I started singing this song to myself when I was having stomach pains last year, when I still didn’t know I need a surgery to remove my gall bladder. I would hum in front of the mirror, while brushing my teeth and counting the number of pimples on my face, which by the way, I related to the health problems I was having. The more pimples I see, the more depressed I get. Yeah, I could be melodramatic when sick.
When I got out of the operating room alive, I forgot the song and the thought of dying, until before my flight to Indonesia earlier this year.
Before flying to Jakarta, I left home with both of my parents gazing at me through our gate. It dawned on me, ‘what if this was the last time we would see each other?’ The idea stuck to me the entire time I was in Indonesia.
On my domestic flight back to Jakarta while waiting for the plane, there had been a power interruption at the airport. ‘This must be a sign,’ I thought. I must be dying already or something.
I don’t know why I kept on entertaining such thoughts at that time. Maybe my cheesy-old school-young writer heart is looking for signs or for concrete feelings of what is it like to live the last days or last moments of one’s life.
Then during the holy week, a friend asked me if there is any concern she could pray for me. The question she popped at the middle of our conversation on why our Davids aka one true love (OTL) are taking so long to find us.
I told my friend to pray for my health because I was having unusual diastolic blood pressure. Then I blurted, ‘maybe I’ll die young and to minimize casualty, I wouldn’t meet my David.’ (🎵 there’s a boy here in town says he’ll love me forever who would have thought forever could be severed by
the sharp knife of a short life…)
I was just kidding.
My friend told me confidently, ‘hindi yan.’
There is really no way to tell when our time on earth is up. I wouldn’t call it dying because we don’t really die but we just pass from this life to the next. But if there’s one thing my recent thoughts are teaching me, it would be this: live today as if it’s the last.
And how do we really live today as if it’s the last? Here’s my humble attempt to answer and live just that:
- Express love to people you love the most.
- Be kind. (If you have to choose between being smart and kind precept)
- Be generous not only with material things but with words and maybe with the like/heart button. Do not hold back compliments or a smile. A little thing goes a long way.
- Do what matters. Don’t get stuck in a work that does not spark joy in your life (naks, Marie Kondo-ing not just our stuff but our life.)
- Get started on that passion project you’ve always wanted to do!
- Give your best shot in things you lay your hands to. Do it as if you work for the Lord.
- Be brave, stop worrying and enjoy life. I have recently watched a video on YouTube about how the universe will end millions of trillion trillion trillion years from now. And there’s this one comment that went something like this, ‘This is how vast the universe can be and here I am worrying if my crush will like me back.’ Not that I resonate with his exact feelings, but it’s true. We hold back in doing things, we fear and we worry when we shouldn’t really be. J
We would fail on most days you know. On most nights we may find ourselves asking God of his mercy because we fell short. Some days we may get tired of living the rules and would just roll our eyes on people. But we have to keep.on.trying.
In the last funeral I’ve been to, relatives are wailing, stomping and fainting before the casket of their loved one. This is a familiar scene in the Philippines, I guess and I don’t dare judge these people on how they mourn and express the pain of losing someone so dear.
But I thought, ‘I’d never want my loved ones to mourn like that when I pass away.’ I want them to grieve with a trusting hope to Jesus Christ who has risen from the dead and promised us rooms in His kingdom. I want them to feel the pain of losing and at the same time embrace the joy of me departing to be with Christ.
As St. Paul wrote in the Scripture, ‘to live is Christ and to die is gain.’
I hope I didn’t scare you but pushed you to live life in the best way you can.