For now, I’ll deviate from my usual theme of book posts. I just have to share what I learned one time from work on the blogosphere so please bear with me on this drama 😀
I was doing my typical rounds on one of our stores in Marikina, making small talks – my pet peeve, btw – to the forty-something year old crew present just to keep the ball of awkwardness away. My memory could no longer trace back the exact moment as to how our topic flew to something personal. She started opening her life up to me which, on any other instances, I would instantly roll my eyes out being the person who hated having her work interrupted by things far from her concern. But then I thought I might as well lend my ears since there’s no way this woman would stop blabbering anyway. I know I’d make a lousy friend but hey, I make it up on other aspects. Lol.
So she started with her novella. Her middle-aged husband died 2 years ago on a hot summer day. Heat stroke, the doctors pronounced. It was a very unexpected death which happened on their son’s high school graduation as if fate couldn’t choose any day as perfect. His husband was in the best of health. There’s no way a slight rise in the temperature could cause his heart to cease beating. In a snap, their lives changed. Her husband left a small fortune but not enough to sustain the kids for college. The family could still but never the way they did when death took over a family member’s life. They missed him terribly.
Her story wasn’t extraordinary. These weren’t the first people I listened to who experienced grief as harsh as this. I read a lot of fiction, cried over them, and felt the way the characters were supposed to feel. In fact, I went through the same path as they did. There’s something about hearing a story personally or experiencing it firsthand that ignites thousands of emotions in you. She wasn’t crying when she narrated it to me but, in a way I couldn’t fathom, I knew the tears were there. I didn’t know the right comforting words so I just listened.
So now, I’m making a mental note to self that I should never feel contrite over death. It’s such a scary event, a taboo in some conversations. But it shouldn’t be. We have a lifetime to prepare for it. There’s a handful of regret acquired over a second wasted not showing important people in your life how you feel towards them. ‘Time is long but life is short’, the old cliche goes but now I’m slowly realizing its worth.