Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There's Joy in Sorrow

I've always hated funerals. Mainly because it's so depressing. Also because I don't like seeing dead bodies. I feel such a loss. Some beautiful life has gone and went. Looking at the lifeless body, I feel that life is somewhat unfair, that there should have been more for this person.

My reconciliation is to accept death as part of the lifecycle, regardless of how and when it came. Then I follow it with: There's a reason for everything. And finally, I pray that God will look over the person's soul, and the people he has left behind.

My cousin took her life almost two weeks ago. I have never had a close relative die. No cousin, no uncles, no aunts. Even four of my grandparents are still alive. So this was an overwhelming time for me. I've thought about what I would feel if one of my siblings died, my parents, my grandparents. The thoughts horrified me.

As I look at the faces of my aunt and uncle, and my cousins, I cannot begin to fathom the depth of their despair. She was only 20 years old, leaving behind her twin sister. There are so many dimensions to this story, but I'll focus on how, despite this tragedy, there was some kind of joy in this sorrow.

Intermittently, my relatives were able to smile or laugh on the day of the funeral. Perhaps it was because there's no sense in drowning yourself in sorrow. Perhaps because they were confused with their own emotions. I think it's because there's also a time when things just move on. They must move on. Me, I could not imagine anyone trying to make me laugh. I would just be too much in despair. But then again, I have never been in that situation where I lost my own sibling or child.

They drank, they sang on the videoke, they ate. Stories of the past and what's to be. In the midst of the drinking and singing and eating and telling stories, there was joy. There was a sign that life will move on.

In Loving Memory of My Cousin.


Wil said...

sorry for your loss, vegas. i lost a relative myself a few months ago. he was only a few years older than me and left behind a wife and child. death really puts things in perspective. but as you said, things happen for a reason. I don't know what else to tell you. take care and all the best.

jhay said...

That's life, we gain some, we loose some.

I always joke around my friends that it's finally time for my funeral, there would be a big sign on my coffin that says:
"Bawal ang nakasimangot!"

I want everyone to be happy, instead of crying their hearts out. Celebrate my life not just mourn my loss...in the distant future that is. ;)