A Thief in the Night

Yesterday night, I heard that a local celebrity got into a road accident (I think the bus skidded off the road and fell over a cliff) and was one of the passengers who died instantly. It was all over the news and my News Feed was full of posts saying how sad they were that he was gone. That he may have died young but he lived a meaningful life. I never knew him personally, just another celebrity who made me laugh when I was younger. Still, it caught me off guard. I didn’t expect that and I still can’t believe it happened to him. And it also made me realize how unpredictable life–and death– can be. I once said in a blog entry that,

“Death is like a thief in the night. You can never be sure when it’s going to come and rob you of something precious–your life.”

At some point, each one of us is going to die. Millions die everyday. It can be because of a disease, old age, or an accident.  I’m not afraid over the likelihood that I may die any time. However, thinking about the possible death of someone I love or someone very important to me? That I’m really afraid of. I understand old age or disease, at least I’d be able to prepare myself when the time comes. But accidents? They’re another matter. I’ll never be prepared for that. I already get teary eyed just thinking about the possibility that what if later on today, tomorrow or a few months from now, my parents, younger brother, relative or a very close friend gets into an accident and doesn’t make it out alive…

Especially my family. I don’t know how I’ll cope up with that. Hell, it took me a year to get over a silly college heartbreak. What more for the death of my… Ugh, I don’t know if I can handle that kind of pain. I’d probably cry for months. Even writing this down makes me teary eyed already. As if a part of me is ripped out. I think death can do that to a person. Even watching a TV show or a movie with someone dying in it makes me cry really hard, as if I’m the one who lost somebody. And it’s just a show for God’s sake! How much more if it’s real?What if something happens to my family? How will I ever be able to deal with that? I think I’ll never be ready for that possibility. And that’s the problem, it’s very possible. It’s there, lurking in the shadows. Looking… Waiting…

They say that death ends a life, not a relationship. You can say whatever you want to ease the pain. That they’re in a happy place or that as long as you think of them, they will still be there. That their memories will stay with you for as long as you live. Still, you can’t change the fact that it’s a period at the end of a sentence, the last chapter of the book for that someone so dear  to you. It will never ever be the same. They will never be there anymore for anything that happens in your life. 😦

These are sad and scary thoughts. I don’t want to think about all these things but I can’t bring myself to not think about it.

Ah, shit. *sigh*

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I’LL REMEMBER YOU THIS WAY…

Death is really like a thief in the night. You never know when it’s going to come and rob you of something precious—your life.

Just this month, one of the founders of the dance group that I belonged to passed away. I’ve known for some time that he wasn’t well but even if I’ve known that the result was inevitable, I still couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. I could still remember that day clearly. It was early in the morning and I was preparing to visit him. I was just waiting for the message that would give me the directions to the hospital and when I heard the message tone of my phone, I expected to read directions to where he was. I didn’t expect it to be, “He’s gone.”

I didn’t know such a short sentence could hurt so much.

I cried. Hard.

I couldn’t help it. I just can’t. I know that I should feel better since he’s no longer in pain but there will always be that part of me that’s going to miss him, that part of me that can’t believe that everything was real, that I’ll no longer be able to see or hear from him again. I wasn’t as close to him as he was with the alumni of our group but it was already hard for me. How much more for those who were closest to him? When I was there during the wake and in the interment, I could feel it. Whenever I was able to stop crying, just seeing his family and those who were very, very close to him trying to control themselves from crying made me cry again. I can feel it. Their pain, their loss.

It showed that he was very much loved and appreciated.

