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I will never forget what a doctor-friend and former schoolmate told me long ago. No solemnity at all when reuniting with old friends and classmates, just pure moments of joviality and rowdy tales of those glorious but lost and youthful old days.

However, when someone among us dies, that’s when the get-togethers (or presently, the group chats) become stained with the permanence of loss and the grim reminder that each and every one after all, is mortal. That is also when the mere idea alone…that we all have an expiration date, just takes the wind out of you. At that moment, the lingering cloud of youth’s arrogant invincibility is instantly, without fanfare, blown away easy to reveal how fleeting is your stay here on this plane.

I just have to look, as though from the fence line (ala fool on the hill), the coming and going feel like an endless parade of faces, some silent and some accompanied by blaring music. While some may be quick flashes and some mere sparks, there will always be those that briefly light the way. Nevertheless, the coming and the going, they seem to never end. And as your legs get tired from sitting for so long on the fence, you begin to be aware, time is near, you’re going to have to run along and join up with the line of faces as they go. The parade goes on.

In this month alone and in quick succession, two of our old-guard musicians and dear friends passed away quietly. Ans almost within moments from each other, all I could picture is the image of two stones tossed in a still pond, one after the other, with nary time for the ripples of each to reach the shore. In the end, just like real life, the rest will be still once again, and only the pond is constant. What’s in it for the rest of us?

Those left behind will now have a lifetime to relive each memory they have shared with those who have gone ahead. Mourning, as all surely will be, shall through time, eventually give room to a deadened ache, until even that will have waned down further to an occasional pinch. Throughout all these, as if to ease our pains, that carousel of memories shall be the drone-like soundtrack playing in the background and they will accompany you through the hard times. Until it’s our time and it will play its tune to console someone else.

Through all this, most reveries shall consist mostly of contemplation before a still pond.



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