the idea of death

our neighbor passed away just this week. she died while crossing the highway in front of our house and being hit by two speeding motorbikes.

i saw her lying flat on the concrete, her underside soaked in blood. i saw her. she was not moving. a lot of people came to help. an ambulance quickly appeared; she was brought to the hospital a few meters away. later, her children called to tell us that she did not make it.

i feel sorry for her family. we have known her and her family for a very long time now.

she was just crossing the street. seriously? in front of our house? i think there are some dark and mysterious otherwordly forces that lurk around our neighborhood. the national road is well-lit, with lamp posts every 100 meters or so. it's also a very straight linear route, no curves at all for more than a kilometer. it's a 4-lane stretch of concrete with wide shoulders on both sides.

it's almost a wonder why there's a freak accident happening at that exact same spot (in front of our gate) almost every year: in my lifetime, i've seen a bus, a truck, a pedicab, and now a mere pedestrian figuring in really terrible road accidents, and often these people have been declared dead on arrival when they get to davao regional hospital, a walking distance from our house.

my dad believe in spirits. i do.

from little kite studios, CC-by-NC-SA 3.0

here in our place, we call them not-like-ours, a euphemism for otherworldly creatures and spirits that lurk in the human world. it's the kind of silent recognition like in using he-who-must-not-be-named; you get the drift.

you've probably heard of unbelievable stories from your family, cousins, and friends about spiritual encounters. maybe you've seen tv documentaries of how tourists drown in one part of a mysterious river in the province of Rizal. in one story, one tourist recounts visiting to the spiritual world along with his friend after they've drowned together. they were offered the chance by the underwater spirits to stay there forever. he refused, but his friend chose to stay; later, he was rescued on the bank of the river, while his friend passed away.

the idea of death is really scary, especially if you're not prepared to leave this physical earth yet. i feel sorry for those who have not said their good-byes properly. i think if i had the choice, i would like the kind of death by cancer, like the bucket-list movie. morgan freeman's character was able to say good-bye properly, and i think cancer provides you enough time to do that. compare that with a cardiac arrest, a lethal stroke, a deadly road accident, et cetera.

the idea of death also reminds us that we are all gonna die, and that we are just transient material manifestations of the cosmos that is billions of years old. we are just like withering senescent leaves in a big old tree.

it's really a miracle, then, that we get to experience life in the first place.