Last Friday, 2 people close to me passed away. One has been sick since the beginning of the year while the other was a family friend and co-volunteer in the Diocesan Lay Formation Center. Both deaths although not surprising were still unexpected...at least not as soon as this. I was in church attending a wedding as a primary sponsor when I got the text message from my Mom regarding Tito Nacing...my feeling upon getting the news was what a good way to die...no fuss, no long agonies...it's typical of him. He has had a few close calls before, so I guess this time was the right time. The other death was not a shock but the news gave me a lump in the throat. I got home from the wedding reception really tired and did not bother to check the messages on my cellphone. I was told that our administrative officer called earlier in the afternoon but left no message. I sat down to watch TV and after a few minutes decided to take a bath...I cleaned up my bag and saw the message..."Patay na si..." I could feel my breath literally stopping and in a daze I went to call the administrative officer. She gave me the bad news. Rosanna has been my friend since our sons became classmates in kindergarten. Our friendship was not an intimate one but close enough for me to feel the loss. She left a 17 year old son and a husband who is working abroad and could not come home because his papers are not in order. I always feel sad when someone close to me dies but it was when my father died in 1991 that it became a life-changing experience for me...he was after all only 58, and it was so sudden that we were totally unprepared for it. But Life goes on and now because I understand and accept death as part of life, dying no longer scares me...yes, it still makes me sad but the sadness is really for myself not for those who have passed on. Tito Nacing has lived a good life...his death is his path to getting his reward from God for a life well lived. Rosanna for all her shortcomings has suffered well, I know that God will welcome her with loving arms and reward her for all her sacrifices.