NOVEMBER: On the Death of a Loved One

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish


Is it wrong for me to forget you? Am I being rude to your memory to convince myself that I never knew you? That you were never here? That I never knew the happiness of being showered with your love?

Before, it was enough to love—to give generously and not to expect anything.  It’s often been like that, loving and not being loved back.  I’ve always felt it was a bad thing when your love is not being reciprocated, but then I never really knew how safe it was, how safe just giving love is.  When you are loved back you get used to being crowded in by their presence, of not feeling alone, of not feeling lonely because their love encloses you in, it even goes with you when you think it’s not needed and you think you can manage on your own.

Then suddenly they are gone and you are left with the silence, left with the scary feeling of being abandoned, left with the echoes of the memory of your own laughter with them when they were still there filling the space beside you.

How can you keep the feeling their presence gave?  How can you hold on to the energy that they exuded when they were still in your presence—engaging you, soothing you?

Even now they’re quickly fading, slipping away into forgetfulness, leaving back an uncomfortable void that was once filled with them.  Then you ask yourself if it was real—if their love was real and even if they actually existed in your world and not just something you read or something you watched somewhere.

Even as you start to forget you wonder why you hurt so much, why you can’t stop yourself from crying and why certain places and certain things make you want to look away—and make you want to stay away.

It is so inconvenient to be loved when it obviously has a time limit and it has no intentions of continuing and can’t even give any assurances that it will always be there.

So, again I ask, is it wrong for me to forget you and erase all the memories that represent you?  The years are long and you gave me only a day to be with you.  You should have knocked first before you entered my heart.  If you did I wouldn’t be blaming you now for breaking it. I would’ve said, ”No” and I wouldn’t have the trouble now of trying to forget the habits we formed together and the routines we’ve gotten used to.  Now, I am even left with the trouble of trying to forget your name, to remember not to use it and to keep it from ever passing my lips again.  Someone walked by and I thought it was you. Who knew your memory walking by would hurt this much?

I envy you because you will never know the pain of losing me.  I once sang, “so let the pain remain forever in my heart, for every throb it brings me one more moment spent with you,” but I couldn’t afford to sing that now.  I want to forget so that I could start living again in this world where “you” no longer inhabit.

Goodbye for now.  Let us just take back the memories when we are already in each other’s presence again. ‘Til then I just want to say—ang daya daya mo!


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