Jade Bangle Of The Dead 死者的玉手镯
Abstract: How do you take out a jade bangle stuck on the wrist of a person who died recently? Below is a true account of a friend of mine who took out a bangle from her mother who passed away. It bothers on the supernatural but it did happen. As much as a person who wishes to possess a jade piece, the jade piece would also be seeking the rightful owner.
摘要 : 你怎么样把最近去世了的人卡在他/她手腕上的翡翠手镯拿出来？以下是我的一位朋友, 他从去世的母亲那里拿出手镯的真实故事. 它卷入到超自然现象，但确实发生了. 就像一个想要拥有玉器的人一样，玉器也会寻找它们合适的主人.
A Frantic Phone Call
A few months back I received a frantic phone call in the wee hours of the morning. I usually kept my mobile on as late night phone calls were quite usual when the kids were scattered in various parts of the world.
几个月前，我在凌晨收到一个疯狂的来电. 我通常会把手机保持在深夜都能够通话的状态, 因为我的孩子们都分散在世界各地 .
I noticed it was a local call and it was from an old friend who resided in London.
“Hi ! Jasmine” I mumbled, still in my slumbers.
“Arthur! I am dead!” she was quite distraught.
“Hey, you are talking to me, now who is dead? “ I answered, waking up instantaneously. She sounded distressed.
“Oh! My mother passed away yesterday and I flew back immediately with my husband. We were in Singapore then.”
“嗨！ Jasmine ” 我喃喃自语着，仍然在半睡半醒中.
“嘿，你现在在跟我说话，现在谁死了？” 我回答，我也瞬间醒过来了. 她听起来很沮丧.
Jasmine was a family friend and she would not call me at such unearthly hour if it was just to announce the death of her mother. That could come later in more saner hours.
“Oh! I am sorry to hear that. What can I do for you?” I came straight to the point.
“Do you remember the jade bangle on her wrist? The bangle which you said was real jade and it was valuable”
“哦! 我很遗憾听到这个消息, 我能为你做什么？“…我直接地问她.
Examining a Jade Bangle
A few years ago Jasmine took her mother to my shop to examine her jade bangle. At that time she was quite slim and the bangle could slip off her wrist easily. It was a well cut bangle, with well proportion round thickness of about 10mm along the whole rim of the bangle. The color was of spinach green, evenly spread and the texture was of very fine grain. I ran the bangle over my FTIR (Fourier Transform Infra-Red) spectrometer equipment for polymer impregnation and there was no organic compounds present.
It was the Type A natural jadeite jade. This was a fine specimen, worth a lot of money in today’s market for jade.
“Yes, of course I remember that jade bangle.” I replied.
几年前，Jasmine带她的母亲到我店去检查她的翡翠手镯 , 那时她很瘦, 手镯可以轻易的从手腕上滑落下来。这是一个切割的很好的手镯，沿手镯整个边缘的圆形厚度约为10毫米, 颜色为菠菜绿色，均匀分布，质地非常细。我采用我们商店的FTIR（傅里葉轉換紅外光譜）设备运行测试, 这个器材是用来聚合物浸渍的光谱仪，并且查出不存在有机化合物。
Bangle Stuck On The Wrist
Then Jasmine began to narrate her woeful tale, now that she had calmed down. She was very close to her mother and it was a great loss to her. The grief she felt was profound. She was in a self-denial mode, ridden with guilt for not being with her mother when she was taken ill and not being able to bid her the final farewell and witness her passing through this world.
Jasmine had 3 sisters and 2 sister-in-law. She was the second youngest of the siblings. They were all by her mother’s side when she breathed her last. All her mother’s earthly possession of jewelleries had already been bequeathed to each of her sisters and in-laws, except the most valuable bangle on her wrist. Perhaps she may have mentioned in the past that the bangle may go to Jasmine but with the passage of time, it seemed that every woman of the house had laid claim on the bangle and that the mother’s intention was slowly blotted out.
Jasmine有3个姐妹和2个嫂子。 她是兄弟姐妹中第二个最小的。 当她母亲挣扎着最后一口呼吸时，他们全都在母亲身边。她母亲所有的珠宝首饰都已经遗赠给她的每一位姐妹和姐妹夫们….除了这个手腕上最宝贵的手镯之外。过去她母亲都有提到过这个手镯在她死后会传递给Jasmine, 但随着时间的流逝，似乎每个家里的女人都想占据这个昂贵的手镯，而且想让母亲的意图也慢慢被抹去.
Herein lay the problem.
