Life and Death

Last night, I went to my high school friend’s younger sister’s funeral. Yes, funeral. She died at 20 because of cancer, a few months after graduating from college. I heard about it last week, but I was a bit busy, and to be honest, I sort of didn’t want to go. It’s not that I am afraid of funerals or of dead people (I can safely say that I’m one of the people who’s not afraid to look into the coffin), but because of the fact that I’m afraid to see someone so young yet dead. :(

But anyway, I ended up going yesterday with some high school friends. My mind was running a mile a minute because of all the things happening in my life, and I was also talking so much, trying to keep certain emotions at bay and not wanting to think of how I would react when I finally see our friend who lost his sister. A little while later, we entered the place to pay our respects, and the moment I saw her coffin, lined with her photos and flowers and finally, when I peeked to see her, I couldn’t help but cry. I hardly knew her, and I was only close to her brother during freshmen year…but seeing her — so young, so accomplished, someone who had a very bright future ahead of her — inside a wooden box, dead because of a very unforgiving disease…it’s just surreal.

It was like I was staring at my own mortality. Back then, I only hear of cancer from people who are aging, from people on TV. It wasn’t a possibility for me or any of my friends before — we’re too young and the world’s so big and there’s so many things to do for us to suffer from a disease like that. But seeing someone even younger than me pass away, not even getting to experience how it is to be outside of school…to imagine someone like her going through chemotherapy treatments…it doesn’t feel right. It’s so unfair.

Cliche as this may sound, but being at the funeral last night made me realize yet again how fragile life really is. I’ve always believed that when it’s your time to go, it is your time to go, but it never hit me smack in the face as it did last night. It made me think of how I — or anyone of my loved ones — could just go anytime. How one person could be there at one moment and gone the next. How God can just take anyone of me away when He says its my time to go.

That made me wonder — what am I doing? Is everything I am doing even important? At the end of it all, would what I am doing right now even count? When it’s my time, will what I am doing right now be even worth it? All these things that are bothering me, are they even supposed to matter? What am I living for? Am I living for the world, for now, or am I living in the light of eternity?

So many questions and so many thoughts that, interestingly, gave me a fresh perspective of everything that’s bothering me in my life right now. I keep on complaining on what I am going through right now when what I’m complaining about is just a small thing — even smaller than the usual furniture catalog! Why am I even wasting my time and energy on things that are so petty, when I could use that time to be a better and more loving person? Why am I worrying over something so small, when there are so many more people worrying about things even I can’t grasp?

I guess if there’s something that could really silence people, it would be death, just like what it did to me last night. I can’t say I’m not afraid of death, but being in its presence last night made me remember that life is short compared to eternity, and I must remember where I am, where I am from, where my real home is. Most importantly, I must remember whose I am and what I am living for. Because really, at the end of it all, it’s going to be between me and God.

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