Dying young

by Evans Yonson

(Note: I wrote this piece on July 15 while spending my summer in a university residence hall in Madrid, Spain. I have been completely dumbfounded after seeing what I saw and all I could do was to write what I was feeling at that moment. I couldn’t talk to anyone then.)

madrid – a young spanish man just died minutes ago. i felt the need to write this blog and reflect on losing someone young as he was.

he was with his friends roller blading and passing through the street where my dormitory is. it was almost 12 midnight. the women in the cafeteria, the ones who serve us every night except saturdays, just stepped out of the dorm when this bunch of young men passed through. and i heard the women shouting in unison. dios mio!!!!

after almost an hour of resuscitating him, he breathed his last.

what is death? why is it so familiar and yet so strange to everybody?

i have experienced deaths in the family. the first one was my father in 1990. less than 6 months after, my mother’s young brother followed. then my grandmother’s brother in less than 5 months. last year, my mother died. seven months after my grandfather joined her. these were my loved ones whom i have spent my lifetime with.

i have had few friends who died when we were younger. a classmate died in a vehicular accident. another was stabbed to death. yet another was gunned down. my mother’s sister gave birth and in less than an hour the baby died.

death comes in many forms and in the most unexpected times and places. my mother’s uncle died in his sleep. and so was my grandfather last november. my father had a heart attack on his way to work.

i say that these deaths made me look at life in a new direction with a better perspective. living life to the fullest. risking everything. dying is something to look forward to and nothing to be scared of.

i believe that meeting strangers is like dying. you don’t know when,where and in what circumstance you’re going to face it. you just don’t…. whether you’re a baby. a young man. an old man. a grandmother. anybody. nobody is exempt. and life is a never-ending process. birth. growth. death. birth. growth. death.

as i open my window of this hot madrid summer, i feel the wind blowing into my body telling me that tonight somebody died. and he is born again…. in yet another form. the wind, maybe….