Her mother had put on weight and the bangle was now stuck in her wrist. Immediately upon the declaration of death by the doctor, each of her sister-in-law and two of her sisters had tried to take out the bangle from her wrist, starting with the eldest sister-in-law. Her younger sister refused to touch the bangle. With each passing hour as rigor mortis set in, the task was made more difficult.
当医生宣布死亡后，她的每一位嫂嫂和两位姐妹, 从大嫂开始…都试图从手腕上取出手镯。 她的妹妹拒绝触摸手镯。 随着严谨的考验，每过一小时，任务就变得更加困难。
Jasmine mentioned that there was greed written on the two sister-in-law’s countenance. Each wanted the bangle badly, even when her mother was alive. They oiled her wrist and tried the usual method of placing a thin plastic wrap over the wrist to pull it out, but to no avail.
So I asked Jasmine, “Is her body going to be cremated or to be buried?”
Just as I uttered the alien word of ‘her body’, I felt it strange that I no longer referred her to be her mother, but an object. I meant no disrespect but it was natural that with death a link would be broken unconsciously between the living and the dead.
I quickly apologized, “I mean is your mother going to be cremated or buried?”
“She is to be buried alongside my father at the Nirvana Memorial Park” Jasmine said, without catching onto the nuance of my word.
“Where is your mother’s body now? Has it been placed in the coffin at the Nirvana Memorial Centre for the wake?”
“She died in the house and later in the morning the funeral care people will come and do the needful.” She said.
“This is what you are going to do, Jasmine. Talk to all your siblings and sister-in-law. Tell them that this is the advice from the jade expert. It is not that I am an expert in funeral or in death-care, but I have seen this on a few occasions.” I said. This was the time to speak with authority to a person who had momentarily lost her way.
“And tell them to refrain from crying.” I added further.
Jasmine was all ears now.
“这就是你要做的，Jasmine。 你需要跟你的兄弟姐妹和嫂子他们说, 告诉他们这是玉石专家的建议, 这并不是说我是葬礼或死亡护理专家，但我曾多次看到过有几次这类似的事情。“我说, 现在是时候向一个一度迷失方向的人说话。
A Buddhist’s Thought
I knew the family were Buddhist, but I stopped short of asking her. I explained that it was the belief of most religion that when a person died, the ‘soul’ would still be around for days. The rite of passage into the realm of another world had its own natural progression as when a person died the soul would still be earth bound. Therefore, strange that it might be, the deceased could still leave a legacy on its own when supernatural events happened that may not conform to the principles of earthly physical laws.
In one aspect of a Buddhist’s thought, the ‘soul’ of the deceased having severed its link to the physical body may have yet come to terms that he/she was no more on the earthly plane. The deceased may not go peacefully back to its source or go where it belonged when the ‘soul’ saw the grief and sorrow of his/her loved ones. The final farewell may be too painful.
在佛教思想的一个方面，死者的“灵魂”切断了与肉体的联系，他/她们可能还没有意识到他/她们 已经不再在这尘世了。当“灵魂”看到他/她所爱的人的悲伤和悲伤时，死者可能不能平安地回到源头或去其所属的地方, 即使最后的告别可能太痛苦了。
The days of employing professional mourners, as in many Hong Kong movies, to wail, cry and grief loudly was over. It was more of an ostentatious display to the general public on the filial piety of the living on how much they had loved the deceased during the funeral wake. Modern Buddhist thoughts during a funeral wake were to refrain from crying, so that the deceased could leave peacefully. Most family members could hold back their tears as they were too pre-occupied with the ceremony but once when they were back to the house, the full impact of the loss would come to bear as the deceased would not be there anymore.
雇用专业哀悼者大声哀嚎，哭泣和假装悲伤, 就像许多香港电影一样，这只是要向广大市民炫耀他们在丧葬期间爱过死者的生活孝顺的日子, 这已经结束了。现代葬礼中的佛教思想是不要哭泣，以便死者能够平静地离开。大多数家庭成员可能会因为过于遵守仪式规则而忍住眼泪，但一旦他们回到家中，丧失亲人的影响就会随之而来，因为死者已经不在他们的身边了。
The family members were to be gathered around the death bed of the deceased. They could say their own prayers, according to the belief they held, they could press their palms together in supplication for God’s mercy or perhaps asked for forgiveness from the deceased. The wrist should not be applied with any olive oil or any ointment. Then each of the lady, starting with the eldest sister-in-law, as per Chinese custom that she was the most senior of the ladies of the house, had to give a formal salutation to address her as ‘mother’ as gently as possible and asked for permission to relieve the bangle from her wrist. If it was meant to be, the jade bangle would belong to the lady who could remove it without much force.
