Friday, September 7, 2012

Death and the Maiden

Roll The Dice of Life

Our block was really sad that one of our classmates have passed away due to breast cancer. This classmate of ours whom I'll always remember as quiet and thoughtful. Even if you're not part of her clique, you can ask her for notes and would never ever say anything sarcastically to you just because you forgot to take notes or you were just lazy to write things. I don't even recall that she has some rifts with our classmates too.

I remember talking to her about her plans once she got her masteral degree in guidance and counseling. She told me she wanted to start a school geared for children with special needs. We even compared notes on our post-grad since I'm taking up Industrial Psych while she took SPED/Guidance and Counseling and we're in different schools.

There's an old saying that those who are good are the ones who are taken away first. I'm not sure if such statement was made out of compliment or to appease the loss of those who were left behind. Our initial reaction was sad on the possibilities that this classmate of ours could have achieve if she lived longer.

Her wake was not gloomy. Not at all. When we attended her wake, we communicated to her as if she's still here. We told her that finally we were able to find the copy of the video of our block's most loved and famous theatrical performance. The block also  reminisced our college years. For a few hours, we talked about the struggles, triumphs and the funny moments we all had in our Alma Mater. Her family would also join our discussion after they had assisted the other guests. Before we left, we said a prayer for her.
In my heart, I thanked her for being a good classmate. I also told her that even if we belong to different groups, it seems she gave us all an opportunity to visit her one last time. Even her classmates from elem/HS were there. Her wake fell on a Philippine Holiday.

A few weeks after the death of my classmate, one of our former employees died. Though this time, it was from a congenital heart disease. What breaks my heart more is that she was pregnant. She died in Singapore and her body was moved back here in the Philippines.

The last time that I spoke to her was around last week of May. She thought I was still in Singapore and would like to meet up. I told her I was there last April but might be visiting around November if I still have some VLs left. She fondly calls me "Ninang" because I was the proxy of my manager (who's really their ninang (godmother) for the wedding). I'll always remember what stated in their wedding invitation: We feel so blessed in our lives that we prefer that you give to our brothers and sisters who are in need.
Who would have thought she'll leave everyone before she reached her 2nd wedding anniversary? :(

When I attended her wake, you can feel the love of the people for her. Her friends and classmates from elementary up to college were there at the wake. If I rem it right, she has worked for 2 companies here in the Philippines before moving to Singapore (1 is with a leading telco company here and the other is with our company).  The big bosses of that PH telco company and some representatives from her Alma Mater were present too. I've observed that her parents especially her mom really get strength from those people who have come up to tell good things about their late daughter.

We tend to relate death = old age. But when Death claims 2 young lives especially with the same range as you are, we all ponder about their current status, their dreams, potentials and what they could have been if they have lived longer. I never thought 2 of my friends will leave so soon.

But more than the reality that death could take anyone in an instant, I realized that how people perceived you when you were still alive, it will be magnified when you're dead.

I remember one story I read about a certain politican/judge in Cavite. That person was known to have a mean temper that it could top a certain female senator's outbursts. There were also rumors that he's corrupt. When he died, no one from his political party attended his wake/funeral. No one even claimed to be friends with him. He was known to be a bad person and up until his death, people still see him that way. That's just sad, ne?

As for my two friends who have passed away: your journey with us was cut short but I was glad I was able to hang-out with you both when you are still here. Will pray for your family's strength. I know they miss you.

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