BANGKOK — Hours after the death of His Majesty the King Bhumibol was announced Thursday evening, many despairing Thais remained at Siriraj Hospital to mourn.
Many held out hope of a miracle involving world’s longest reigning monarch, who was idolized by many as a father and role model. Scores of people offered their last thoughts and prayed for him, while others sang outside the hospital where Bhumibol spent most of the last seven years.
I believe in miracles. I shout so that both the King and the angel of death will hear me and let him come back to us. He wants to be with us. He said he would stay until he was 120 years old.
– Sukrit Thanaboonsombat, 46
I no longer want to do anything else in my life. I didn’t prepare for this. He wasn’t even 90 years old. I will sit right here until he walks down.
– Malee Siriphan, 51
I still don’t know what to do next. I heard rumors, but I didn’t believe them. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t handle it, and I don’t think anyone can.
– Thanitsorn Juntim, 56
I’d die for him. If you asked me. The devil is mean. He couldn’t have waited another two months for his birthday? You can go ask the other millions people out there, who like me would die for him too.
– Winai Somcheentet, 55
I’m waiting for a miracle.
– Kanha Chumchaiyaphruek, 56
I can’t see anything, but I just want to sit here for a while. I just love him so much. The King is our father, is our everything. I knew this would happen someday, but I didn’t expect it to be this fast.
– Ploynapas Uthaijam, 32
Video Sasiwan Mokkhasen. Photos, additional reporting Chayanit Itthipongmaetee. Additional writing Lobsang Dundup Sherpa Subirana