Monday, May 19, 2008

Angel of Death

The cool voice of the premier wordplayer Jason Mraz swifted serenely and slowly inside my room as the warmth of the morning sun penetrate through the thin layer of clouds up the sky and into my room that has been left cold by the strong gusts of Cosme, a tropical storm, last night. I savoured every moment of it as the crickets and birds blasted in unison outside my window in response to the chick radio station making noise in the middle of the morning.

I listened quietly as I let the sounds enter my mind, my body and my very soul. I lay flat in bed. And that very moment gave me the opportunity to meditate and think deeply about the news that struck us yesterday.

It came through a text message and it left my mom shedding tears for some time.

A second cousin from the spindle side of the family died of aneurysm yesterday morning. Lola Chayong (my mom's cousin), fought for her son's life as she decided to let him take a very crucial operation in the brain that can only end up either in coma or in death. The chances are very little but she nonetheless took the risk. But life surely is cruel. The Angel of Death took him anyway. All I can say to comfort my mother, as we walk home from church yesterday, which has become a cliche during such occasion, was that maybe it really was his time to go.

I don't hate Death. I fully understand that it played a very important role in the cycle of human existence. I just don't like news of deaths. I mean the way it managed to break every strong and whole heart; the way it kills a smile into a frown; the way it makes people cry in regret and remorse; and the way it leaves an empty space in every man's soul.

The last burial I attended to was of my aunt. My cousins and other closest relatives just can't take it. Oh, I can never forget the images I saw from that inevitable occasion. A gloomy atmosphere in an oppressive silence engulfed everyone. Everybody was in tears. Some gasping for air; another aunt shouting in great pain while an uncle is comforting her; a cousin in a corner, quietly reliving moments as tears ran down his cheeks as both hands held a faded brass bracelet; old women in black and yet more relatives in black. It was all too overwhelming.

My mom is planning to attend the burial. I don't know if I will ever come to see such images again. But maybe not for I am too afraid to witness one.

I was never close to that deceased second cousin of mine. In fact, I can't even remember his face nor even knew he ever existed. That explains why I don't even felt sad or remorseful. But that also hints that I have to pay a close attention on my family tree and the generation that came before mine.

The Angel of Death came and took another one again. The news forcefully moved me to turn around to have a look on what I've been doing lately in my life and to look forward to what I still can do or accomplish with the rest of the time I have left. I do have a chance to live. But am I making a good use of it? I can't believe there are so many little things in life I'm not even aware I'm taking for granted of. I can now see that every morning is an opportunity and that every breath is a chance.

I dedicate this post to Kuya Allen whom I don't even remember. He died young but I guess that was what had God really intended for him. Now, I just can't stand the thought that while I'm here in my room waiting for the next song to start on the radio, my loved ones are weeping for once again.

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