To a friend of mine

1.17am- I’m an hour late and was supposed to post this on the 6th.

10 years has passed and sometimes, I forget. Only to remember it a few days later and feel terribly upset that I couldn’t even remember something so simple as a date. On this date in 2004, A friend of mine passed on. It was really sudden to me, and I was unable to grasp the concept of death.

I mean, I wasn’t even 12. He wasn’t even 12. The only funerals I’ve attended were of people, old people who I didn’t personally know, let alone a friend who was with me within such close range. The friend I played catching with for the last year while mass was on. How was I going to make jokes during catechism class while role playing with my friend, the friend who I accompanied by the fire hydrant every Sunday while waiting for his mother to pick him up after church, talking about primary school. The friend who suddenly……died?

I went through all the stages. I remembered denying it was him-his name was on the teletext had to be someone else. The priest announced the wrong name that following Sunday. I called my friend and we went for the wake together with her mother. It wasn’t till I walked in and saw his picture, walked to his coffin and saw him lying motionless, pale and still in it that broke my heart. Indeed, my friend had died. I remember laying in bed with my covers over my head, praying to Jesus. My sisters tried to coax me out of bed but I felt nothing but fear and shock. I never really talked about it after, neither did any of us who personally knew him. It was just too painful to.

The body you see is an empty shell. He is already in heaven.” My mother said, consoling me.

Acceptance was never easy, but it came gradually with each year when I visited him at the columbarium. People grow older with time, but growing older does not make me forget what it was like to lose a friend to death. It reminds me that life is just that fragile, and that everything happens in god’s time.I take comfort in believing that you’re watching not just me, but all of us grow up. Life goes on, but hey. I remember you. 

This one’s to you Sam.

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