Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One death and a thousand more

My grandmother let go of life fom her shriveling body, while death's toll was rising at 200 by night time on the second day since Typhoon "Pablo" made landfall in the provinces of the Davao region.

She had a relief as well as everybody else in the family who had been anticipating her permanent rest rather than suffering, either from a thought of separation from all worldly things or the pain that hid under her fragile skin.

Almost a week had passed and Pablo continued to devour lives and properties, especially in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Authorities reported that as of Tuesday noon, 850 people were killed and nearly a thousand are still missing who might soon increase the count if search and rescue operations failed to save them.

Death comes to us all, subtly or radically.

Losing a beloved brings an unfathomable grief like a conditioned reflex despite the science and philosophy about life and death, despite one's resolve that Death had been waiting at the betrothed doorstep.

My grandma's death was a confirmation of a nagging thought that she would not last.

But, a death that comes swiftly as the strong winds and flash floods and landslides that hit the poor communities without knocking at their doors brings not only sorrow, but also compunction that one does not have to feel for a bed-ridden grandma or a seriously-ill father.

It is a kind of death that is unnecessary, if death could sometimes be a need for the unconventional.

As days moved forward, lost lives reduced to numerals like in counting sheep to draw a sleep. Bodies became objects, non-living things like the rocks, mud and felled trees and ripped houses. And, missing persons became subjects of a hunting game.

No more eulogies nor funerals for them unlike that of my grandma but they're all be buried on the ground and  will become a part of the soil.

No matter how they'd lived and died, death comes to everyone, no matter how, when, and whether or not it's necessary.

And, what matters most then is the life that remains here, and how to resolve the guilt that will surely bother if transformation doesn't follow.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Of storm, death and dying

A storm "Pablo", stronger than last year's Sendong that killed more than a thousand people in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, is expected to hit this town anytime soon.

While everyone is preparing for the grave impacts of the typhoon, death continues to take its toll just like an ordinary day of living and dying.

Last Sunday, my dear friend lost his father and on the same day, I saw my grandmother in her bed as if lifeless if not with intermittent breathing through her mouth. Her teary eyes can no longer see, and I doubt if she could still hear my whisper.

Some lives ended yesterday, while some are diminishing today or waiting to be taken by a storm tomorrow.

Although life's limit is relative, life is arguably short.

And, when being reminded with the reality of dying, one begins thinking about living and loving.

Tonight, my friend bared how much he loves his father while listening to eulogies, and I listened to the crescendo of rainfall overlapping the music from my headphones.

Then, we started exchanging stanzas of a great poem ever written in between two towns that are 220.6 kilometers apart.