IT MUST be wonderful to die if in death you would be larger than life. This is Michael Jack-son and Edna Maniquis.

A year after his death, Michael Jackson's imperfect movie, "This is It!" sold more tickets than his concert tour in Europe. It was in this year after he overdosed on Propopol that his genius in music and dance is acknowledged. Indeed, as we look back at all the years with Michael Jackson, he fed us for almost five decades with his kind of songs and his pirouettes. The spindly legs left many young boys enthralled with the grace and agility of the boy turned young man before their eyes.

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I too was transfixed on the news that broke when he was brought to the hospital. Deep inside me I wanted him to live through the emergency, to walk out the doors of the hospital and deliver his promise that this last concert was going to be it.

When the movie did come out, I marveled at the genius and the magnificence of the planned stage productions minus the costumes. It could have been truly awe inspiring to see the fireworks, fog and glitz surround Michael Jackson. The gyrations were not new to the eyes but significantly a template of Michael's brand of entertainment.

The genius is no more but a new genius is born elsewhere.

Recently, Edna Maniquis too, became larger in death. The sweet and soft spoken girl we grew up with at St. Theresa's College had succumbed to cancer of the pancreas. Old folk know her and her piano skills and many remember her beauty and gentle spirit.

We were all hoping to glance at her peaceful face for the last time. She was stingy with her pain. She didn't want anyone to share that experience with other people. Even with her family, she tried her best to spare them of the pitiful state she was in. And they fulfilled her wish that she be remembered in an urn.

Rona perhaps was the one who knew the reasons why she kept her pain to herself. And indeed, she is blessed by God to have prepared herself for the journey to meet her Creator by giving her a deadline on life. Rona says that in the last month, Edna was excited to know what life was like on the other side. She made peace with the situation, she was ready.

But no one is really ready. Tears still flowed from our eyes because as I have always said, we forgot to tell these people that we love something. We forgot to say thank you to her for the company up the hill to SM one time. I forget what we were talking about but I am sure that it was something good about something.

Old friends gathered in the church during the first service and left no pews lonely. When some left, others replaced them. She didn't know that she had so many friends who loved her and will truly miss her.

One wonders if in death, I too will be larger than life as these two people. It is lonely to live but lonelier to die without friends.