Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Reaping

I have a preoccupation with death. If I earned merits for every time I thought or spoke about death, I would have been promoted to the rank of Death's assistant. One friend who has managed not to run away from me thinks this is irritating. She feels I owe it to the Creator to sing and dance with glee at the prospect of waking up in the morning to the sound of birds twittering, the sight of the sun rising and the smell of bad breath emanating from within. She shouldn’t really be alarmed though. My fixation may seem abnormal but it is really the harmless side effect of years of reading Russian literature.

I think death may be fixated on me too. In the past five years, I have had to deal with five deaths of people who were either related or close to me. That’s an average of one death per year! Go figure. I have no idea why Death has been indiscriminately waving his scythe on significant people in my life.
* * *
It was probably because of the scent/stench of death around me that Yahoo’s link to a photo slideshow of young dead Hollywood personalities caught my eye. The great Heath Ledger was there of course but I did not expect Jonathan Brandis to have a frame of his own too. He hanged himself at the age of 27.

Brandis was the kid in Never Ending Story 2 and the teen genius in Sea Quest DSV. He was the guy whose face was perpetually brought to our attention by the teen magazines of the 90s. Of course, I NEVER owned any of those magazines because I had a reputation for being the antithesis of adolescence. My classmates however brought volumes of those magazines to school to drool over on lazy afternoons when our physics teacher was being particularly nasty. 

It’s always tragic when a young person dies especially by his own hand. What is even more tragic though is what people think or say after. It’s easy to make simple assumptions about a person’s reasons for committing suicide. It’s easy to conclude that he hanged himself because his girlfriend broke up with him or he shot himself because he lost his cat of eight years. But isn’t suicide really precipitated by deeper inner demons, the loss of meaning and purpose, the incomprehensible inherent lack of delight in sunshine and morning breath?

One thing I’ve learned from my preoccupation with death is that people are never simple. Sure, there will always be those individuals who will think in straight cause and effect lines but even they have the potential to shift and sink into inner complex mazes they never even knew existed. The sheer complexity of the human psyche and its demons forbid human judgment. 

One of those deaths I witnessed was the result of suicide. If the dead person’s grandmother didn’t have friends in high places, the Church would have declined to say mass for the dead and socialite tongues would have kept on wagging. 

Death is death. You’ll never really know till you get to the other side whether you passed away correctly and on time. Truly, who am I to judge? I leave that difficult responsibility to whoever is on the receiving end.

14 comments:

  1. i dont know what to say...

    but gnun tlga ang buhay eh...

    nakakaya naman natin kahit papano kahit sobrang sakit at hirap...

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  2. death is death. that's true.
    we're not holding our life anyway.
    He may take our life anytime.
    Just like what happened to my brother. :(

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  3. totoo talaga yan bunso. ang hirap ng buhay pero kahit papaana umaahon pa rin tayo

    thanks for dropping by winkii. i lost my bro too... one of the five deaths...

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  5. death is death, as i may repeat it.

    i lost my dad a couple of years ago, and i bet he is safe now.
    but what is really behind death?
    is it just a mere fact that our loved ones will leave us.. or should it be in a perspective that it is yet another world that awaits them?? we'll never know..

    death is a broad entity. i have, for some reason, been into a stage wherein i tried to put my life in my hands.. good thing that a light shone down on me (*wink*) and saved me from my insanity. i know this is not the answer.. this will never be the answer.

    ***
    im one of those who drooled over jonathan brandis..bwehehehe! eww! :)

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  6. haha. natawa talaga ako dun sa huli pen. gwapo naman talaga siya diba. hindi ako naging fan niya pero sa totoo lang talagang nasayangan ako sa kanya. 27? ang bata pa.

    agree ako sa viewpoint mo about sa death. sa totoo lang, kahit oozing with sarcasm ako minsan, i still believe there is something beyond life on earth. i'm still hoping my brother will be there on the other side when i get there. he also died at the age of 27. sigh

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  7. i've had some NDE's in my life... thinking about death thrills me, but scares the hell out of me when i think of the few close people who'll soon forget me

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  8. ako naman mel i'm not afraid of being forgotten. deep inside what i'm really afraid of is that no one will come see me when i die. hehe. i may seem hard as nails but deep down i would want to feel that i made ebough of a difference in some people's lives to deserve some visitors in my wake

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  9. Maybe they were simply overwhelmed with life as much as we are overwhelmed with death. =(

    I hope we'll all find comfort in this:
    “Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.”
    ~David Searls~

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  10. pretty much the same grace, ayaw ko lang na walang makakaalala sken, kase gusto ko palagi akong may nakikitang tropa, eh pano kung wala na(ako)? nde ko maimagine kung anogn hassle ang idudulot nun sken haha!

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  11. hahaha. malay mo mel, baka may ibang tropa nag hihintay sa kabila

    well, little tikla, we all take comfort in the idea of an afterlife. i just hope it's real. it would be a bummer to wake up to... nothing...

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  12. lam nyo guys, isang kaisipan talga ang kamatayan sa akin.. hinid ako takot mamatay.. takot ako un sa idudulot sa mga taong mahal ko. i don't want them to mourn symepre.
    but the thing is..kung ano ang meron pagkagising mo mula sa kamatayan.. may sasalubong kaya na coctail juice in luau theme??
    or just empty space..

    i know that there is life after death.. ewan ko if you will believe me but (lam mo to mel), that i've encountered several stuff concerning this. pero we could nver really tel pag tayo na un andun sa oras na un.

    ang masaya llng dun..pagkagising mo mula sa kawalan, andun na mga mahal mo sa buhay nagaatay sau..that is if they still recognize you..sad still..

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  14. o diba exciting yun pen :)

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