A New Mother Leaps To Her Death

(Tianya via homebbs.sz.soufun)  My schoolmate leapt to her death 15 days after delivering a baby.

[in translation]

This is a true story that occurred in a civilized city in the twenty-first century.  The date is July 3, 2006.  The principal character is Tiantian (甜甜), my best friend who sat next to me in high school.  Everybody loves her.  After giving birth to a baby who is just as beautiful as she is, she leapt from the fifth floor of a building and ended her life.  She left behind her love for her baby and her bitterness against her beastly husband and his shameless parents.

I learned about the bad news on the afternoon of July 6.  The mobile phone rang and it was a high school classmate whom I had not communicated with for a while.

"Hi, how did you find the time to call me?  Ha ha ..."

"I want to tell you something.  Tiantian, she ..."

"Ha, I know, Tiantian had a baby.  A daughter.  Are you asking me to go with you to visit her?  Ha, I went a few days ago.  The baby is so beautiful ..."

"No.  Something happened to Tiantian ... she killed herself by leaping out of a building!"

"What?  What are you saying?  Are you mistaken?  How can this be?  How can this be?  Why???"

"Her mother-in-law hates her for giving birth to a daughter and not a son.  She pressured her until she died ... the body will be cremated tomorrow.  If you have the time, please come.  We will be escorting her on her final journey.  It will be at the XXX public cemetery.  We will wait for you there."

I hung up the telephone.  I remained stunned for some time: Is this true?  Is this true?  I saw her on June 24.  A few days later, she is no longer alive?  I started to cry!

Another classmate was on QQ and I told her the news.  Her response was just as strong as mine.  We were both shocked by the news.  I opened the computer file of things related to Tiantian.  There were many photographs that she sent to me.  I picked the best one and I forwarded them to my classmates: "For your memory ..."

After work, I went home and I could not eat anything.  I laid down alone on the sofa and I thought about Tiantian and all the little things about her.  I brought back the chat session history and I read it over and over again.  I looked at her photographs, her QQ icon, her SMS to me, her mobile telephone number ... I just stared at these things.  I felt that she was still here, and not far away from me.

On June 19, Tiantian gave birth to a baby.  On the weekend of June 24, I went to visit her at the hospital.  At the time, Tiantian was in great shape.  Her face was filled with happiness.  Her husband was there.  He was very happy as he played and spoke to the baby and he was changing diapers in an expert fashion.

When I saw that warm scene, I was moved and I was genuinely happy for them.  As I was leaving, Tiantian told me:

"Thank you for coming to see me!"

"You don't have to thank me.  When you go back to City H, I won't be able to see you.  You should send me more photos of you and your baby."

"Don't worry.  I definitely will!"

I did not know that this was my final meeting with Tiantian.  Ten days later, we were separated by life and death.

After a long and sleepless night, I got up early and went to the funeral parlor.  On the way, my heart was still aching and my hands were trembling.  When I got there, I saw that my classmates were already there.  When I saw them, my tears began to flow.  But when I listened to my classmates tell me what happened, my sorrow turned into anger.

Tiantian and her husband live in City H.  In order to have the baby, Tiantian gave up her job and returned to her home town while she waited the birth at her parent's home.  Over here, our custom is for the new mother to go first to the parents-in-law's home for the first month after birth and then back to her own parent's home afterwards.  Although this is a tradition, many families do not follow it.  Tiantian's parents-in-law live in a rural village outside this city.  Although their conditions were not good, Tiantian did not mind in spite of the fact that she was brought up in the city.  The nice and kind Tiantian and her parents decided to respect her husband's family and so she went there.  But her parents-in-law did not appreciate that.  It is hard to imagine that in the twenty-first century, there are still people stupid enough to prefer boys over girls!!  The husband's family had no love for this cute newborn baby.  Instead, the mother-in-law said, "The child is so small!  Could it be sick?"  Small?  Is 2.75 kilograms small?  The doctors and nurses at the hospital loved this baby, which was then considered sick by the mother-in-law?  Anyway, Tiantian's husband returned to City H to continue to work, while Tiantian and the baby stayed behind.

