A Retelling of Life

Of Life and Death


“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”Revelation 21:4

 

This afternoon, I was at a funeral of my colleague’s 25 year old daughter.  Tonight, I just received word that the brother of one of my closest friends, who’s not even 30, passed on too.  How are we to make sense of such untimely deaths? What can you say to the loved ones they left behind, when you know the awful truth, that no words can make the pain of loss, go away?

A few years ago, I lost a very good friend of mine.  He was 32 at the time he left us.  Even now, the loss of him is as real as it was then.

He was my own personal cheerleader.  In college, he along with another “mentor” encouraged me to come out of my shell [I was a bit shy then, a little introverted, uncomfortable in the presence strangers (especially boys! I blame my “all girls HS” for this blight in my personality :D], got me to embrace the “Manang Pech” in me and led me to fall in love with KAUSAP (Kausa sa Pag-hiliusa kag Pag-alagad Students’ Alliance for Progress).  KAUSAP–now, that is a chapter worthy of a separate blog.

In law school, he would accompany me at the Buildings and Grounds canteen during those moments when I needed to clear my head (And I had a lot of those, mind you.)  There, with the Manongs and Manangs, I would chat with him about my dreams and aspirations.

Later on, when I began practicing law, he would send me inspirational emails and songs to remind me to continue working towards the bigger picture.  He inspired me to want to make a difference, to use my profession to create a better world, one day at a time.  (This, is something I’m still working on though.)

I miss him still.  I wish he’d witnessed my wedding.  I remember the first time he met hubby..he took hubby aside and told him to take care of me.  I remember him giving me a subtle nod to signify his approval afterward.  Indeed, he is the older brother I never had and I will forever miss him.

But I know he is with me always, for his memories live in my heart.

She is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her only that she is gone,
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins

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