家属们聚集在死者的死亡床周围, 根据他们所持的观点，他们可以说自己的祈祷，他们可以一起将他们的手掌压在一起恳求上帝的怜悯，或者请求死者原谅, 手腕不应该用任何橄榄油或任何药膏。然后，每一位女士，从大嫂开始，按照中国的习惯，她是这个家里最地位的女士，正式称呼她尽可能轻柔地称呼她为“母亲” 并要求允许从手腕上解开手镯。如果是这样的话，那翡翠手镯就属于那位可以毫不费力地将其解开的女士, 这便是他们母亲的愿意。
“What if the bangle still remain on her wrist?” Jasmine asked.
“Then let it be buried with her. In later years when your family wishes to intern her body, then the ownership of the property might be decided by fate. The Chinese believes that jade is a living stone, and as much as a person wishes to possess it, the jade would also choose its master.”
“Thank you, Arthur”. With that we ended our conversation.
“就让它和她一起埋葬。 几年后, 当你的家人希望和她「集骨」时，那么这财产的所有权可能由命运决定。 中国人认为玉是一块活石，而且人们希望拥有它，玉石也会选择它的主人。
Jade Bangle Found Its Owner
Jasmine called me again in the morning.
“You wouldn’t believe it, Arthur. My mother gave me the jade bangle. I mean, I took it off her wrist while all others fail.” Jasmine’s voice had a tinge of excitement and bewilderment too.
“It was so strange and mysterious. All of us gather in solemnity around her death bed. My eldest sister-in-law had a first go. It stuck resolutely. My mother’s wrist was stiff and unyielding. My sister-in-law’s hands were trembling as this may be the first time she touched a dead body.” Jasmine continued.
“你不会相信的，Arthur, 我的母亲给了我玉手镯。 我的意思是，当所有其他人都失败时，我把它从手腕上拿下来。“Jasmine的声音也有一丝兴奋和困惑。
“这很奇怪，也很玄妙。 我们所有人都在她死亡的床上聚集在一起。 我的大嫂先尝试了, 我母亲的手腕僵硬不屈, 玉手镯依然紧紧地粘住在她的手腕上。 我的嫂子在尝试时她的手在颤抖，因为这可能是她第一次碰到尸体。“ Jasmine继续说道。
I listened intendedly. It seemed that her two sisters and the second sister-in-law had failed to take out the bangle too. They were hesitant, afraid and perhaps saw a cold stiff body for the first time, and suddenly they did not want the bangle anymore at the prospect of taking something from the dead.
我留意地听着… 看起来，她的两个姐妹和第二个嫂子都不能拿出手镯。 他们犹豫不决，害怕，也许第一次看到了一个僵硬僵硬的身体，突然间他们不再希望得到手镯了, 也不想从死者身上带走任何东西。
“I called my mother and I was fighting hard to hold back my tears. With both hands I held her wrist. And I said softly, ‘Mum, if you wish for me to have this bangle, let me take it out smoothly.’ ” Jasmine said.
“Suddenly I felt my mother’s wrist became soft, though it was still cold. I just pulled on the jade bangle without much force and it slipped off her wrist easily.” Jasmine said.
“我呼唤着我的母亲，我努力试图阻止我的眼泪掉下。 用双手握住她的手腕。 我轻声说：‘妈妈，如果你希望我能得到这个手镯，便让我顺利地拿出来。‘ ”Jasmine说。
“Then as I was holding the jade bangle in my palm, one of my palm was still holding onto her wrist. It became stiff again immediately.” Jasmine continued, and by now she was in sobs.
“Arthur, when I was holding onto the jade bangle on my palms, I burst out crying.”
I was indeed relieved to hear that the bangle had found the owner. Jasmine may have forgotten that when she was at my shop with her mother, her mother intimated to me that she would give this bangle to this daughter of hers. It was a family heirloom, passing down through a few generations. It was always from the mother to the favorite daughter, and had never change hands to any daughter-in-law.
And the last wish of her mother was fulfilled even after her death.
May God’s will be done.
听说手镯找到了主人，我也确感到很欣慰。 Jasmine 可能已经忘记，当她和她的母亲在我的店里时，她的母亲告诉我她会把这个手镯交给她的这个女儿。这是一个传家宝，传下来几代了。 世世代代向来都是从母亲传给她最喜爱的女儿，从来没有传给任何媳妇的。
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