“Is he dead?” I asked Mother, who grasped my wrist tight and strode hurriedly.
“Don’t know,” she said. I hoped this was an indication that he wasn’t, despite my belief in Chairman Mao’s teaching that “wherever there is struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence. . . . When we die for the people, it is the right death.” The neighborhood kids and I bellowed these words as a song every day, and I can still sing it now, the last clause a sonorous refrain:
“It is the right death, it is the right death!”
Read the complete essay here: https://agnionline.bu.edu/essay/the-summer-before-thirteen