R.B

R.B. is a homemaker who lives in Massachusetts. She was born March 22, 1938, to a middle-class family in Kien Svay, Kandal Province. She was the oldest child in a family of four. She completed primary school. Her mother arranged her marriage for her. Her husband died under the Khmer Rouge.

 

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"At the time when all of those members of my family die, I was grief stricken, There was an old man who told me: 'Child, don't grieve too much. When you are so grieved, you may die and leave your small children behind.' I then tried to suppress my sorrow gradually and followed his advice. Every time I was really grieved, I went to sit alone under a tree, and he, the old man, saw that I was grieving so much, so he held my hand and led me back to my hut and said to me: 'Please don't grieve too much; if you grieve too much all your small children will die. If you died too, all your small children will certainly suffer tremendously. Please try to forget.' I then tried to follow his advice and forget. I thought that the old man was speaking the truth; besides my children were still small. If I had died my children would have suffered."

"Before my husband passed away, he called out to see me. He told our son to go fetch me because he did not think that he would live very long: 'Go fetch your mother; I am not going to live.' He had our son go and get me. At that time, he was near death. When I came to him he took my hand to stroke his face, and he passed away. After he died, the medical staff took his body to bury it. When they buried him I covered his body with a beautiful blanket which I bought during a more peaceful time. I still had this decent looking blanket left and I covered his body with it; I also dressed him up with pants and a shirt. When the communist buried him, they unwrapped the blanket from his body and took it away along with his clothes. All he had left was to wear was a Kramaa (a scarf)."