Over here, the daytime temperature is around 35 degrees in the summer.  The in-law's gave Tiantian and the baby the worst possible room in the house facing west.  The house did not have good ventilation, so it was suffocatingly hot.  The in-laws did not even want to use any electricity, so there was no air-conditioning.  This kind of condition was harsh enough for anyone, and all the more so for a new mother and her baby.  There were mosquitoes in the countryside, but the mother-in-law would not even give Tiantian any mosquito repellents, so that Tiatian had bitemarks all over her body.  That was about the living conditions.  As for the food, it was worse.  Generally, they eat vegetables in the rural area and the in-laws made no consideration that Tiantian needed better nutrition after having just given birth.  Even the eggs were aged yellowish.  While it is true that the in-laws were not well-off, Tiantian's husband earns 7,000 RMB per month and he sends money back home regularly.  So it was not the case that the in-laws were poor.  Rather, they did not want to spend the money on Tiantian.

Material deprivation is one thing, but the mental cruelty was the worst.  The in-laws did not have the simplicity of peasants; rather, they were sacarstic and acrimonious and made it intolerable for Tiantian.  Finally, Tiantian had to call her father and said that she wanted to come home.  Anyone with any commonsense would know that after delivering a baby, the new mother undergoes hormonal changes and may suffer from post partum depression unless she is well taken care of.

Tiantian's family brought her and her baby back home and they discovered that she was in very bad mental shape.  So they took her to a psychiatric hospital for examination.  The diagnosis was shocking.  Tiantian not only had a case of post partum depression, but she also had a mild case of schizophrenia after many days of mental torture.  The doctor thought that the case was serious, and had to prescribe medicine even though Tiantian was still nursing.  What crime did Tiantian commit to deserve this?  Tiantian was strong and she held on.  At this time, the husband who said that he loved her refused to come back after he was told what happened.  He came up various excuses.  Maybe he was influenced by his family's attitudes, maybe ... the reasons are unknown.  Anyway, Tiantian's husband was much colder towards her.  

Finally, on July 2, after repeated requests from Tiantian, the husband returned.  But on that night, this man turned into a beast and he committed marital rape against Tiantian, who had just delivered a baby fourteen days ago and was still bleeding.  Heavens!  Why did Tiantian have to suffer the pain?  Everyone with any sense would know that this was extremely dangerous and could cause her life!  The next morning, the husband left and the heartbroken Tiantian was left to show the bloodied napkin and underpants to her mother and cried: "Mom, he wants me to die.  He does not want me to live ...!"  From there on, Tiantian's mental condition deteriorated.  That day, her husband telephoned again and they had a quarrel.  After hanging up the telephone, Tiantian climbed out of the window of the home and leaped down five stories to her death.  When she fell to the ground, she broke a rib which punctured her lung.  This was how she ended her 30 years of life.

Tiantian ... how can I call you to come back?  You were too silly.  This man was not worth it!!  The baby was amazingly quiet that day and did not cry.  Perhaps she knew what happened.  Poor baby!

Next, there was the funeral.  Tiantian's family was just as nice as Tiantian.  The agreement was that the expenses would be shared 50/50.  But the husband's side made a demand: the child must be returned to them or else they won't give a cent.  After serious consideration, Tiantian's family agreed to return the child to the husband but they did it one day later than what the husband demanded.  So the husband's family said that since the child was returned one day late, they would deduct 9,000 RMB from their share.  That is to say, the one day delay meant 9,000 RMB.  Heavens!  What kind of logic is this?  What kind of national law is this?  Since Tiantian's family is already heartbroken with the loss of the daughter, they refused to accept this unreasonble demand.  By this time, it was July 5, the day of Tiantian's funeral.  The farewell ritual was to be held on the morning of July 5 and then the cremation was to follow.  The husband's family then said, "No cremation, because the money issue has not yet been settled."

So Tiantian's family backed off and delayed the funeral until July 7.  On account of this delay, I was able to see Tiantian for the last time and accompany her on her final journey.  Thanks to the shamelessness of the husband's family, the poor Tiantian had to be kept in the cold hallway instead of being interred.

Before the farewell ceremony began, we stood from afar and watched Tiantian's beastly husband from afar.  I wanted to use the most evil spell to curse him but what good is that?  I am not a witch and I don't have magical powers!  At that moment, he was standing here cross-eyed and puffing on a cigarette.  He looked like a hooligan.  I found it hard to believe that this person was the same one whom I saw at the hospital.  Could he have a split personality?

Tiantian, who knows how much you suffered!?  You never said a word to your family or friends.  We only found out about your misfortunes from your diary after you left us.  You must choose the right husband in your next life, or perhaps you should choose not to be a woman.

