Of Life and Death

There are times in life where you reflect on mortality. Be it your own or in general. The past two weeks was one of those times for me.

Such is the circle of life that birth and death is constant, we all are born, we will all die. That’s a sure thing.

In the span of two weeks, I know two people who passed away (another one I have not met personally but I know the son). I also know two friends who gave birth to two new babies.

Ella is a friend that I’ve known for years. We were not that close but her husband was one of my first friends at Singles For Christ. Ella’s sister-in-law is also one of my dearest friends.

Ella was taken too soon from this world. She battled a brain tumor for the past 10 or so years eventually losing to it a couple of weeks ago. She was a loving wife to Carlo and a doting mother to Carlitos and Vino. She was 37 years old.

Dr. Hermogenes Tantoco or “Tito Mon” as I know him died last Friday night. He had been battling lung cancer for a year or so. He had known about it for that time but never told anyone until it became severe. From the stories I’ve heard, he had wished to spare his family the grief and burden of trying to treat it. He said that he was ready to die and that he had lived a full life.

Tito Mon from what I’ve heard and how I know him was a very fine example of a husband, father and grandfather. He had a life that probably many of us would be envious to have. He was a doctor, businessman but more than that a good husband, father and grandfather. He had a sense of dignity about him that gives the impression that he was not just an important person but also a fine gentleman.

Friends and their respective families will surely miss both Ella and Tito Mon.

Life goes in circles and as two lives go back to their creator, two new lives are also born.

My very good friend Cris, gave birth to Dominque Marie or Nikki. She is the second child of Cris and her husband Rommel.

I also found out that Angela, the sister of a good friend of mine also gave birth early this morning. The tragic thing about it was that it is a bittersweet time for their family. The birth of a baby came at the time where they also lost the father of Angela’s husband.

With each new baby, the circle of life begins anew. I wish these two new babies that were born to friends of mine, a life that is lived as well as the two people I know who passed away sans the disease they suffered.

I wish them both the strength and courage Ella, possessed. She faced her condition head on and lived her life to the fullest despite the challenges. I wish them the life Tito Mon had. He had lived a life that by any measure was well lived. He was married to the love of his life for 50 something years, had great kids, great grandchildren. He left this world with a lot more than what he started with. That’s how most people should live. I’m not talking about wealth but by people we’ve touched, things we’ve done and a difference we made to people around us.

I often think about mortality. Given my condition, it’s a great possibility that I will not live as long as most people should. They said I would not live past 30 and I’m already pushing 34 this year.
I’m honestly scared about death but not because life will end but mostly because I don’t think I’ve live life to the fullest yet. I don’t think I can say I’ve done all that I can and that I’m satisfied with what I’ve done in this world.

I still have things to do, places to see, people to meet but most especially, I still need to do more good in the world before I can honestly say I can leave it with more than what I’ve started with.

I guess at the end of the day, life and death really come hand in hand. Not because it’s natural that life begins and ends but probably because we should all learn to live life to the fullest in order to make death meaningful.

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