Friday, December 31, 2004

thanatophobia

Life is a very fragile thing.

Last month, Sir Alix, one of our Math teachers in Pisay, passed away, probably because of cirrhosis. We visited him two days before his not-really-unexpected demise, and saw how terrible his condition was: he looked literally yellow, and much thinner. His legs and abdomen were swollen, and there was this wretched expression on his face as he leaned on the bed - he couldn't lie on his back because of the pain. Despite that, he still managed to recognize us and thank us for visiting. Looking at him like that was really heart-rending; Clara and Leslie wept at the sight of him.

It was too staggering a thought that he was gone - Sir Alix, who looked almost like a jolly old friar, Sir Alix, whom we always made fun of because of his mispronunciations (paysheep = phase shift), Sir Alix, who magically procured near-miraculous grades for failing students, Sir Alix, who was always ready to crack a joke when the class was bored, Sir Alix, the Sir Alix with whom we shared so much memories.

But there lay on the coffin his emaciated and cotton-stuffed body, as we looked on with sorrow at his wake. He was dead. Period.

What is it with death that makes us humans so afraid of it? What drives us to grieve so much when someone beloved all of a sudden bites the dust? What impels some of us to erect stately mausoleums, whitewashed sepulchres that serve no practical purpose? What attracts some of us to consult witches and spirit mediums, asking them to conjure echoes of their departed? What gives us this unnatural fear of something so natural in this cat-eat-mouse world? Why is there an innate notion in all of us that there's more to death than just reaching total metabolic equilibrium?

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5 comments:

jay said...

hi kuya.

Jmefl said...

perhaps it is to show how much they love the one who died? i also think tradition has something to do with it.

kaw ba? are you afraid of your own death? personally i used to be, although i've gotten over it long ago. i am afraid of having the people close to me die though, and after sir alix' death i realized that i'd rather die than let them die. hehe. and that as of now, there are eleven people i'm willing to die for.

kaw ba?

reinzi said...

"Why is there an innate notion in all of us that there's more to death than just reaching total metabolic equilibrium?"

- maybe because we don't see everything from a purely scientific point of view. we driven not by intellect, but by emotion. some of us are scared to go to a place we will never know about in our present lives, and i guess others are simply afraid of being left behind.

may blog ka pala, di mo naman sinasabi. :)

Anonymous said...

ang kamatayan nga naman ang isa sa mga pinakanakakaloloko sa buhay (o sa katapusan ng buhay) ng tao. ganon na lamang ang takot natin dito dahil isa ito sa mga bagay na kahit anong gawin natin ay hindi pa rin natin maipaliwanag. pero bakit parang napakaconcerned mo sa kamatayan (sa una mong post at dito)? mabuhay tayo! makibaka! wag matakot! hehe, kain lang ng kain (buko salad pala ang kahinaan mo hehe).

ako nga pala si oyayi. kakatuklas ko lang ng iyong blog. ayos a.

Unknown said...

i think humans are afraid of death because
a) of its element of uncertainty,
b) it entails that there will be things in the earthly life that one will never get a chance to experience anymore, and
c) one will be leaving behind responsibilities which is his role to carry out, and loved ones for which he has made his role to care and work for. :D