Families Of Two Slain USC Students Grapple With Grief
“I couldn’t believe it was true when I first received the call informing me that my daughter might be killed in a murder,” her father Wu Yongxin, a local policeman told the reporter. “I felt like it was such a big sky and the accident was like a single drop of rain. Why did it fall on her?”
But her father tried his best to be strong. “Otherwise, I was not able to bring her mom back home.” Wu’s parents went to Los Angeles immediately after her identity was confirmed.
In the funeral home where they saw Wu’s body, her parents touched her hand as if she were just sleeping. “I held her head and called her again and again, with all my strength. I wanted her to answer me. I wish so badly that she was still alive.“
Wu’s father said she was always a sweet but also naughty daughter. When the Chinese reporter asked what she was like at home with him, he said, “She was in charge. I would follow any order she made. Even after she went to college, sometimes she sat on my lap while watching TV.”
Wu and her parents talked online regularly about life in the U.S. During their conversation April 1, Wu asked her parents if it was ok to bring a friend home this summer.
“I said we would welcome any one of your friends,“ Wu’s father recalled. “In the end, her mom asked whether it was boy or a girl. She said a boy.“
Wu typed "Qu Ming" on the screen. It was the first time she mentioned the boy to her parents.
On Sunday, mothers all over the world woke up to blessings and appreciation from their children for Mother’s Day. But Qu Ming’s mother no longer has the chance to hear from her son. Instead, she writes a letter to her beloved 23-year-old son whose life ended unexpectedly in a foreign country.
“Dear son, how are you in the heaven?” reads the letter, broadcast on CCTV. “Your grandma and grandpa are still waiting for you to come home for the summer break. I told them you can’t make it because you find a security clearance job in the U.S. and will not come home for a couple of years. I’m sorry my son, I have to lie to them. They are too old to handle the truth.”
Qu’s mother went onto ask about his girlfriend, whom she never got to meet. “How is Wu Ying, dear son? We were so happy to know that you found your Ms. Right. Your dad and I had a complete plan of how to receive her when you bring her back home, including what to give her as a present, where to take you for a tour. We even talked about your marriage and how to educate our grandchildren.”
Qu’s mother never thought that wedding would end up happening just before funeral proceedings for the new couple. Close friends invited to the funeral were surprised at first when they saw the wedding cake.
“Qu’s mother asked for our approval to the wedding,” Wu’s father told CCTV. “She said the two young people were seriously in love with each other. They were not born on the day but died on the same time. Let’s make the decision for them.”
During the ceremony, the parents exchanged rings on behalf of their children, putting them on Wu and Qu’s fingers. Attendees said they thought it might be something of a comfort for the grieving families.
“At least they could live happily ever after in the heaven,” one of Wu’s friends who chose to remain anonymous said.
Wu and Qu were killed just a month after officially starting to date, though they’d known each other for more than a year. Wu was Qu’s first girlfriend.
“Before he went broad, Qu had never been in a relationship. I could feel that Wu changed him a lot,” Wang Li, Qu’s good friend told CCTV. “He is an introvert. But his love of Wu is strong. That’s the only thing making me feel better. At least he met The One in his life.”
Yang Biao, another of Qu’s friends who spoke at the memorial service, was also interviewed by CCTV. He remembered Qu told him Wu was very nice and put herself in others’ shoes. Wu said he liked to hear her sing.
“Qu was always very happy talking about Wu,” Yang said. “Even trivial things would put smiles on his face without himself noticing it.”
Wu’s friend Ye Jing said the same thing. “There was another time when Wu cooked chicken legs for us. I thought it was just so-so,” Ye said. “But Qu felt they were so delicious that he had six of them. “
Friends of both of the students back home said they’re still grappling with the loss.
“I started to recover recently,” said Wang Xi, Qu’s best friend. “I’ll just tell myself that they have settled in the U.S. and will never return. Life there is much better. I should be happy for them.“
But their sadness may be incomparable to that of Wu and Qu’s parents. “Your friends sent me messages and flowers for the Mother’s Day,” Qu’s mother wrote in her letter. “But my son, I want to see you playing the piano, writing the calligraphy for us again. Or just give me the chance to hold your face and look at it.” At the end of the letter, she posed a question:
“When will the justice be done for my son?”
Reach Contributor Corrina Liu here.