A few months ago I got to have dinner with a dear friend in Singapore at a lovely restaurant. We used to hang out in Makati, Manila, right after college, and would see each other almost daily with our group of friends, just enjoying the Makati nightlife like the care-free twenty-somethings we were.
Allan was his usual sweet, gentle self, picked my aunt and I up at our hotel and took us to his favorite restaurant, where we had a delicious meal and a lively conversation. We had a lot to catch up on! He shared about life and Singapore and moving in with his partner; they were going to buy a house together.
As I went home I could not help thinking, wow, this guy has got it together. What do I have? Comparing ourselves is never a pretty thing, but here I was measuring myself up against a friend's life choices and path. I thought to myself, I want to move to Singapore! Thankfully this only lasted for a moment, as I do love my life in Cebu, especially my work at the Gassho Center and my friends.
A few weeks back, our common friend told me Allan was in the hospital for a heart operation. Last week, he passed away due to complications. I am still wrapping my head around this. Allan is not my first friend who passed away. In my work and life, I have come to honor death as part of life. And yet it doesn't take away from the suddenness, the shocking coldness of it. I try to think of Alan's suffering before he passed, and his relief as he moved on to the other side. I focus on him - not on me. I send him love and light for a safe passage. I take time to honor him. I am grateful I got to see him one more time, after such a long hiatus. Love your life, even on shitty days. Make your health your priority: physical, mental and emotional. Till next lifetime, love you Allan!