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“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
-Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976)

After the ill-fated call informing me of my grandfathers’ death, life as I knew it was never the same. I was sure of the tears, I was sure of the sadness and I was sure of the pain, but I never imagined how his loss would have a huge impact in my life.

My grandfather died a slow and painful death. He spent a month in the ICU. We all knew he was going to die. Yet, seeing and knowing he was battling with death, we never lose hope. But there was something about him that wasn’t there anymore. I realized that life does prepare you when you’re about to leave. It was like he was just there to spend time with his loved ones one last time, and to make amends.

Through my grandfather’s death, I found a different meaning on what it’s like to live. The new perception of living and dying had made me more sensible to the most humane of emotions. My journey led me to find treasure in the most fundamental things was not comfortable, to say the very least.

A few days ago, my favorite aunt was diagnosed with bone cancer. The doctor told her she only has 6 months to live. Part of me doesn’t want to accept it. I thought I’ve mastered the art of stoicism, apparently I haven’t. I want to take advantage of the power of the mind to completely negate the situation. I don’t know how to comfort her more so; I don’t even know how to comfort my own beloved father. See, she’s the only sibling my father have and I am afraid that the situation would sadden him and push him to the point of depression.

I want to tell her all the things that faith can do. I want to convince her on the power of mind over matter. That it’s not about how long you live your life or how much time you have left, but it’s about how well you spend it. I want to tell her to stay happy and be that strong woman I know her to be. I want her to defy science and live long enough in contradiction to the timeline her doctor gave her. I want to tell her I love her but how can I do this when each time I look into her eyes I can see how scared she is. How it pains her to leave us behind.

My dear Aunt, my dearest Aunt…in every second, every minute, every hour of everyday choose to be happy. Find “something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” Forget that angst. Try to live a normal happy life. Live alive. Live for the ones you love. Live for the ones who love you so much. Live for the ones you are about to leave behind…

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