Monday, August 14, 2006

In Memory of Aaron Rabajante

13 August 2004. Past
Someone I know just died. It’s sad really. I haven’t been to a hospital to visit the dead before.

* * *

12 August 2006. Not-too-distant past.
He’s been dead for two years now. Yes, his was a death that bothered me the most.

He used to be one year younger than I was. Then it became two. Now it’s three. I guess, Peter Pan has found a way never to grow old.

* * *

18 August 2004. Past
I went to his wake last Sunday (August 15). At first I hesitated to look inside the coffin. Later, curiosity kicked in.

I peeped. I didn’t see Aaron. It was a carcass I saw; it didn’t look like him. It didn’t even look like any human I know.

He’s being buried today. For all it’s worth, I hope he’ll rest in peace.

* * *

“In Memory of Aaron Rabajante” was the original title of the written eulogy I gave his mom two days after his death. Not wanting to keep the piece between his mom and me, I quietly sent a copy to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Little did I know that it will be the piece that would put me on the same page as Rina Jimenez-David as well as on the net.

In a way, I exploited his death. I ask him to forgive me for that.

And still I continue to exploit him. My need to tell people how it feels to lose someone obliquely family is my only excuse.

I ask him to understand me for that.

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