I think I don’t know how to grieve too well. Or maybe I am already made of ice and as such is able to treat all emotions with a critical eye.
My grandfather just died. Although I am not utterly close to him, I know I should still feel some pang of sadness or grief. But I am afraid that my emotions are just close to numb – nothing; neutral. I do not feel anything. I have not even shed a tear. I am more concerned about what would happen to the family now that he is gone – will his siblings finally voice out against his wife? Will chaos ensue now that the pillar is gone? Furthermore I am relieved that his suffering has ended.
In the past weeks, his life has been mercilessly extended by modern medical equipments – whereas in the past he should have been dead at the start of the month, thanks to medical inventions, he managed to live till the end of the month. But then the amount of discomfort and pain to him must have been great – not to mention the embarrassment he must have endured or the anxiety he must have felt over his situation. Embarrassed because his kids who needs to look after him were able to see him naked – changing diapers and clothes – and anxiety because he knows all the medical attention he is receiving is expensive and costly.
I know my grandfather wasn’t senile when he died. There were just a lot of complications in his body like difficulty in breathing ultimately resulting to his inability to talk and express himself. They even said that there were times wherein he would fight off the nurse who administers his suero – I guess he was already resisting medication. And so to me, it is good that he is dead. That he now rests in peace. And maybe that’s why I cannot grieve like the rest.
This year, or maybe the past couple of months, a lot of people I personally know, and not personally know, have passed from this world. My grand aunt, that is my grandfather’s older sister died last December. She was somehow close to me when I was in high school but even then I knew she was already suffering from the complications of diabetes. Not only that she has had a lot of emotional baggage caused about by the inattention of her children and the over attention of her siblings. So it was a relief for her to die. Then came January, one of the persons I considered a lola because she cared for me when I was young, also passed away. She was also suffering from the complications of diabetes but unfortunately she doesn’t have the money to access sufficient medical care to alleviate her situation. So it was again a relief for her to die. And then I have a friend, who was suffering from leukemia. She had to undergo several chemotheraphy sessions and apparently that was still no guarantee of her wellness. Just when everyone thought she was ok and recovering, the disease struck again and before further medications could be made, she was dead. Again, it was a relief for her to die for she won’t have to suffer anymore.
And then there are the more famous deaths of Michael Jackson, which has been ruled as a homicide lately, and not suicide as suspected and the recent death of Pres. Cory Aquino, which took from the country one of the greatest president’s it has ever known (according to the tributes). For MJ, I do not know if it was a relief for him to die but for Cory, I know it was. She was also suffering before her death. Apparently, death appears to be a relief from suffering. Not just physical suffering but emotional ones as well.
Death is an escape from this imperfect world into the after life beyond. Of course the only people who could be confident of their deaths are the ones who know what lies beyond this life. People who are unaware of what waits for them after death tend to be scared of dying. Well, I know where I’ll go when I die. And I am not afraid to die.
In fact for me, to die is gain. I have longed for death for a long time. Sometimes I can’t help but envy the dying. Sometimes I want to already write my “death” note. Take note, I do not refer to a suicide note. Even if I want to die badly, I do not want to invite death at my doorstep. I do not want to hasten what is not yet it’s time. And don’t misunderstand me, I love life. I enjoy my life and I am not immensely unhappy. I have my own shares of life’s burdens but they are not enough to make me want quit life altogether.
But then death is altogether better than what I have now. For when I die, I will be with Him. Forever.
For my other views on death, you may want to check out: