Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Birthday Cakes and Suicide Letters

There are things in life that, perhaps, we will never really understand – no matter how hard we try. There are things that are never meant to me answered, things never meant to be questioned, to be asked. These are things that we accept – things we hug and dearly take, no matter the pain.

Today is my youngest niece’s 1st birthday. It has been planned that come this Saturday, we’d throw the conventional birthday party that kids turning one would usually get. But baby Hannah won’t this time.

As much as we would like to celebrate life and the joy of having her in ours, it would be improper to raise a Martini and say kampai (cheers) with a grieving heart.

My eldest extended pamangkin (nephew) on my sis-in-law’s side just took his own life. The news came to me just before I tucked myself to sleep last night. It was just a few hours (Canadian time) after he was found – cold and lifeless.


On days like this, it would be improper to ask why. It would even be inappropriate to say everything’s gonna be okay, because things are not. In the coming days the family would be busy and the drag of giving him the last rites he deserves would probably consume most of the time.

And then when things are back to normal, or at least to how it is supposed to be. Only then, questions would be answered – or at least tried to be; only then would tears become really painful.

Was it a brave surrender? Or was it a plain loss of hope? Was it something he has wanted or was it something that life itself has pushed him into? Was he sad in the last breathe he took? Or was he thankful that it would be the last?

You know what is more painful? It’s could we have done a thing to make it not happen?

Thing is, we’ll never know. Everybody dies – some with their own hands. What matters now is the life he has lived; the joy he has imparted, the moments of love he has shared with those special to him and everything sunny he has had. Pain would be there, but I believe in the beauty of every individual – and the life he (had) live(d).

To yet another brave man I know…
… cheers to life! (and yes, death)   



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