did so many times.  When I was younger I loved climbing trees, but somewhere in my teens I developed cat like sensitivities in the form of fear of coming back down.  I’d cling to my life branch for much longer than I’d intended until someone coaxed me back down.  I watched Kael sitting on his throne of branches, even hanging upside down from his knees.  When he noticed his way up wasn’t as good for going back down (he had jumped into the tree off the fence) he didn’t worry -  if need be he’d simply jump or fall down from that height, but what did that matter, at least he’d be on the ground again right?

I always have trouble when people ask me what I want for Christmas, or birthdays etc. but Kael had very comprehensive lists. Interspersed throughout the usual books, board games, music and movies were requests for items from the periodic table of elements (which I was to learn later was for rocket fuel – of course, what else would they be for?)

Mikael was easy to talk to.  I don’t mean he was someone good at making small talk about the weather to break uncomfortable silences. Conversations with Kael were always interesting and as much as many of them were whimsical and fun, Kael was also never afraid to voice his most personal thoughts and feelings. From his voracious appetite for adventure and the resulting anecdotes, to the way he would open up allowing himself to be vulnerable as he shared his feelings, Kael was and is inspiring. I hope we can all continue to inspire others as we help him live on with our stories of him.

Among his many, many talents and interests, I will always remember his love of music and composing.  The last summer I was in Winnipeg, we briefly discussed how much fun it would be if he composed something for us to play.  What would you have come up with for us Kael? What labyrinths would you have had my fingers tripping over? What boundaries would you have challenged me to? What conversations would we have had violin to oboe?

I miss you Kael but I am glad you are at peace.  Don’t worry, your amazing family - who I feel so privileged to know - and your friends won’t let you be forgotten.  You did not fail, you were not helpless, you did so much more than many people will do in 100 years and you changed so many lives for the better.  I know my life was made better for knowing you.

(Reprinted with permission)


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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 …