In what seems like a whirlwind of weeks flying by, a lot has happened in the last month.

To recap for a bit, I went home from graduate school back to the US during late December. Being happy that I was finally going to see my family, friends and girlfriend for the first time in seven months was something that I looked forward to and I had been counting down the days. The morning after my return flight and after a good night of catching up and eating good food my mother told me that my landlord’s son Neon, had passed away. I had to do a double take when I heard this news, since I couldn’t believe that my good friend from back where I was studying was actually gone. When asked about what happened, my mother said that he had apparently passed away in his sleep, due to a sudden stroke or heart attack (at that point, the doctors didn’t know). I was really sad for not only Neon, but also for Neon’s family (his mother especially) who all relied on him for help and support. As the manager of the restaurant that I live above, Neon was the one who kept things together, and was the one who really did his best to make sure everyone was happy, healthy and content. I couldn’t believe he was gone, but I had to go on with the next two weeks of my vacation hoping for the best.

After my vacation ended, I headed back to school and took the flight out. I met up with Neon’s family and friends and got to talk to them for a bit about Neon’s passing. Things have settled down at the restaurant, but it looks like now Neon’s mother is passing through a mourning stage that will take place for a long time. A few days after my arrival, I find out that my grandfather had passed away. My grandfather is a person I don’t talk about often, but for good reason… I don’t really need to tell anyone about it since it’s quite personal. But to put things in context, my grandfather had been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the last couple of years and was bedridden because of it. During my vacation he had become a lot weaker than when I last saw him, and although I was sad about the entire ordeal, I guess I was just afraid of the inevitable. The good thing to come out of me getting to go home for my vacation was the fact that I actually got to see him one last time, and that I said my final good-byes.

After these two events, I’m drained quite heavily mentally and physically. I find it hard to sleep at night knowing that that two people who I’ve known for a while now have passed on from this life. Both were helpful people, both always wanted to take care of others, both who were resilient and kind in nature. Looking back on the past month has been a whirlwind of events, to say the least, and I’m quite boggled at how life can be sometimes. “Life is too short,” my mother always used to say. And after this series of ordeals, I have to say she’s right.

Now, I have to deal with a whole set of changes. Lola Linda, Neon’s mother, has decided to close up shop of her restaurant. I’m not sure if that is a permanent move or not, but right now it’s in effect and she isn’t serving any more people at this point. The helpers and families that live around her now have fates that are undecided, and who knows where everyone will end up in the near future. She’s thinking of selling the entire complex (which is a really big one if you think about it), which could possibly mean that I might need another place to live pretty soon. Luckily, things are taking place very gradually, so hopefully nothing changes too quickly. I also have to deal with the fact that I can’t attend my grandfather’s funeral and wakes, which have partially already taken place. I can’t share in my family’s pain and agony personally, but I can definitely be there in spirit. Last night I had to write a short speech on my grandfather that would be read out by my younger brother during the wake and funeral. I sat at my computer writing out everything I had known about him and what I remembered. Towards the end, tears ran down my eyes, as I realized that I would never see him again, at least not face-to-face again.

It’s a shame how life throws us fast balls every once in awhile. I haven’t dealt with death very often during my life, which I can say is somewhat of a blessing and a curse, and it is very traumatizing to say the least. Having two deaths happen within the same 30 day period is… startling, to say the least. It’s hard knowing that the ones you care for are now gone.

Unfortunately, I was and currently am not able to get out of my studies right now to attend any wake or funeral. I have too much going on right now to just leave in the middle of it all. I hope that everyone who has suffered losses will know that I share in their suffering and pain.

Gosh, this is going to be a long month…

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