Hallow thoughts-A A +A
Saturday, November 2, 2013
I WAS at the Davao Memorial Park the whole day last November 1. It was a hot day and well finding a parking space, as usual, was difficult. By early afternoon, I was sweaty and sticky. Yuck. But it was nice seeing the whole Park filled with people who remembered their love ones.
Surprisingly, the traffic was not as bad as it used to be the previous year. It was busy but there really was more space compared to last year. There were less people too. Maybe it’s because of the torrential rains that flooded the metropolis the previous night. maybe they were anticipating flooding again since weather forecasted said there would be rain.
I liked sitting around and watching people go by my father’s grave. I like watching families share meals, telling stories, just being together to remember their dead. The good thing about being in the Philippines is that come November 1, we observe All Saints Day and All Souls Day not only with halloween trick or treating and parties, we also offer masses and our personal prayers to our dearly departed. In my opinion, it makes the occasion more special than Halloween.
It makes me smile to think how much preparation is put into celebrating this holiday. All the malls have halloween decors and tv shows suddenly become ghoulish and scary! We have our usual roster of blood-curdling scary stories on television; pick any channel and there would at least be one scary movie/episode per day leading up to November 1.
Honestly, I would often be scared around this time. It is that time of year that just seems to almost always capture my scaredy-cat side. Around this time I am usually easier to scare and if I, by any chance, get to watch a scary movie, I will be scared silly that I am almost sure I will not be able to sleep when night comes! But somehow this year, I am surprisingly okay. Hmmm. Why? I don’t know.
I just cannot help but wonder about that dreadful experience of losing somebody you love. When a loved one dies, we are clearly devastated and traumatized. The thought of not being able to spend any more time with the person from that sad day forward just hurts too much. In the three years since my father passed, I have learned that you never really get over losing someone. You just learn to accept, in different degrees, that he is no longer there. I still have days when I wake up and start crying because my first thought of the day was my father. It just brings me back to that time when after he dies, I woke up one morning while everyone else was asleep. My father used to wake up really early and we would normally hear his thunderous voice even when our doors were closed. That time I was walking through the house, there was just deafening silence. The aching emptiness was undeniable that it hurts to breathe. I found it amazing (?) how losing someone could change the way things used to be. We were a family who always tried to eat together during each meal, we were suddenly transformed into the people who ate out.
As a child (and even as an adult), death has been a scary subject. It has been associated with horror and coffins and ghosts. More scary I think, is the fact that you will never see that person again. And if he meant anything to you, it would just feel like your heart had broken in two. When I woke up that morning, I saw this poem by an unknown author on a good friend’s Facebook wall:
The moment that I knew you had died,
My heart split in two,
The one side filled with memories,
The other died with you.
I often lay awake at night,
When the world is fast asleep,
And take a walk down memory lane,
With tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day,
But missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.
I hold you tightly within my heart,
And there you will remain,
Life has gone on without you,
But it never will be the same...
It does pull on one’s heart strings. I became all teary-eyed. It had me at the first paragraph. Sigh. I will never get over losing my father and I really had to accept that I was going to miss him for the rest of my life. I know we all will miss our loved ones. Right?
It just got me to thinking that maybe Death should not be perceived as something scary. After all it is a part of the spectrum of life. When we die and leave this earth, we move on to another plane (hopefully, the plane is celestial, not subterranean hehe). I know it is difficult to think of death as just journeying to an unknown place. The relationships that we have with our loved ones make it hard for us to let go. That being said, I would often think that although we cry and lament over deaths, we cry more for ourselves than for them. I remember asking myself why I was crying when my father died. I told myself that it was because I would never see him again, I would never hear his voice, i would never be able to hug him, etc. In short I would miss him. It is really all I, I, I! When I thought about him, I found solace in the fact that he was in the best place anyone could ever be--a place without sickness, sadness and pain. If we had known deep inside that our loved ones are resting in peace, then why are we crying? Aren’t we crying for ourselves? Hmmm.
Death is part of life. All of us, at some point, will experience it. Kung sa games pa, yan yung level up ng buhay. To be scared of it or not, it really is up to us. What really is more important is that we make our lives count and that we live it to the fullest so that when it is time to go, there will be no regrets and that those who leave behind would have learned valuable lessons from us.
Now, let’s get ready for Christmas!!! Have a Happy Sunday Everyone! :0)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 03, 2013.