Sir Sonny passed away half an hour ago, said a message from my favorite professor. It was Thursday, at 9:34 in the evening.
I was in the office working my ass off when I received the news. I was even planning to work in the coming weekend. Scratch that! I was definitely taking the five-hour bus trip on Saturday morning to see my mentor for the last time.
He was always clear about his funeral: No eulogies. Why waste beautiful words about someone who can no longer hear them? He did not want it. And to be frank, he did not need it. Whatever praise he deserved, he must have heard already. Whatever he did not hear, he must have felt. He was a humble person, but he knew his value.
As for those who expected to deliver a long-winded speech about how great a man Sonny was, well, their sentiments would be better expressed intimately. Without microphone. To a small group of friends and relatives attending the wake. While looking them in the eye and being sincere in every word.
And this may sound cliché, but we really should say things when one is still alive.
No music band. Funeral is a solemn affair, not a spectacle. Personally, I could have played a bamboo flute and performed a heartbreaking song about loss. And God’s eternal grace. But I doubt I would be thinking about him so much as about myself – about how well I played the damn instrument and made the audience cry. No. I came to pay my last respects, not to be a show-off. I’m glad music was not allowed.
And of course, no gambling and drinking! Which is a bummer, actually, given our provincial predilection for lambanog and a deck of cards.
When I arrived at the funeral, the college secretary showed me a stack of pictures from Sir Sonny’s drawer. Among them was a shot of my graduation. Which also marked the day I stopped living with them. Since then, I’ve only visited him a few times. Too few, I realized.
I feel like I owe him a eulogy. A good one. Even if it’s against his will. But then again, he just wanted me to learn the value of education and hardwork.
I think I did, Sir. Rest in peace.
*Uhm, I hope this doesn’t count as eulogy… Oh, it does? Please don’t tell him I wrote one.