Stream of Life

Stream of Life
Eternally flowing...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What do you say to someone grieving?

Last night I went to a wake. It was that of my best friend's father.

I came there not really knowing what to say. You see, I have that problem. I don't know what to say to someone who had just suffered the loss of a loved one.

"How are you?" - I just find this stupid.

"I am really sorry." - for what?

"My condolences." - too impersonal.

When I got to the chapel, I ended up just giving my best friend a hug. Something that I really do not do often.

But this got me thinking.

When I go, and friends come to my wake (not that I would want to have one), what would they say to the ones I would leave behind?

Pipingutin ko ang sinumang magtanong sa pamilya ko ng "kamusta na po kayo?" o "ok lang po kayo?"!

Pipitikin ko ang ilong ng sinumang magsabi ng "kaya nyo nyan!" o "tibayan nyo loob nyo."!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When 5% Isn't Bad At All

Got my CD4 results last Thursday. The magic numbers are 2-7-6.

Yes, my CD4 count is at 276 from the previous 263 six months ago.

It isn't much. A mere 5% increase from the previous results. But I will gladly take that 5%!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

World's AIDS Day - the Yoga For Life Way

December 2008. It was the first World's AIDS Day that I attended. And I swore that it was going to be my last...

Fast forward November 2010. The day before December 1 (Tuesday), I texted our yogi and asked whether it was OK for me to do yoga practice the day before my CD4 extraction. He said it was.

I was actually trying to make an excuse not to attend another World AIDS Day event.

On December 1, I was called to an emergency meeting scheduled for 6PM. Normally, I would have made a fuss about the timing but I accepted the meeting invite without second thoughts.

I was actually trying to make an excuse not to attend another World AIDS Day event.

Later that day, the meeting was re-scheduled for 4:30PM and finished a few minutes past 6PM. I left the office quarter past 6. I was expecting to reach Ortigas from Ayala way past 7pm as usually happens.

I was actually trying to make an excuse not to attend another World AIDS Day event.

Lo and behold! No traffic along EDSA! And I made it to Ortigas quarter before 7!

I could not make any more excuse to attend another World AIDS Day event!

And I am glad that all my excuses came to naught.

Filipinos have a saying: "wag kang magsalita ng tapos". And this was proven on the second World AIDS Day that I attended.

I was more than happy that I came. Aside from actually disclosing my "kapusitan", the Yoga for Life activity for WAD gave me a more positive (no pun intended) experience of this event.

One of the things that stuck with me about that evening were the words: "times are changing". And indeed they are.

Gone are the days when WAD is about death and suffering.

What struck me most was that during that WAD celebration, we were actually doing that - CELEBRATING!

Celebrating our own lives - whether positive or negative. Celebrating the lives of those who have gone on ahead of us by living our lives as healthy as they wished they could have had they been given the same chance that we PLWHA are being given now.

I do not regret disclosing my HIV status during that YFL session. It was a step for me in finally accepting my status not just in my mind and heart but in my words as well.

Times are changing indeed.