It was a day after we buried him. I went with my father to clean our house where four nights earlier my eldest brother was shot to death. I needed to be there. I just have to be there.
The door only covered the opening of the house, it was obviously been detached, the door knob was broken, the scent of candle filled the first level. I was in that place a month earlier where we celebrated his birthday. I even brought “pansit” my Mama cooked and brought to him to celebrate his 44th and little did we know it would be his last. I remembered he looked so pale but he was still cheerful and as always thoughtful, preparing what he has, even a humble bananaque.
“Ne, ano ang kurso ni Ali?” As he looked to me, I thought I saw the joy and pride in him. Two weeks earlier I brought his son and my godson to a nearby university and have him enrolled.
It was the most haunting words of question of a brother to a sister, as if he was telling, “Please look after him.”
On this day I want to clean the place where he died. My father who was with me did not come in and my nephew suddenly was not in sight when I came in to a very familiar place. This was our home since my mind gained ability to form memories.
I went in.
I inspected. I collected.
I have not yet spent an hour when I saw a piece of cloth. I held the piece of bloodied cloth to my chest then wept like I have never wept before. “Dyos ko, Dyos ko, tulungan Nyo po kami.” I heard myself repeating in between breath and heavy sobs.
For a split second I thought an angel of God hugged me. It was Papa. The hand of comfort has finally brought me to my senses. “Let’s go?”, father asked.
I asked for few more minutes. I came here, above anything else, to do my last act of service for him. I cleaned his room and folded his clothes while sobbing in between.
Before we left, Papa said in a speaking voice and volume “Bener, alis na kami.” As if he was still alive.
Somone said sa “Bawat dugo na dumadaloy, may luhang pumapatak”
It’s true to all human beings, whatever kind of label they have in eyes of the society of men, someone will shed tears for their passing – on. What more of a cruel death?
No one deserves to die without the proper due process of law. No one. Why? I only have one simple answer: God created us. Only God has the sole right to take back that life.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. I take it as a promise.