The thing about death


This post might be timely at the moment since it’s halloween but truth be told, I had this post planned for a very long time now, it has been sitting on my to-do list longer than it should.

It is not suppose to be a scary, horrifying article. I needed this to be real and raw and courageous because recently I’m having bad episodes of sleepless nights coupled with anxiety attacks that dooms me emotionally. On basic nights, I would go lie down to sleep and then bam! it hits me “what will I do if my mother or any of my family dies? since it’s inevitable and that all people die sooner or later. Time is going so fast, everybody is getting old and I will soon find out about their demise and it would be awful. How would I bury them? How dragging it must feel, how helpless. One by one, and then it would be my turn…”

Am I the only insane person overanalyzing this? Does anybody feel this way?

I don’t have any idea but I do know that anxiety disorders and panic attacks are real and it’s a different experience for everybody. For me, it’s the impending feeling of helplessness and fast heartbeat every night. I often wonder if I’m already loosing my mind slowly, but then thank God, the morning comes.

Maybe this has something to do with the death of my father. We lost him 12 years ago. I know, it has been that long but I have never forgotten that fateful day. The day I prayed to God to take him away to once and for all end his suffering and 5 minutes later I got called to be with him in his deathbed because it was time. I don’t believe one really gets over a painful loss of a loved one. I believe we just get to a point of acceptance and learn, live and get used with the absence.

If I am to be asked here and now, what I would do if someone I love dies at this very moment? I’d say I would still feel, react and grieve like a child, they way I did when my father died. I will never get used to the feeling of loosing someone permanently. Just as I will always feel traumatized everytime I enter a premise of any hospital and the dread of sending off dead bodies to the cemetery. It will always be that same old feeling.

Two years ago, I lost a beloved cousin to the same fate as my father. This time instead of a slow blow, it hurdled abruptly leaving all of us bewildered in utter grief. She had such a long life ahead or so we thought. But death took her in a manner that we never prepared for. You know what the worst part is? I think being left behind is the worse than actually dying. It is the living who has to deal with the absence.
I grieve because I am scared I will forget the person. And forgetting is the worst kind of all. There is too much happiness and memories, too much love I cannot let go. Maybe that’s why I cry every time a memory of my father comes up. I can’t help myself. I don’t hold it in either. Because it means “I’m not forgetting”. They become immortalized in my tears. They are remembered. They are still a part of my existence no matter what.

But maybe, it is also teaching me how to live. Those overarching, inevitable feeling of fear are meant to push me not to waste my life in any way. To reassure the people in my life that I need to tell them how much I love them and that I need to be with them from time to time. Even if it involves chaotic and tangled messy relationships. It is not perfect but it is necessary.


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