Yesterday, I was still wrapping my head around the death of a colleague when another sad news came–my uncle suddenly passed away from a heart attack.

That time, I had not even written a condolence message for my colleague–a fashionable, ebullient, and high-spirited educator loved by students–because I could not put into words what I really wanted to say, then the other message came. I was stunned. Why? đŸ˜¦

Too fast. Just like that and two lives are over.

My uncle was a mild-mannered, generous man. He was a former educator and a former principal of a public school in one of the cities in southern Philippines. Just the day before, I sent him a message and informed him that I was back in the country and that I planned to visit. I checked available dates and available flights. I checked local government regulations. I was looking forward to the end of my quarantine period for the visit. But then, that happened. I was not even able to have a video call with him.

I guess it is just like that. No one can really tell what day or time we will pass on. So, with downcast eyes, I say adieu to my uncle. Once again, I realize how important it is to truly live and not just exist–to appreciate each sunrise and each sunset, to smell the aroma of coffee in the early mornings and pancakes during weekend, to feel emotions, to connect with other human beings.

At this time, when the end of the pandemic is not yet in sight, we hear many stories of goodbye, so much so that news about death seems common already. But it hits close to home when it’s someone you know. It’s not easy.

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