Death is one thing we unwillingly think and talk about. Although we all know that someday we are going to die this certainty does not pat our hearts, giving much meaning with the things of this world, such as money, possessions, reputation, fame and power and all the good things that appease our consciousness . . . as if we are going to live forever.
Only this month two people close to me passed away. Pilo Abrugena and Meng De Dios. It was a bolt of lightning from the blue sky upon learning the deaths of these two good men. I was asking myself why good people die so sudden where a lot of bad ones out there can die in place of them. The words may sound unfair . . . Am I God who can tell which individual I want life to end first?
I faced a stressful legal suit against my hard as nail employer, when I was illegally dismissed after a quarrel over some bitter pills to swallow. During this time I was left high and dry by my officemates for fear that they might got involved. Pilo was beck and call for me by providing me someone who can defend and fight for my labor rights and later on won the case. I wouldn’t be able to grasp the nettle if not for him. Pilo was a happy man, a good father, someone who knocks all your worries down with his one man comical show. He called himself “Gagambang Lalaki” which in my personal interpretation is synonymous to “Magandang Lalaki” (until now I am contemplating what he really meant with this words). He was always willing to give, to listen and ready to throw a line to all he knew. After this depressing part of my life, Pilo helped me to go back in the drawing board again. He died of cardiac arrest.
Three days after I attended Pilo’s wake I received a text message from Menchie de Dios, my co-artist for 10 long years and one of the few people I can bear my heart out. The message went like this: “ Kuya . . . si Meng comatose na.” For a moment my feet seemed to sink where I stood I could only grip my phone harder as I read the message over and over again. I felt remorseful not to be able to see her husband Meng during his long confinement in the hospital, the least I could do then was to send comforting messages that will boost her morale and cheer her up. That night I called Menchie up. The conversation was gloomy marked with hopelessness and low-spiritless. She was blubbing while talking and asking many questions which I myself don’t know the answers. I just told her to just cling to hope although in my mind the situation was chance against chance the fact that Meng was brain dead. It was past when we ended the phone chat. 7 hours later someone informed me that Meng was clinically dead. After learning the sad news there was dead air for a moment, I felt sorry for one of my dearest friends who lost her most precious possession. Just like Pilo, Meng too died of heart failure. Meng was a good husband who looked always after the sake of his wife. I have seen how he coddled Menchie. He drove her to the office and fetched her up after work as if he was one of the employees of the company. He was generous and soft hearted. A good provider and a person neat as a pin. He would be an ideal father if he was just given a chance to be . Although they were not able to have kids, he acted as a father figure the same way Menchie acted as a mother with children around them. He was meek and unpretentious and a God fearing man .
I have a bleeding heart with the demise of these two good men, but in my mind I know their good deeds have prepared them to their journey’s ends to meet their Maker.
Money, happiness and other desirable things are often here today, gone tomorrow. To most of us they are dominant significance, so we dedicate almost all our time and momentum to get hold of them and engross ourselves in many negative exploits for their sake. We are so concerned with the worries of this life that there is only tiny space in our mind for real spiritual living. When the time of passing actually comes we find out and realize that by having paid no attention to death all our life we are totally unready.
Salamat Pilo. . . salamat Meng sa lahat ng kabutihang ginawa at ipinakita nyo nuong kayo ay mga nabubuhay pa. . . You breathe your lasts but all your goodness will not perish . . . but will live though you are gone. . .
The righteous shall go into life eternal.