Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today, I am ending my post-Semana Santa hibernation.

I just lost a dear friend that Holy Week for reasons I cannot simply tell you. However, I do want to share with you what I feel in the aftermath.

Although, death, as I have come to accept, is unarguably inevitable, that fact has not lessened the pain of losing a dear friend. In my lifetime, he must be the third most painful death I have to accept. First was very personal, it was my paternal lola. I was an hour too late for her last breath. The second was a girl friend some of you may know, Erika Salang. She died a brutal death in the hands of the 42nd IB in the Bicol Region. And know this.

It made me ponder on death… and life.

Let me share this little tidbit about me, I have this weird habit of reading the Obituary Section, especially so when I am travelling to other parts of the country. I must confess that this habit to browse the bland pages of the national dailies started only when I began to be away from home for long periods. I would browse the national dailies, if there is one available, head for the Obits and scan if someone I knew died.

In the beginning, my fascination started with language. As this region is highly multilingual, the greetings and messages of thanks and condolence are in slightly, if not altogether, different languages. I was enjoying playing detective then, armed with elementary knowledge of iloko, deciphering which word translates into which.

After a while, I started looking at their birthdates and death anniversaries. Some were as ripe as 97 years, while some were only a few months old. Their pictures, which for the old ones usually have two, one from their younger years and the other from recent times, are almost always smiling, or in a playful tone, never sad.

Then it hit me. These people I am reading about ARE actually people. Walking, breathing people before they ended up in the paper I am reading. And I started to wonder how they lived their lives. How they must be missed so much. How must be remembered.

I know this is a bit too early for a blog on All Souls’ Day, but I cannot help it. This is catharthic for me. To write my thoughts, finally, after a mental bog down.
And I realize that Life does go on, even after death. This life may not be yours alone, but Life itself. My dear friend, in the end, you are judged not by God, but by the people you left behind who directly or indirectly benefit from the selfless endeavor you chose to pursue.
And for this, you will remain immortal in our thoughts and forever etched in history. Your brilliant smile will forever be remembered.

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