Saturday, June 7, 2008

Da Boy Dies Today

It was Ma who broke us the news that actor Rudy Fernandez, a.k.a. Da Boy, died today.

It’s really none of my business if he dies or not but apparently I care more than I should. Actually, it’s difficult not to care when the news is at my tail even when I’m doing some serious proofreading work.

The thing is, people die all the time, thus the boom in the funeral service business. And I wouldn’t have to go very far to know that printing obituaries is lucrative, too. Then there are the doctors who, after witnessing too much deaths, are desensitized from the whole grieving ordeal. Just imagine how many deaths it took for them to get numb.

I’m no longer sure if it was Sigmund Freud who said that there are two things that draws human beings which, despite their efforts, they cannot getaway from: sex and death. Both phenomena will haunt them wherever they may go. I am sure, however, that it was Brad Pitt’s character in Meet Joe Black who said that if there were two things man cannot run away from, those would be death and taxes. In our country some people do get away from their taxes, but surely not death.

And Da Boy’s demise proves that. His fame and power could not buy him immunity from mortality. And the spotlight magnifies that fact ten times over.

Da Boy’s death may be masked as a glamorous one, thanks to his star status and million-peso coffin. (I don’t dig the super expensive casket, though. The money might as well have been used to feed a thousand malnourished children.) But the pain it may cause his bereaved family is just as normal and real as it usually is to most of us.

Looking at the people whom Da Boy left, I couldn’t help but relive the pain and disorientation that they must be going through. A tiny voice inside my head was ordering me to throw something at the television just to save me from the drama and trauma, but it wasn’t my TV so I had to restrain myself.

The scenes were all too familiar, I hated it!

You are reduced to choose your ailing loved-one’s “release” in place of a longer time of torture. You’d think you’ll be fine. You’d think. Not until you realize what you’ve lost. Whom you’ve lost. And then you see yourself standing in front of your loved-one’s remains, knees trembling and too weak to keep you upright, tears generously flowing down from your tear ducts as if they will never dry up, emotions a mess. And so are you.

Then you will realize that there is nothing fine at losing someone, especially to death. You only have to find a good in it, no matter how impossible it maybe, if only to make the pain worth all the trouble.

Moving on is a challenge. And based on experience, it really does take time.

You can’t have your loved-one cremated on a weekend only for you to go back to your normal life the day that follows. Moving on is more complex than appearing fine to everyone. Plastering a smile on your face while having a black pin do your grieving for you is not in any way a sign of strength. In the same manner, not being able to cry doesn’t mean you’re over mourning. Suppressing your tears is just as self-destructive as drowning your sorrow with booze.

I’m not sure if there is a correct way of picking up oneself after a tragedy. But I know that alienating yourself from the collective whose presence may be of help to you is not a good idea. Also, thinking that you’re the only one who’s lost a loved-one is plain stupid. Because death leaves a void to everyone’s lives, everyone who has no choice but to continue living with one less person in their lives.

I’m no expert at this. To tell the truth, I am formulating my theories on a daily basis. I’ve been learning something new about death and life for the past 10 months or so. And it ain’t easy.

Yes, Da Boy dies today. My brother died over 10 months ago. Who knows who’ll go tomorrow?

And although death is a part of life, it will surely take a lot to convince Da Boy’s family, me and, perhaps, you that someway, somehow things will get better.

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