Sunday, March 6, 2011

That Religious Guy: A Belated Goodbye

..... Today is definitely a day of mourning. Last Monday, our generation lost another one of its barely blooming individuals, Jera Machuca, a person taken before her time. As a journalist, she helped make The Stagg Line a great publication. As a student, she donated her time to various extracurricular activities. As a friend, she was always there with a kind word. It's never an easy reality to overcome when someone disappears forever, gone through the thin line between life and death, between this world and the next. But as time passes, wounds heal and circumstances change. We all must continue the race of existence and must inevitably lose some companions along the way.

..... Now I'm not going to compose an eloquent elucidation about the mysteries of life and why people die. Though I'm a devout Roman Catholic, I am as clueless as the most ardent atheist. I know not what lies beyond, what is waiting on the other side. As a religious person, I may have an inkling, but I certainly do not have all the answers.

..... I must admit that Jera and I were never close friends, a fact that can sadly never change. We were merely acquaintances both on staff and in our casual lives. Yet, the most vivid memory I have of her is something mundane, something personal. I simply remember a time when we were both in charge of cleaning the counter tops in the journalism room. We made small talk and we helped each other out. Of course, this memory may not seem so great to anyone else, but it's something that will stay with me. I will always remember that Jera was always open to others and was always eager to assist in any way.

..... Today at 5 pm, Jera's friends and family will be praying the rosary at Frisbee-Warren & Carroll Mortuary. It didn't hit me until today that she was really gone, spirited away from this earth. Hopefully I'll be able to attend the rosary and pray for Jera's soul and for the consolation of her family. Maybe then I can make my belated goodbye complete, my overdue farewell to a friend I hardly knew. But I'm careful not to use the phrase "final goodbye" because as long as someone's memory remains with you, they live on. It's a cliche that should comfort all of us when we come face to face with our own mortality. Ultimately, Jera will continue to be in my prayers for years to come.

May God bless her and her family,
- Jeremy Dela Cruz