Thursday, November 26, 2009

Musings about a Departed Friend

Someone told me to never start writing with an apology, but I have to make an exception because I will write off-topic in my blog. So I hope you'd forgive me for blogging something about life (and death) this time.

I learned earlier today that someone I know passed away yesterday. He took his own life. After my mom and my very dear friend Maricon died last May and June, I have developed a sort of apathy to death stories and attending wakes and funerals, but this morning’s news had some mixed emotions. No I was not close to the departed but I can say I was once a friend. He went away for graduate school to another country and recently came back, armed with an Ivy league-like PHD. Ironically I was one of the persons he saw before his untimely demise. He seemed normal, the same as he was in college and the few times I met him after that. There was not any clue that there was something bothering him.

I came with a few friends to his wake this evening. His best friend since college flew in from another country and saw us. He must be surprised to see us as we have not all seen each other since a decade, or even more. But he easily expressed to us his emotions towards this great loss. He painted a different picture of the departed friend. He appeared to be a confident person in college, but it seems he was an emotionally wanting person, like most of us. No one knew, but his best friend. But when the best friend left to pursue greener pastures in another country, he got lost and succumbed to the pressures of emotional weakness. Everyone was in shock. Little knew he had grave problems.

Lately I have been mentally rewinding a line in the movie ‘Shall We Dance’ uttered by Susan Sarandon’s character. She said ‘the reason we get a partner is that everyone needs someone to witness his/her life’. Figuratively the partner is a spouse, but I believe for people like me who have not yet been lucky to find their perfect half, family and friends easily fill in the job. Somehow if a person pursues an undertaking to better his social status, he is not only doing it for himself but also for the people around him/her to notice, so his/her life would matter. I admit to be an emotionally wanting person, but somehow I am thankful to the people around me for noticing that I do, as an individual, matter. My existence would not go unnoticed, at least by my family and friends. I am very much thankful for that. I do have personal problems but somehow the thought of my noticed and appreciated existence makes me undoubtedly want to go on with life.

I am deeply saddened by my departed friend. His life and achievements do matter. He has coveted academic degrees and experiences. He has a dissertation filed in a library of a major academic institution. But even with this, his best friend said he himself still thought his own existence did not matter. We kept thinking if only we sooner re-established contacts, maybe he could have felt he mattered more. It is too late for him to feel that now. I hate to have only known him more after his death. It would be a great shame if his academic achievement and his existence would continue on unwitnessed.


dr magsasaka said...

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. - Norman Cousins

It seemed like he was slowly dying from the inside?

My condolences to you.

metscaper said...

it was a pity. he had a lot inside him to give but he never knew how to share them.

dee said...

i know him too, i came to know him because he was a suki in our library. a very cheerful, thoughtful and kind man and will be greatly missed.