Borrowed Life

Published by: Coach Elsie

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“Ate, she was living a borrowed life.”

A day after Christmas, I scanned through Facebook and saw Virtualahan’s post. I was in denial. So I called Coach Rose to confirm the news. 

At the back of my head, I was whispering a prayer that somehow the news would flip and that there was just a misunderstanding of some sort. I simply couldn’t just get the thought that something tragic happened to a close friend on Christmas! But Rose confirmed what I dreaded to hear. 

Ann died in Bali the day before Christmas. 

I grasped for air and held it in for seconds so I could hold back my tears. But I just couldn’t. My tears fell uncontrollably. I cried and sobbed, yet still in denial. 

How could she die? She had all the energy of any human being. She had this contagious enthusiasm to live life that I could only envy about. 

I can still vividly remember our last exchange of messages. She invited me to visit her in Bali. We tried arranging dates for my departure but my time wasn’t something I freely own. The hustles of life made me miss out on traveling and spending quality time with friends. 

I promised her that by summer (in 2020), I would definitely book a flight. But now, she could never see me fulfill that promise. 

I opened my messenger and scanned through our conversation. She told me how much she wanted to extend her connections in Bali so she could help our Virtualahan community. I sobbed again. 

But I sobbed even more when I realized that the last time I talked to her was in August of 2019, four months before December. I haven’t checked on her in four months!!! 

How can I be such a negligent friend? My crying was unstoppable so my sisters had to hush me but my sobs continued. 

“Ate, stop crying. Your friend was living a borrowed life. You’re lucky you got to know her this long because her condition has been complicated ever since she was born.” 

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I contemplated about life and the inevitability of death. Anything can happen to anyone in times we least expect. Things could go wrong. 

I just wish I talked to her more often and asked her about life. But I was too busy and preoccupied with my own affairs. 

No matter how much I regret my actions or loathe myself, there was nothing much for me to do but cry it all out and accept the truth.  

____________________

In every death, tears are shed, hearts are torn. But we find healing knowing that the sun shines after the twilight. 

Coach Elsie

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