Paalam, Kuya

When my grandmother died last November, I couldn’t sing for two days. Not even Moirraine’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. When I learned about Jom’s death last December, I could only ease out what I feel by singing – most particularly Paglisan. But when Kuya Julz death was confirmed last Monday, I became speechless; I couldn’t articulate my thoughts and feelings and could only say “Kuya” with a frowney face on my status on social networks – me who’s usually expressive in written form and more especially when emotional.

When we first heard of the siege Wednesday night, it seemed our world revolved around it (aside from work for Atsushi and me taking care of Yui of course). The day is spent on reading the news and waiting for news within the company. Topic over dinner is about the latest update of the siege. Hearts fearful yet dearly hoping the news about deaths is not true.

Sunday came and we received the news that allayed our fears – Kuya is safe! We were still saddened for the other colleagues (Hubs was getting depressed) yet we were rejoicing that our prayers had been answered – Kuya is safe! I found myself mentally drafting my email to him, to let him know of our relief over his safety. I found myself looking forward as well, to hear about his survival story. I found myself wondering if he’d give a sort of press conference, at least to the P department in Manila, sharing his experience to department-mates who consider him as a dear friend, a mentor, a Kuya (older brother), a Daddy.

But Monday came and brought a terrible news. The real news was that Kuya didn’t make it. It seemed like all the tension and fear in the last five days caused some black hole and took all my words after saying “No”.

Such a terrible way to die, especially for a good man as Kuya had been…..and with this, I find myself lost for words again as I start to try to express myself and try to get a grasp of why it had to happen.

Kuya Julz, I know you can see us all now and know how we’ve been unsettled with your passing; unsettled being an understatement. I can just imagine how your family feel right now because even us, your friends and colleagues all around the globe had been mourning for days; mourning yet still unbelieving. And even when it hurts us a lot, with the unfairness of it, I can only imagine how your friends who share the same office with you must feel; they, who are reminded of you with every corner in the office.

Am surprised I’ve already written quite a lot albeit I still haven’t expressed a fraction of my thoughts and feelings.

I am sorry Kuya that I can’t even write a decent eulogy for you. But know that in my heart, there’s only one Kuya for me – only you and nobody else.

It hurts to say this but I have to because you have to – Rest in Peace, Kuya.
They say it comes in threes. Please. Let Kuya be the last.

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