Saturday, August 14, 2010

Of death and dying

Angkong2 at his favorite spot in Lido.
Today marks the 49th day1 of my grandfather's passing. 

Never again will I see him sit at his usual place at Lido.Never again will he force me to order something to eat even though I've already said I've just eaten. Never again will he tell me to go and find myself a wife. Never again will those days as child where he'd take me everywhere he goes come back.

Sometimes I think I'd trade another minute in the hospital with him even though I know he's hurting, just to see him again, talk to him, but I know that's a selfish thing to ask for. It's a good these things aren't up to me. I'm sure the rest he find is better than the pain he's had to endure these last months. I'm not bitter and I'm not really complaining. He didn't leave any unfinished business. He's lived a full life at 80. He's had his share of successes and failures, and bounce backs from failures. His family is much much better off now than when he first set foot on the shores of this country that has been so good to him. A country he's learned to love back, never mind that he never did get the hang of Tagalog. 

I realize I'm rambling a bit. When people ask me how I was doing, I'd always said I'm feeling better. Now I realize it's not true. For some reason I kept it all bottled in. I still feel the longing as much as I did when I realize that he was forever gone. I still find it difficult to step in to the restaurant he made successful some 36 years ago--not without wishing he'd ask me if I've eaten . I still can't hold back the tears thinking about the times that are forever gone.

Angkong's birthday celebration some years ago
Short are the lives of men. We were never meant to tarry long in this world. This is but a pit stop for us to the grand adventure that is eternity. A gift of release from the torments of our physical frailty and imperfection. A gift we scorn and fear, but a wonderful gift of  respite nonetheless.

Goodbye angkong... gone you maybe in this world, but never in my heart. Never.

1 49 days is the traditional mourning period in most Filipino-Chinese cultures, at this time, none of the family members may wear red, get a haircut, a shave or cut their nails.
2 Grandfather.


ceemee said...


This post made me miss my Angkong who passed away last March.

darkjedi said...

the fact that our time here is finite and we don't know when each person's time runs out makes every moment spent with loved ones worth cherishing.

Millionaire Online said...

We have to make the most of showing our love while we still have time. Sadly, sometimes it's just impossible to do it...