What else ends when a man dies in a bus accident?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This man from China died in a bus accident recently. His family at home faces deep poverty, so he came to America to hopefully earn a better life. He spent $75,000 to get smuggled into the USA. One assumes he would have paid that off with time, but he was here only 3 years, and now he is dead.

The task was a group undertaking, with all his closest relatives appealing for loans from everyone they knew. Ms. Wang said she herself raised more than half the amount he needed. It took her more than a month. “You borrow $1,500 from one person, another $3,000 from another person,” she said. “One by one.”

Mr. Wang’s wife with their daughter and newborn son. Since the couple already had a child, another one was forbidden under Chinese law.

Until the mid-1990s, many Chinese were smuggled into the United States in large ships, hundreds at a time. But in the face of crackdowns, smugglers began developing other methods and routes, and in recent years, officials say, most Chinese have been smuggled into the country in small groups or individually, often by way of Latin America or the Caribbean, many across the Mexican border.

Mr. Wang set off in late January 2008, leaving behind his daughter and pregnant wife. There was no going-away party, no ceremony, his sister said. He just said goodbye and was gone. His friends and family said they did not know what route he took — he had never told them, and they had never asked.