The first encounter of death I had was that of my grandfather when I was seven. I still can recall the ceremony before he was buried when some of us, his grandchildren were carried and passed over his coffin one by one. Someone on the other side of the coffin caught each one of us until everyone was over. I did not know why it was being done and I never bothered to ask anyone until now about the meaning of this ritual.
Then when I was around ten, I had a more profound encounter with death losing my Dad in a motorcycle accident. I remember when his lifeless body was brought in our house. I don’t know why it was not brought in the hospital or in the morgue. A few days after we laid him to rest, I was so afraid of seeing a ghost and seeing him in our backyard. This fear never leaves me until my adult life.
When I lost my son three years ago, that’s when I realized I really have no idea what it is about death I am afraid of. It could be a concept of ghost I never outgrew or the fear of being abandoned or perhaps for not knowing what will happen after death. I’m afraid of not knowing what to do.
I know death will come but I never live believing it will. If I did, I will do things differently on my son. I could have been more loving and forgiving everyday. I could have wasted no time magnifying his flaws. I could have focused on savoring every moment with him and hugging him and laughing with him. I felt so dumb.
I was so lost and so thirsty of knowing where my son was and what will happen to him in the life hereafter. It was so simple to understand that the process of decomposition will happen to his body as soon as it touches the ground. It will go back to the element where it came from and new living things will spring out of there once more. Death is not only dying, it is also a continuous cycle of living as well.
The difficult part is those which my senses could not grasp. I cannot feel his spirit which he was composed of. I cannot see it, I cannot hear it. What happen to this part of him? Did I really lose all of him? Was he just a body? I know he is not, he was more than that. He was more than the body of JC, the name we choose for him.
I realized I did not lose the whole of him after all. My JC is a spirit with a body; in fact, he is not mine. He belongs to the one who created him after all. The ghost could be the spirit to some, too difficult to explain. Our minds are limited to that which can only be comprehended by our senses so it was easy to dismiss the reality of the spirit within us. Death is not only leaving, it is also coming to where we came from.
All the while I thought I lose him. I thought he was gone. But through the years, he makes me feel he is not. How could I not believe in the living spirit when he is continually working to make my life better here on earth? This is where I find the miracles.