The master of ceremony then announced that the farewell ceremony would began.  After the moment of silence, the relatives gave some speeches.  Tiantian's shameless husband got up there and he cried.  But no one sympathesized with him.  Every word of his pained our ears.  When he said, "Tiantian, I love you," some male classmates finally could not stand this ugly show and went up to drag him off.  How dare this murderer say something like that at this time!

Then Tiantian's father went up to the microphone.  We all know how Tiantian's father felt about his daughter.  He got this daughter when he was middle-aged, so he loved her perhaps to excess.  When we were in school, we often made fun of Tiantian: "Tiantian, your dad has come to school to look for you again!"  Notwithstanding Tiantian's pout and apparent anger, her dad was just happy to be there until she graduated from university.

Tiantian's father was surprisingly clam and did not shed any tears.  I think that this was the other way of expressing human sorrow, as when tears were no longer adequate.  "Tiantian, my daughter, your dad is not crying today.  Your dad's tears have flowed dry.  Your dad knows that your death was wrongful because it was caused by Shen XXXXXXXX.  You can go in peace, because your dad will get you justice no matter what!"  When he reached this point, the husband's family was riled up and they came up and dragged Tiantian's father away from the microphone.  They also warned him to watch what he said.  At this time, we held back again and again.  Tiantian's brother then went up to say a few words while trying to avoid more conflict.  That was how the ceremony ended.

So everybody lined up and slowly walked past to view Tiantian for the last time in the company of funeral music.  Poor Tiantian lied there, surrounded by fresh flowers.  She looked as pretty as when she was alive.  "Are you asleep?  When will you wake up?  Right now, I am close to you.  I am right next to you.  Less than one meter away.  But I can't touch you, because we belong to different worlds.  My heart aches.  The pain is unbearable."

Then everybody returned to the front.  At that moment, a classmate who was as grief-striken as I was charged in front of Tiantian's beastly husband and gave him a slap in the face.  But the husband's family seemed to have come prepared, and they immediately charged our side.  We were no good at fighting.  After a melee, my classmates had their clothes ripped and torn and one denim shirt showed four scratch marks as if made by a wolf.  From the husband's family, the men used their hands to hit people while the women cursed with the most foul language.  Nothing could be uglier in people.

Afterwards, the husband's family rejected cremation once more.  The reason was that they were assaulted and they wanted justice first.  The husband's family dialed 120 and got an ambulance.  The whole family piled into the ambulance to seek treatment at the hospital.  Before leaving, the beast told the people from the funeral parlor: "You will be held responsible if you allow the cremation!"  Then they left.  In truth, nobody in their family was injured.

So we were left waiting in anxiety.  The procedure for cremation had been completed, but the funeral parlor refused to cremate without the approval of the husband of the deceased.  They could not cope with the responsibility in the event of a problem.  Tiantian, so will you have to go back into the cold hallway again?  You look at the husband who claims to love you.  What does he think you are?  Now that you who is longer breathing has become his chip to coerce your family and friends who genuinely loves you!!

After waiting for two hours, the husband's family was still not heard from.  Tiantian's photograph remained in the mourning hall.  Her smile was still as sweet as ever ...

As noted in Information Times (via MediaChina.net), there was a tremendous follow-up to this forum post.  Apart from the obvious condemnations, there was also a remarkable effort to track down the principals.  

For example, the following have been published (note: the x's were used to block out already published information).

Name of deceased: Tian xxxxxx
Academic record: 1990 entered Zhenjiang Number xxxx Middle School Third Grade, Class Six
1993 entered High School, Class 2 (science)
1996 entered Jiangsu University majoring in International Economic Laws, School of Law.

Name of husband of deceased: Shen xxxxxxxx
ID: 133448xx
Home phone: 0215025xxxx
Mobile phone: 1302212xxxx
Employer: Shanghai Medical xxxxxxxxxx
Address: Shanghai, xxxxxxxx Road, 10th Lane, 1st Sidelane, Number 30, Unit 601 (Postal code 201206)
Email: tianxxxxxx@hotmail.com
Parents home number: 0511-456xxxx

Once again, this brings up the issue of the power of netizens to invade privacy and expose personal details.  The forum post was a one-sided presentation whose veracity cannot be ascertained.  It was written in a way that was designed to inflame, and it did serve that purpose.  Is this inciting mob violence?