         And just like what the first stanza of his favourite song says,

Every now and then
We find a special friend
Who never lets us down
Who understands it all
Reaches out each time you fall
You’re the best friend that I’ve found
I know you can’t stay
A part of you will never ever go away
Your heart will stay

 He might be gone, but our feelings for him will stay because, “Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

There were things that I wanted to say but wasn’t able to and I hope that somehow, somewhere, this reaches him…

Kuya W,

I could still remember those moments when I always badger you about money (I was Finance Head in our organization before). Ever since then, whenever we meet, you’d playfully hide from me and tell me, “Ayan nanaman siya, maniningil nanaman. May utang nanaman ba ako?” (There she goes again, collecting and asking for fees. Do I still have debts?). I will miss those times. I will miss you. Even if you kept on hiding and avoiding me because you think I’m going to collect fees from you! 😀

You were a good mentor and a friend. My memories of you were always so… energetic and fun. When you visit us during our trainings or when you go to our competitions to support us, you lighten up the pressure and the heavy mood by your jokes. You also inspire us to give our best and not be intimidated by the other competitors through your words of wisdom and encouragement. You were always supportive and you always believed in us and in what we can do.

I could still remember the first time I was able to dance and perform with you, that first time when you taught me a dance you choreographed. I felt this urge to give my best because I wanted to be as good as you were and I felt that I could do it because you were very encouraging and patient and I can feel that you believed that I could do it. I was just a trainee then. You were also one of the persons I first performed with when I finally became a member. The performance was for an orientation of our dance group. It seemed so long ago…

I remembered a few lines I’ve read in Tuesdays with Morrie,

“Have you ever really had a teacher? One who saw you as a raw but precious thing, a jewel that, with wisdom, could be polished to a proud shine?”

If I was asked this question, I could proudly say that you were this kind of teacher and I know that all of the people whom you had taught whether about dancing, or life in general, when asked by this question, would think so too.

You may no longer be physically present, but you will always be remembered. You might have lived a short life, but it was well-lived. I’ve always believed that a life’s worth is not based on how long it was but on how much good has been done while living it. You will never be forgotten because somehow, you’re immortalized through the things you have done for others.

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” –Henry Adams

I admit that I was really sad that you’re no longer here, physically. But I’m contented with the fact that now, I know you’re no longer in pain and your struggles are over. I may not have seen you in the last moments of your life, but maybe that’s for the better.

My memories of you will always be that of your energetic, fun, encouraging, and believing self.

I’ll remember you this way. 🙂

WHEN THE HEART BREAKS…

It really does hurt when one’s heart breaks, maybe not literally or physically, but boy, does it hurt more when it goes beyond the physical. It could be a little dent, but to some, it ends up being shattered. Funny how love goes from happy to lonely, from paradise to hell, and from something good to tragic. Love, as Nicholas Sparks defined or described it, is always accompanied by pain or tragedy.

Hearing the stories shared by my friends about their feelings with the people they felt a connection with yesterday made me open up a bit of the feelings I’ve bottled up for a long time and I let myself reminisce. Opening it up was something I chose not to do before because talking and thinking about it feels like scratching an old wound.

The frog toy that I gave him on our 1st monthsary that says, “I love you” when pressed in the stomach.

I’ve had my share of heartbreak and it was never a fast process, it was a bit too gradual and I guess, that’s what made it all the more painful. When you become broken emotionally, piece by piece, everyday, you’re bound to bleed longer and heal slower.

I’ve fallen in love once, even if I didn’t want to in the first place. Love was such a scary thing to experience, though I feel happy and thrilled for those who have had the chance to experience them or were still experiencing them. I was also not the mushy, clingy or sweet type and it’s hard for me to show my affections for anyone. In the past, I ended up being cold to guys who try to court me and I show my affections for my friends by teasing them and the like. Yet, even if I was scared and I wasn’t the affectionate type, for the first time, I risked the chance at pain for a shot at happiness. I was happy being with him, seeing him, talking to him. But eventually, a few months ago, we broke up.  We have had our share of good times but in the end, it didn’t work out.

It hurt because even if I haven’t told him or made him feel that I’d want him to be THE one—for I was never the type to say things such as, “forever” or talk about stuff as marriage and children—deep inside, I wanted him to be the first and the last man I’d love. I just didn’t want to be taken for granted for I’ve seen a lot of my friends being treated like that.

I knew from the start that if I entered a relationship, it would never be a game and it would be long term. I still remember how he’d say that I’d be the last, that he wanted to marry me, that there would never be another person to whom he’d feel such strong emotions for. Yet, I never really believed him. They were all just words. I want words as well as actions and what he was talking about was too idealistic. I’ve seen a lot of couples talk and plan about those ideas but they usually don’t happen.

