Explore the remarkable story of Elderly Man Zhu, who had the extraordinary ability to come and go freely between life and death. Discover the implications of his unique power for elderly couples and the intriguing possibilities it presents for the afterlife.
In Zhu Village, Jiyang County, there was an old man named Zhu, who was in his fifties and had passed away due to illness. His family members were in mourning attire when suddenly they heard Zhu shouting urgently. They all rushed to where the coffin was placed and saw that the old man had come back to life. Everyone was overjoyed and went to comfort him. The old man only said to his wife, “When I first left, I was determined not to return to the mortal world. After walking a few miles, I had a second thought. Leaving you, this old body, to our children and grandchildren, relying on others for food and clothing, and living without joy, it’s better to go with me. So I came back, planning to take you with me.” Everyone thought he had just awakened and was talking nonsense, so they didn’t believe him.
The old man repeated himself, and his wife said, “That sounds good, but how can you die again right after coming back to life?” The old man waved his hand and said, “That’s not difficult at all. Go and take care of the household matters.”
His wife smiled and didn’t move, so the old man urged her repeatedly. She went out and delayed for a while before returning to the room, lying to him, “Everything is settled.”
The old man asked her to quickly dress up and put on makeup. His wife hesitated, but the old man urged more urgently. She couldn’t bear to go against his wishes, so she came out neatly dressed. Her daughters-in-law and daughters secretly laughed.
The old man moved his head a little on the pillow and patted it with his hand, telling his wife to lie down. His wife said, “Our children are all here. Both of us lying together in bed, what would that look like?”
The old man pounded the bed and said, “What’s so funny about dying together?”
When the children saw the old man getting impatient, they persuaded his wife to go along with his wishes for the time being. Following the old man’s instructions, his wife shared a pillow with him and lay down stiffly together. When the family members saw this, they all started laughing.
After a while, they noticed that the smile on his wife’s face suddenly disappeared, and she gradually closed her eyes. She remained motionless for a long time, as if she had fallen asleep. Only then did everyone walk over to take a look and found that his wife’s body had already turned cold, and she was no longer breathing. They tried the old man, and he was the same. That’s when everyone became terrified.
In the 21st year of Kangxi’s reign, Zhu’s brother-in-law, while working at the Bisi’s house, recounted this incident in detail.
The chronicler of strange tales said: “Perhaps Old Man Zhu always had peculiar behavior? The road to the afterlife is vast and unfathomable, but he could come and go freely, truly remarkable. Moreover, for elderly couples, the ability to decide to depart together and walk hand in hand is a remarkable ease! When one is on the verge of passing, the most heartbreaking parting is with those dear at one’s bedside. If we could extend Old Man Zhu’s mystical art to others, then concerns like Cao Cao selling his shoes and fragrances on his deathbed to support his wives and concubines would no longer exist.”