My lola’s death

The prominence of the dark red veins running like chicken feet on my sclera is telling me that my body needs sleep. I’ve been awake for 25 straight hours save for some moments of semi-conscious naps.


I feel like I’m on drugs for the entire day. I couldn’t sleep. I went to V. Mapa this afternoon looking for a certain address on Silencio Street. What is wrong with the Philippine address system? When will somebody try to fix it and make an easier system that will save us precious time? I went in circle in a village that borders Manila and Mandaluyong looking for house number 1. Only after I drenched myself in the rain did I find the house whose owner did not bother to place at least a cardboard to signify that his house is #1.

The nerve of Manila’s middle class.

When does death become less painful? I received a message from my mother telling me that her grandmother, my affable lola Maria, passed away early this morning. She died of old age. It was a life well lived, a 97 years of a remarkable existence. She’s rested now. I remember her as a woman who held close to her life, who loved life so much that I mistook it as fear of death. Surrendering would be the last thing that entered her mind.

Her kind of death, however, is not something I would want for myself. It’s difficult to imagine dying as if your death is an anticipation, as if living is an anomaly. I do not want to die of old age.

When we are confronted with these events in our lives, we realize that we are not as invulnerable as we would want to believe, that a day will come when we’ll all have to take our final bow and be obliterated from the face of the Earth. I jokingly told a friend that if my time comes, I will make sure that it is as spectacular as I envision it to be. Jokes are half-meant, they say. I mean what I said.

It is odd receiving “condolences” from people. After the adverbs ‘actually’ and ‘basically’, ‘condolences’ is in the running for the next emptiest word in the English language. Somebody blurted ‘I’m sorry to hear that your grandmother just died.’ I have no intention to sound sarcastic, but please, spare me. I never blamed you for her death.

My body is aching for rest.


4 thoughts on “My lola’s death”

  1. thanks gracie. i had a hard time comprehending the profundity you left here. i had to ask my friend what it meant.

    i hope sadness made me feel a bit better.

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