I felt that, someday, I was bound to lose him as well. Don’t get me wrong, I may not have believed him, but I wanted what he said to come true. I really did. My words might have said otherwise but my feelings and thoughts had demanded, “Let him be the one!”

What I wanted was for him to make it happen. Words without actions were meaningless. I don’t want to just settle with plain talk, I also want the work that would make it come true. He could’ve just said those things because we were happy at the moment, but when hard times came by, would he still think of it, of us that way?

Since we’ve already broken up and he was nowhere near trying to start anew with me, apparently, he no longer sees me as his “future”. I guess, that’s what helped me cope up, or adjust somehow. If I’d had oriented myself to a future with him in it, and then see that future no longer possible, it would have hurt more and I’m not sure if I could have cope up better.

The little bear he randomly gave me.

I never believed in promises, and it’s a good thing I’ve continued not to believe in it, because obviously, they were really meant to be broken. I may not have believed the promises and the words, but I knew that he was sincere when he said them and no matter how I refused to believe such words, no one can blame me if I said that somehow, I had hoped that everything he said would someday be a reality.

It might seem that I no longer cared, or hurt, but honestly, I still do, though it’s no longer as overwhelming as when it was still fresh.It has been around 7 months since we’ve broken  up, but it still hurt a bit when I remember the memories we’ve shared, whether they were good or bad memories. I just couldn’t bring up myself to show that I was hurt because, I don’t want him or anyone to see that I was badly affected, maybe, it was pride that was letting me look happy and moved on. Afterall, what good would it do me if I continue brooding over a corner for something that obviously didn’t work no matter how sincere and true our feelings were?

It really hurt that it didn’t work out; it hurt because I felt that he didn’t put too much effort to make it work again, to win me back when we broke up. All I wanted was an effort on his part, to show me that he was still sincere and that his feelings hadn’t changed despite the problems we’ve been experiencing. If I could have felt or seen that effort or sincerity, we could have made it work.  And thus, it hurt when I’ve expected for him to do something—anything—and yet, he didn’t. That was why I never wanted to expect because it would hurt when expectations weren’t met, apparently, he was the exception. I couldn’t help expecting because I badly wanted it to happen. Sadly, it didn’t.

It hurt that when we broke up, after a few months, he became attracted to someone else. It hurt when he told me through text that he was starting to like that person and that person was someone I knew. Instead of begging him to come back or asking him to make it work with us first, pride made me reply and encourage him and tell him it was okay if he fell for someone else, he was no longer bound to me anyway. While I was texting him those words/thoughts, I was crying. Hard. I didn’t care that my friends saw me at such a vulnerable state because I couldn’t help it, I was deeply hurt. (They were a bit shocked; they haven’t seen me cry that way before and they didn’t know that I was hurt that bad since I seemed okay the whole time.)

For that moment, I blessed the souls of the people who invented the concept of text messaging because it prevented him from seeing me too broken. Even if I had said those words, deep inside, I didn’t want him to listen to my advice. It was a test as well as a matter of pride and I didn’t want him to feel guilty for liking someone else or pity me. If he listened to my advice, he wasn’t worth it anymore. It he didn’t listen and still pursued me… wow, happy ending! But, since happy endings only happen in fairy tales, he listened to me and obviously, he’s been messaging the girl and all that.

Then, just recently, I learned from an orgmate of his that while he was still texting me after our break up, he was also becoming close with another girl (different from the girl he told me he’s starting to like) and that they were being teased and rumored as an “item” by their orgmates. I really felt like a fool upon hearing all of those things. Why was he still being sweet and even went out with me and be like that with someone else as well? I never knew that something like this happened until just recently.

I knew now that he was no longer worth the tears, or anything, but I couldn’t help it. Maybe I don’t cry as frequently and as hard as I used to after that but the tears are still there. Once I start reminiscing, it’s hard to stop, especially when I wanted to remember.

The paper flower that he personally made for me and even asked a friend of his on how to make it.

