Most of the time, I am the type of person who knows what to do, how to handle things. Break ups? Cry a bit, then act as if you’ve moved on a month later. Friend betrayed you? Keep calm and carry on. (How original) Tripped over a rock? Regain composure and strut like you mean it.
However, if there is one thing that I don’t know how to react to, it’s death. What do you say to someone na namatayan? How do you comfort a person whose loved one they have lost forever? What can saying “my condolences” actually do? And the most important of all, what do I do if I learned that something I love will be gone forever?
Forever is such a strong word, eh? Especially when you know it’s true. I think the sweetest form of forever is in high school promises, even if only a handful of them are actually kept. To have someone utter the words, “I will love you forever,” for you–even if something in your subconscious tells you that while the love might stay, the relationship likely will not–will be the most blissful 3 seconds of your youth. But what happens if forever meant you will never see someone again? What if forever meant something you once held dear, you will never get to lay eyes on again?
I don’t know. I don’t know how to react to that. How can one fully understand death without mastering life first? I used to ask myself why humans even have the capability of attachment if all living things must come to an end. If we had to let go eventually, why were we given the ability to love and hold on?
I just reread that introduction and I just realized that when I finally reveal that I’m talking about the death of my dog you might think I’m too melodramatic. But in reality, I’m not. I’ve had Greco since I was Grade Five, 11 years old. A number of dogs have come and gone in this house when I was little but none of them actually stayed. All of them were given away for reasons I was too young to remember.
But Greco, Greco stayed. He just had his birthday last July 31 and now he’s dead. Got run over by an FX. Just like that. Seven years of his life gone just because of motherfucking vehicle who doesn’t know how to fucking slow down inside a village. Do you know how frustrating that is? My cousin just went inside the house and shouted, “Nasagasaan si Greco!” and I hurriedly went outside and carried him back to the house.
We were already preparing to take him to the vet and then suddenly, he just lost his breath.
Hi Greco, this is my only picture of you because you’re so magaslaw and can’t even stand still kahit for one picture lang.
Thank you for all the nights you’ve been there when I had no one to cry to, the downside of being an only child, I guess. HAHA. I will never forget how you never liked dog food and had hunger strikes whenever we tried feeding you fish or any other ulam that is unfit for your status as a shih tzu. Also how your barks are basically the same for everyone, whether stranger, friend, or family. And lastly, I will miss how you scratch my doors every night when everyone’s already asleep just so you could sleep in my room even if that meant getting shouted at by mommy in the morning because you’re not allowed here in my room.
I love you, Greco. And I will never forget how big a part you played in my teenage years. Rest in peace but you know I hate those kinda stuff so whatever. Rock and roll in dog heaven.