Of Life And Death

*This blog post was written on May 7, 2018.

Life is like a game. You win. You lose. You smile. You cry. You go on living every single day... until someone dies.. and you feel like the world already stopped revolving.

Up until college, I was fearless. I only thought about life in the future, as if death was non-existent... as if I was immortal. When I had my son, it was when I took a step back and realized I wasn't fearless anymore, or never really was at all.

If you ask me how I want to pass - I'd say through old age, and I mean the dying age. But who am I to choose? Who are we to choose? What if I die soon? Tonight? Or tomorrow? And what if it will really happen soon and anybody reading this after my death will surely say "her blog post was a premonition".. Yes?

But when can or should you really say what you feel? Shouldn't you be saying what you feel when you're still alive? When you're gone, your family and loved ones won't hear from you anymore. 

In college, we had a subject about speeches. We were asked to write a eulogy, then my best friend asked me if he could write one for me, and said that "at least I'd know what he really has to say to and about me while I'm still alive." 

He was right. And he did ask me that even before The Fault In Our Stars. If you've read or watched it, you would know why. 

You have to realize that it is difficult for me to write this. Because I've always avoided the topic of death. But I'm already at this point in my life when I see a family member's death happen one after the other. I'm grateful that my immediate family is still complete. But seeing and watching some relatives and friends leave the world makes me think - "what's next?" or "who's next?"

I've never had any near-death experience or anything that happened to me where I saw death flash before my eyes.. except perhaps when I was almost hit by a big truck while crossing the street back in grade school, or when I realized I was drowning in a swimming pool with my friend who also didn't know how to swim back in high school. Well wait, now that I think about it - there were probably several instances when my life was at risk but I didn't notice it. Does giving birth to a child count? 

But my point was that - it wasn't that clear to me that there was a risk. Now, almost everything I do feels like a risk. Sometimes I get paranoid, but I do my best to push the anxiety away and try to live life as best as I can. 

The real life and death situations are like these: My father managed to dodge a bullet during his student journalist days. He was also almost going to join an election campaign that led to one of the biggest massacres in the country where so many journalists were killed. He wasn't able to join the event because he had to attend my grandmother's birthday the night before and didn't make it the next day. A lot of his colleagues were killed. 

It could also be my father getting into a motorcycle accident, then had a leg surgery after. He had a rib taken from him to be moved to his leg (or at least that's how I recalled it from what my mother told me). Years after that, he got into a car accident where his car turned upside down, but he still managed to get out of the driver's seat to go home. He was fine. 

Or my younger sister undergoing two surgeries due to atrial septal defect (a hole in her heart) - one of it was an open heart surgery when she was 18. She survived it. 

Or my husband being held at gunpoint in a public utility vehicle once. Or me going home from work back then during the wee hours of the morning. 

Or poverty. Government vs rebel wars. Nuclear wars? Calamities! 

And why am I saying all these? Because when I'm alone, I'd realize that we deal with life and death situations every single day. More often than not, we never notice them. 

Every time I read or hear the news about deaths, I read quickly, then my heart goes heavy. Then I close my eyes for a while; certainly, tears drop. Then, I try to move forward with whatever I'm doing.

Surely, people die. Recently, my father's cousin died. I believe all deaths are equally painful for the family and loved ones. I'd like to put it that way. But it's a different feeling when your loved one got killed by another person, a drug addict. Like how can you say it was his time? When another person just took away his life like that. :( 

He was shot on duty, during a buy-bust operation. He was a cop. And definitely a good cop. People say (sad to say) it's part of his job and he also probably knew it was, which is why I'm forever thankful to the people who keep this country safe. He was only 27. My clear memory of him was when he was still a young child. We never really talked or saw each other because I've lived far from my hometown since college. He did add me on Facebook and that was it.

I wept for him. For his family. For his fiancee. For his friends and colleagues. For this country. Every time I see a testimonial on Facebook about him, my tears would fall. 

I wept because just late last year, I also lost an uncle (my father's brother). It was very recent! I wept because every year, every after reunion or big gathering, it seems like someone from our family is gone. It's like a curse.

I wept for anyone I know and for any stranger who passed away. 

But as they say, death happens. My father's cousin -- I'm even confused how we're connected in the family tree - even though we weren't close, he's still family, and it hurts to know you lost someone in the family.

When my husband and I went jogging one time, I told him I needed to see Reiko to kiss him first. My husband said not to bother him anymore because he was happy playing outside with playmates. Then I told him, "what if something happens to me on our way home? and this might be the last time I can kiss our son?"

So really that's what I do now. Reiko is young. I'd always tell him to be strong because I love him so much. My husband would always tell Reiko to take care of me when he dies. I always think it's too early to talk about death to Reiko. He's 7. I'm turning 30, my husband is 33. But apparently, death doesn't choose an appropriate age.

When I think of all the problems and challenges I encounter in life, I try to remind myself that everything in life and in the world is temporary. So yes, the saying "live life to the fullest" still lives on, still holds true.

Whenever my husband and I argue or have a big fight, both of us do our best to make peace as soon as we can because we never know how long we have left in this world, and we just wasted our time fighting.

This is also why I don't bother holding a grudge on people who have cheated or did something bad to me, and I'm always bothered if I think someone is mad at me so I do my best to reconcile right away.

This is why, even though flight fares are crazy expensive every time I need to go home to my hometown, I don't bother worrying about the price anymore. Because TIME is valuable. I can always earn the money, but I can never and will never be able to bring back time especially the ones spent with family and true friends.

When I die, please help me make sure that my husband, my son, and my family are fine. :) At first, thinking and writing about this creeps me out. I mean I'm talking about death and me dying. But hey, people prepare memorial lots and memorial plans so this is definitely a thing we have to prepare for. Sheesh. Also, please don't post a photo of my dead face anywhere on social media and please call out anyone who will. Pleaasseee. :)

Here's the original blog post in case this blog domain gets expired someday - BLISSFUL SNAPSHOTS. 

Wow, this has been a long post. If you've reached this far - thank you. I love you all! Let's all have a happy life!

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