May 20, 2024

That was a mighty storm that hit the country last week. As it passed through, it wrought destruction in its path resulting in billions of pesos worth of properties destroyed and countless lives taken. What was supposed to be a long weekend, where people may enjoy a stress-free travel to their provinces to visit their deceased loved ones, turned out to be a catastrophe of sorts. The rain that was dumped was equivalent to that of Typhoon Ondoy. What made the situation worse was the lack of proper advice from the weather station that is supposed to monitor the storm.
It is a good thing that as the All Saints’ Day came to be celebrated, the storm calmed and the sun, for a few minutes, shone upon us. It was enough to cheer us up and resume our commemoration of our dearly departed. My family and I visited the tombs of our dead relatives and friends. There at the cemetery, we met old friends and reminisced the memories of those who went ahead of us.
On the epitaph of the dead that we passed through, we saw familiar and not so familiar names. We talked about how this and that died. We were surprised, as well, to see names engraved on the tombs of individuals who we did not know or did not expect to be already dead.
We regret having left out some people whom we thought were not worthy of our attention only to find out that, at the threshold of their death, we longed for their company. Oh, how we cherished the thought of our dead friends and relatives, praying to God that they are now in a better place than where they were while still alive.
Truly, visiting the cemetery or ossuary is nostalgic. It not only brings back the memories of the times we spent with people we loved, hated and despised, but more so, it brings back memories of our own past. For the dead were the ones who kept our days meaningful and it is the dead who walked with us through the best and worst part of our lives. Perhaps, this is the reason why of all holidays, All Saints Day is most significant. It is the day that unites us with our past and brings forth the probabilities of tomorrow.
Ah yes, tomorrow! What shall it bring? My mother used to tell that there are only three things certain in this world. One thing is that we were born, two is that we pay our taxes. and three is we die. Hence, she concluded, death is a part of living. It is an integral chapter of our subsistence without which the cycle of life is never complete.
Still, the thought of death leaves uncertainty within us and just by the thought of it, we become afraid.
My mother said death is not something to be feared. Instead, it is something to be embraced since it is only in death that we become united with our Creator.
Whatever. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow despite the storm, we are all certain to die. Let’s just pray that when our time comes, our loved ones will remember us and pray for our souls.
In that manner, we shall leave a lasting legacy and say in the afterlife that, indeed, we lived a useful and fruitful life.