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Showing posts from November, 2009

Mikael and the Pink Duct Tape

by Ang Plett
November 28, 2009

I was thinking of Mikael a lot today as I packed up our household. We're moving from our little apartment to a house across town. Anyway, we are re-using a lot of the boxes we used when we moved to Prince Rupert to Winnipeg over a year ago. A lot of them still have the bright pink duct tape we used to seal them back then.

In August 2008 a group of us ventured out to Morden to attend the Morden Corn and Apple Festival--a favourite annual event from my childhood that many of my city friends had never experienced. I think the group was Jon, Megan, Alicia, Ben, myself, and Mikael. We had such a good day! We sat and watched the parade in the morning. One of the floats was by 3M and they were throwing out roles of pink duct tape to the crowd! We were all enamored with this pretty and unique duct tape and hoped we could get our hands on a role. Well, a role of tape flew through the air right toward our group. I tried to catch it but it ricocheted off my hand …

Oak Tree for Mikael

We planted an oak tree today in Assiniboine Park in memory of Mikael. It was a beautiful day. I was too weak to stand so I got to sit on a camp chair, facing the river that is splotched with patches of thin ice floating downstream, surrounded by friends and family. The attending park worker was awesome. He said he was honoured to be there. Once the tree was placed in the hole, he put good potting soil in the empty spaces and more on top to create a "bowl" into which he pour many gallons of water. As we were leaving he was putting posts in the ground to which he tethered the tree and used to support a tall, orange, webbed "snow" fence to keep animals and vandals away. It's a scrawny-looking tree, despite it's age of ten years, but it is surrounded by other oaks and will be well cared for. It's in the perfect place.

Mikael on the Assiniboine River

Donations in Memory of Mikael

Mikael was deeply concerned for those who are homeless in our city. He requested that at his funeral there would be an opportunity to donate to this cause instead of giving flowers. The Chan family desires that his wishes would be fulfilled by a memorial gift to Flatlanders Art Space, on the third floor of our building.
Flatlanders is a community of people that live on the second and third floors of this church where people at risk of homelessness can find not just shelter, but a home. Its vision is to be a place of recovery, officially designated transitional housing. Part of the third floor, currently unfinished, has been designated as Flatlanders Artspace; a place where music, dance, painting, pottery, and other arts could be used as a means to recovery, healing, and expression. All money received will go towards developing this room, including a plaque memorializing Mikael's life and passion for the arts. The thirty people who will be living in flatlanders will also share…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

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 ad…

Eulogy for Mikael

It's 3:13 a.m. as I write this, just hours before Mikael's funeral. I've slept 2 1/2 hours already but when I woke I couldn't get back to sleep. I am so full of joy I have no room for grief. I lay in bed two hours ago, feeling this joy well up into near excitement, undergirded with a peace and contentment that to most people would make no sense. I'm not sure it makes sense to me but I know it's real. God has been so good. He has poured out his blessings on us this week and I feel like we are the most blessed family in the world right now.
I can't imagine life without Mikael. I'm still in shock, running on adrenaline and the drive to give Mikael the best farewell ever and not wanting to miss a moment of the flood of family and friends who have been pouring into our home with cards, flowers, meals, goodies, more meals and goodies, love, prayers and memories. I've been sitting in an armchair where I have a straight line of sight to the front entrance, a…

Konrad's "Thing" for Mikael

I don't know how to start.How does one start a speech for his older brother's funeral?Should I address the audience?Should I address Mikael?Should I address God? What should I do Mikael?I can already hear you say, “France, what should your MOM do?”No, my name is not France, nor is it Frances, or Connie Francis like the singer, just Konrad thankyou very much.Some day from the past my Dad made the connection and called me Connie Francis.Mikael then mutated this otherwise inconsequential incident and started calling me Francis from that day on.It further mutated to “France”.It bugged me, and I'm sure that was his goal.Memories of him saying “hey France, wanna play impulation ball?” or “that was just uncalled for, France,” still make me annoyed.I feebly tried combatting his tactics, so he'd call “Hey France,” and I'd reply “yes Germany?”On a side note, for those of you who don't know Mikael's abomination of a game, the game impulation involves tossing a 4-foot …

Erik's "Thing" for Mikael

From the heart of your brother, Erik; via the vocal chords of your sister, Willow:

Probably the most entertaining and "unique" person I have ever known -- Mikael. The last time we spent together was some of your last hours, and I'm honoured, and proud to have with you forged that memory. Forged heartily, as Thor's mighty hammer, Mjolnir, of mystic iron and golden hair of boar.

We were watching The Big Bang Theory -- it was the episode where Sheldon gets afeared of Penny and Leonard's bickering and runs away to claim sanctuary in the hallowed bowels of the local comic shop. You said it was a "meh" episode. Aside from asking if I'd downloaded the latest of episodes, one of the last things you said to me was, "If you and Jenn watch Gargoyles, please don't leave me out." We don't plan to; we are going to marathon the whole series in your honour. I'm sure you'll be watching when "the castle rises above the clouds" -- ha!…

Mikael Chan--Obituary

Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan Eighty robust years packed into twenty-five.After a valiant and hard-fought battle with mental illness, Mikael took his life the night of November 9, 2009.His passing was not painful for him.He overdosed his medications, wrote two farewell letters, then lay on the couch and fell asleep.He was found early the next morning.We are grieving but we are also celebrating his life.Mikael packed more into his 25 years of living than most do in 80.He lived life with zest and purpose, loving adventure and never afraid of danger.At age two, he was literally climbing the walls of the front stairwell at home.At five, he ran a lemonade stand, undercutting the competition across the street.At seven, the two outfits merged into a joint profit-making venture, selling lemonade at the end of the blockAt nine he took over his older brother’s Free Press route, getting up at five every morning, regardless of weather, trudging through deep snow pulling a sleigh of papers that was…

My Son Mikael

My son, Mikael, took his life last night. We found him this morning.
Thank you to those who have written, phoned, visited or showed in some way that you care. Funeral will probably be Saturday early afternoon.
I want you all to know that God is good. God is always good. It doesn't matter what happens, God is good. I say with Job in the Bible: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord."