img source: http://www.apa.org/Images/death-title-image_tcm7-187855.jpg
Despedida parties. Farewell parties. Graduation rites. Send-off gatherings. They all serve to formally mark an end. Thank God, most of my goodbyes have been made by one or two of those. They make departure seem appropriate – and wash away some guilt related to it should there be any – provide opportunities for last words to be said and impressions to be made; otherwise, one just holds one’s piece forever. That’s the kind of goodbye that haunts. For some goodbyes like death are permanent. And it’s harder for one who believes that the dead can no longer hear and I noticed that those who believe otherwise, take for granted the chances of saying kind words to someone while he is still living and find convenience and ease in postponing it until he is dead. Death alone is depressing – and more so if one is unceremoniously confronted with it as if death is a mere occasion, an item in a to-do list or a chore. But maybe it is and it’s just me.
But if I had one wish to make, I’d wish to have the power to postpone – even for a few days or months till I am ready for – the death of a loved one. Tell him how much I appreciated the motorcycle rides to school, the pancit niwang, ginisang talong, the candies and all the sweet nothings that makes me say wow I matter in this world and I am worth one’s time. I remember my uncle who died years ago and I had to fly home for his funeral. He didn’t get to hear my thank-yous and my sorries.
I do not despise death by itself – but the issues that come with it. I envy the dead, at times for they are spare of those. But it is the living – it is me that is left to reflect, to be confronted by the reality of loss once again. Surprised by its occurrence as if I am special enough to be spared by its ugliness. My uncle just died. Death is indeed real.