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Monday, July 9

Sorrow is When Joy Dies

“Nate, pwde kyo 2nyt? kta tayo”

It was a text from tita. We, previously, agreed to go to my cousin’s wake last night.

“san po tayo mag-meet? Wala pa po yung mga bros ko, baka ako lang..”

I had a long discussion with Louie, to convince him to go. But he declined, “Kelangan ba everyone’s there? Ikaw nalang. You should represent our family.”

That was my cue to snap, “Mahiya ka naman! Kamag-anak mo yun, pero inuna mo pang dalawin yung gf mo. Ano ba naman yung magpakita tayo dun para makiramay?”

In my head, a lot of thoughts were running, but I dare not say,

“Sana hindi langawin ang lamay at burol mo, if ever..”

“Pag namatay ka, tingin mo may pupunta sa libing mo? Pamilya mo at mga kamag-anak mo ang paniguradong andun”

“Wag sanang mangyari na pag namatay ka, tatanggihan din ng mga relatives natin na pumunta sa wake mo.. Bwiset!”

Breathed in, breathed out, then off I went to the funeral home.

The cabbie pulled over where my tita’s car was parked. After paying for the fare, I went out, and greeted my tita, her husband, and my niece & nephew.

“Akyat na po tayo, tita?”


Memories of my father’s wake flashed in my head, and somehow my chest felt heavy. I went inside the room, and looked around,

“Kayo lang po? Wala po si nanay nya?”

“Wala eh. Umuwi muna para kumuha ng mga damit pampalit.”

“Asan ang mga kapatid mo?”

“Wala po eh..”

I feel pathetic, in trying to cover up for my brothers who wouldn’t want to show up in the wake.

Aside from us, the newcomers, there were only 4 people in the room—those who were there to keep watch. There were no other guests.

It was a sad wake.

I went up front where Kuya Joy’s casket was. His real name is Carlito, but people call him Joy.

Alak, babae, droga, sugal—pretty much sums up his life. It sounds cliché, but that was how he chose to live his life.

“Halika kayo dito,” I called my young niece and nephew. But both of them were afraid. “C’mon, he just looks like he’s sleeping. Tara! He looks like Apl De Ap.”


            “Yes, c’mon!”

“Ay, oo nga,” both kids agreed.

Afterwards, I led the young ones outside. I let them play “1-2-3 pass” with a deck of cards, while the adults are discussing matters.

“Wala man lang akong narinig mula sa kahit isa sa inyo,” stammered Tito. He was the one who arranged for the wake and took care of some of the expenses.

“Kuya, ginagawan naman namin ng paraan. Ask Nate. We tried to contact our sisters sa States and Canada. Magpapadala naman daw sila,” answered Tita.

“Ni-isang text, wala akong natanggap mula sa inyo,” exclaimed Tito, “parang hindi nyo kamag-anak yung namatay. Makauwi na nga!”

Tito, then, bolted out.

It was not easy to make arrangements for the deceased. It’s rather expensive, especially to those people who are earning meager salaries.

“Don’t worry po, I’ll email our relatives sa States to ask for help. Nagrereply naman po sila sa emails.”

“Thanks, Nate.”

I went home with a heavy heart.

Good thing, C is still up. I needed to get my mind off of things that happened. But during the latter part of our conversations, a thought popped in my head, and I keyed–in:

If I die tonight, would you cry? Would you mourn for me?

But, then, it took me some time to decide on whether to press send or not. Should I? Or should I not?

I pressed cancel, and the following text convo ensued instead:

P:         :*
            nanyt babe..

C:         :*
            Nanyts! :*

P:         i love you, and i miss you.. :*

C:         Awe me too. Miss you!

I put the phone away, curled up, closed my eyes, and tried to get some sleep.

C misses me. I guess he’ll miss me, when I die.


Anonymous said...

you know what i realized, you don't have to worry or wonder if people will miss you or cry at your funeral. it all depends on how you lived your life. if you are loved while you are alive, you would be loved even after you die.

Nate said...

@daredevilryinexile: hi eon! true.. something to ponder on.. thanks! :)

Guyrony said...

What we choose to be and what we want to be are the deciding factors on how people will treat us should the time come...

How cruel it is sometimes that we want to imagine ourselves placed in a coffin just for us to know how much people, those who matter, might appreciate us if we would be gone.

Kane said...

Hay Nate. Sometimes I wonder about funerals and what they reveal about how we have lived. And then I realize, perhaps the important thing is to live, and to live well.

You seem to be doing just that:)


Nate said...

@Kane: aww.. thanks for the comment, K! *hugs*

Olivr said...

it's insane. this post made me think a lot.

taympers said...

isa yon as mga kinakatakutan kong mangyari. yong mamamatay akong walang makikiramay. so i have my best frend new my fb password, so if ill die hell just post a stat message that im gone. so everyone on my friend's list is informed. they dont have excuses na di nila alam. tapos yong ayaw pumunta mumultuhin ko, seriously. :) napadaan lang sa blog mo. :)

Nate said...

Olivr: thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! :)

@taympers: thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment! true, sometimes death scares the crap out of people.. and magandang idea nga yang naisip mo sa FB thing.. :))

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