4 years

I remember this day four years ago like it was yesterday. I might have used to the pain, perhaps it toughened me, or if not, it probably made me dense.

I’m still not used to the life living without him. I don’t talk about this pain to anybody anymore because there’s a lot of arising pain that must be dealt with, surpass, or hit to the curbside.

On this day, four years ago, I lost you, my greatest confidant; and it hasn’t been easy for me ever since. If I was able, I could have shared with you your pain and if we’re lucky, we could have survived it together.

Months ago, I transferred home again – moved back from that building where you helped transfer my things and send me off as I venture work and stay in Baguio and Boracay. It felt surreal, it felt painful yet hopeful at the same time, and even in the times that I’m alone, I also know I’m not. Maybe you’re somewhere, maybe you’re there.

The last four or five years weren’t easy – dreams are kind of shattered, I continue to pick it all together, power through, come through, and survive. How was I not able to find a true confidant in these trying times? – one who won’t budge, who won’t judge, and to whom you should not defend yourself to; one who can trust you, who has faith in you, and who will just support you with no questions asked.

I’ve been meaning to remember how it was like to be trusted, to be fully supported, and to feel home and safe. And every time I try, I remember how you are always there – no questions to ask, no doubt to manifest, just plain ecstatic on the things I will do without me having to defend myself; without you asking for anything in return, except probably for a burger after you fetch me somewhere or send me to the place where I should be. While I’m successful on many things, I also know that I’m a failure to some – men, for one. I probably can hear you saying, “okay lang yan! Ganyan talaga,” then will change the conversation about food, or about Derenz, or about something funny that happened in your office. Haha! I wish I could not be asked for more questions like you do; and yes, it really turned out ‘okay lang, ganyan talaga.’

I stopped looking forward to receiving birthday cakes because I know they will not be from you this time. I still have received some on my birthday – grateful for people who remembered, but deep inside I knew, it will still be different coming from you.

This life’s lighter and more fun if you are still here, but I’m also glad you didn’t experience the pandemic given all your underlying conditions. I know you are happier and safer wherever you are. We miss you, Kuya Denz.

Author: shainnehostalero

Shainne Hostalero, MDC is a social entrepreneur (owner and founder of Happy Shift PH), a communication scholar, and a writer.

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