Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dead Topic

A close colleague and friend was recently diagnosed as having stage-3 cancer. That’s akin to saying: “Sorry, you’ve been voted out of the Big Brother house. You have several hours to prepare your things.”

Death is never an easy thing to face. Fortunately for me I’m at an age wherein I’ve had several encounters with Mr. Death up close.

When I was in 3rd year high school my grandmother died a day after Christmas; she was 93 already and having conversations with people long dead. But a day after she kicked the bucket, my four-year-old brother followed her to the afterlife in a sudden cardiac arrest due to a virus in his kidney. The old folks rationalized his death by saying we now have an angel in the family and that my brother followed my lola so that she’ll have a companion on their way to heaven. Whatever.

Then when I was in first year college my best friend got intimate with a taxicab while he was crossing Quezon Avenue in front of Sto. Domingo Church. In front of a church! He died a few minutes after being brought to a nearby hospital. Both of his legs were broken in several places and his head had smashed through the windshield; if he had survived he’d probably not be able to walk or talk at all.

When I was in my first agency one of my closest friends was a fellow writer whose boyfriend was also a close friend and my AE. She would drag me to Greenbelt during her lunchtime shopping sprees; I often end up carrying her shopping bags. She and her boyfriend would invite me on their out-of-town beach trips; I was their “legitimate excuse” so that her parents will allow her to go on long trips with her boyfriend. They eventually got married and moved out of the country when he was assigned to Malaysia. There she gave birth to two kids one after the other. After her second child, she was diagnosed with cancer. She died without seeing her any of her wonderful kids go beyond toddler age.

That’s really part of growing old; you get to rub elbows with Death more often. So you have to figure out how to cope with Death. And the way I look at it is that Death is very much a part of Life. The moment we’re conceived in our mother’s womb, our countdown to Death begins. Also, for some people they’d rather that Death pays them a surprise visit. Then there are those who are lucky enough to be told when their deadlines are, so that gives them time to prioritize their remaining time.

In the end it’s really the quality, not quantity, of time spent with your life that will matter the most.

Haaay. Tama na si Death, masyado na ang exposure niya dito sa McVie Show. Hindi siya fun. Next episode, please.

"Fortunately for me I’m at an age wherein I’ve had several encounters with Mr. Death up close."
A little misleading :) at first i thought you meant YOUR personal encounters, ie you've cheated death many times already
Im sorry to hear about your friend/colleague. Its a sad fact but death is really, like what you said, a part of our lives...With regards to what is "better" way to die, I'm not sure if I prefer the fast way (you're evicted from the Big Brother House then the floor opens up under you) or the more serene way (you're evicted from the Big Brother house, you have 30 minutes to pack your bags and say your goodbyes).
Ahh death. Bakit ba sikat siya ngayon. Hehehe.
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