Memories are the only things that don’t change when everything else does and thus, you can’t easily forget when you’re left with so much to remember.

It would definitely be a long time before I can say that I’ve totally moved on. I’m not sure if I still love him or feelings are still there. It could be that I was crying for the “what ifs”, “What if my pride wasn’t so high?”; “What if I had begged or asked?”, “What if he was just as doubtful as I was about my feelings for him and wanted an assurance that I still love him and I wasn’t able to show it because of my pride?”; or for the fact that it hurts to know our relationship didn’t work out. It could be that it wasn’t my heart that’s crying but my pride because he has moved on way before I did. It could be that, I felt a very big sense of loss because, maybe, I still cared.

If we couldn’t be in love with each other anymore, I would have wanted us to be friends eventually for he was a good guy. He had his flaws and shortcomings, but compared to the other guys I knew or guys I’ve heard from my friends, he was way better.  He was the type that you’d be proud to introduce to your parents. Inevitably, falling for him and being attached to him wasn’t that hard.

Yes.

ATTACHMENT FEELS FINE.

IT’S DETACHMENT THAT HURTS.

But I do know that one day, when I hear songs of heartbreak and loss, I wouldn’t feel shattered and broken anymore.

Damn Damn Di Damn, Damn Damn Di Damn Damn

They often say, “You can’t please everybody.”

But then again, deep inside you, there will always be that part who would want to be accepted no matter what.

It’s exhausting to think every single time, and rewind your actions scene by scene, just so you’d know what wrong did you do that might have offended someone you know. It’s too much of a baggage to always worry why certain people act the way they do to you (in a negative way) and differently when others are around.

A lot of people have been a victim, more than once, with emotions like these. We are, after all, social beings by heart.

Paranoia.

Isn’t it so bad that it even existed? Worrying about so many things, thinking and rethinking before acting anything out. It’s just too bad that some people, no matter how hard they try to escape such a lonesome predicament, they simply can’t. Maybe because they give so much importance to making other people happy when they’re around, to wanting people to feel at ease when they’re there.

When things aren’t as happy or as comfortable, they begin to think,
“What did I do wrong again?”
“Was it because of me?”
“Doesn’t he/she like me?”
“What can I do to fix things?”
“Is there a problem in the first damn place? Or was it just paranoia working its way into me again?”

It’s hard when you are prompted to ask these questions around people you’re not even close with. But, it’s nothing compared to how damn hard it is when you ask these questions because of someone you don’t just know, but someone you’re close with or want so badly to like you. Especially when they don’t make you forget it. But nothing get as bad as to knowing that they didn’t used to act that way before.

Isn’t it unfair?

You try so hard to be sensitive to the feelings of other people, caring too much if what you do is crossing the line of what’s offensive and not. Yet, some people out there? They simply don’t care. One day, they’ll just act…differently. Suddenly, the warmth they used to give you leaves, replaced by cold feelings directed at you. They don’t even care if it would make you feel bad and they won’t even say why they’re like that.

It’s as if you always have to carry the burden of thinking why things turned out that way.

They’re so used to you making the first move, asking questions and all that. They can’t even feel that you’re human too, capable of feeling as bad, but the difference? You TRY not to feel bad, not to get mad, not to feel sad because you actually CARE if the people around you would feel uncomfortable or worried.

Some people are simply not like that. In fact, they’re the exact opposite of who you are and, in our world, regardless of what physics or chemistry says, opposites don’t usually mean they attract.

Then, there are the ones who wouldn’t do the cold shoulder act. Oh yeah, they’re warm alright. But, they would make you feel, even in front of other people(in fact, very often) how low they think you are and how bad they think of you as a person. Behind their laughter and smiles, the funny talks and endless times together, they would constantly make you feel so… no words could even explain the feeling.

Then of course, the you who doesn’t even like to have a real fight would just plainly accept everything quietly, pretending to be cool with all of it when deep down, in the tiny corners of your heart, you want to just cry and say it all loud. But you can’t. You simply can’t.

Because that’s not how you deal with what you feel.

Shit happens.

Welcome, to the story of my life.