Alright people, prepare your boxes of tissue and get ready to lie down.
Because this story is straight out of a tragic romance movie.
What’s that? You only brought one box of tissue? I said boxes. Don’t blame me when you run out of things to wipe your tears with.
And so… come lie down with me in the mental preparation of the story that’s to come.
This is the story of Xu Xie Nan (徐世南), a 35-year-old man from Dalian, China, and his now-deceased wife Yang Liu (杨柳), 34.
A Young Student Couple
Xu and Yang were students at the Dalian University of Foreign Languages, with one learning Japanese and the other English.
Xu, at that time, had a crush on the pretty Yang, but because they were in different classes, he didn’t quite know how to approach her.
At that time, Xu thought Yang was indifferent with an air of elegance (高冷), and thought it was hard to approach her. So he got her QQ number through a classmate.
From then on, they started chatting regularly and found out that they had very similar backgrounds as they were both from single-parent families.
On 13 Aug 2007, Xu invited Yang to Xinghai Square, and plucked up the courage to kiss her cheeks. It is on that day they officially started dating as boyfriend and girlfriend, and helped Xu to find hope and meaning in his life.
2013, They Registered For Marriage
After they graduated, they found a cheap place to rent, and lived in a place without air con, heater, and even toilets for more than a year.
And on 13 Aug 2013, their 6th anniversary, they registered for marriage.
Xu remembers that the day was during the Qixi Festival, or the Chinese Valentine’s Day, and so there was a lot of people registering in the queue.
On this year, Xu went to Yang’s hometown in Yingkou to buy a house, and wanted to have a decent wedding ceremony with his wife.
But in Nov 2013, Yang’s right breast started feeling pains. On medical examination, the doctor said it was hyperplasia (rapid growth of cells).
Although the doctor said the possibilities of being a benign tumour was slightly larger in Feb, upon surgery in March, it was confirmed as breast cancer and she had only 5 years left to live.
That year, Yang was only 28.
Xu said that from diagnosis till death, Yang had never cried in front of others. Not in front of him.
She loved beauty, and wanted to leave her most beautiful side to show others, even including her husband. She would also ask others not to cry over her illness.
In the next two years, Yang underwent at least 41 sessions of treatment and was said to be a “star patient” for fighting against cancer.
She was even asked to join an interview by Chinese broadcaster CCTV, but rejected it because she thought she was not looking her best from losing her hair after chemotherapy.
The following years went pretty well for them. Yang’s condition seemed to be doing well and they believed they could fight and win the disease.
Xu’s business was also going well, and so they even bought a home in Dalian, and wanted to prepare for the wedding again.
But Fate Wouldn’t Have It Their Way
In July 2018, Yang discovered another lump.
They decided to push back the wedding yet again, and visited all around the country to visit famous physicians.
But Yang’s condition quickly deteriorated, and treatments were no longer useful in May 2019 and the cancer spread throughout her body.
Her body weakened to the point where a sneeze caused a fracture in July 2019.
6 Oct 2019, Yang could no longer recognise anybody and went into a coma.
Yang’s entire journey was documented on Weibo and offered words of encouragement to fellow patients.
On 14 Oct 2019, 8.13pm, Yang passed away in her wedding gown.
“The number 813 appeared a lot of times in our romance. When we confirmed we were going out, when we registered for marriage…”
At this point, there was only one last thing left to do for Xu.
Xu Turned The Funeral To A Wedding
Yang lies in an open casket, surrounded by roses, as a montage of happy moments of the husband and wife plays in the background.
This happened at the funeral parlour on 20 October 2019. This was where their wedding was held.
Although Xu tried to hold back his tears, he broke down in tears as Yang was taken away for cremation.
“I know I promised you that I wouldn’t cry, but sorry, I couldn’t do it.”
You still lying down? I’m trying not to cry.
Dammit. I can’t.