gone too soon

this all souls' day, i honor the memory of two people who passed away very recently and very suddenly. both of them i went to school with, one was not only a classmate but also a dear friend.

arlene was the "baby" in our batch because she was younger by a year than the rest of us. she hailed from the province of isabela, and was always a funny companion yet no-nonsense when it was time to get serious. a very memorable trip i shared with her was in batangas many years ago, when we went swimming with other friends and even went on a boat to an island there called "sombrero." our final conversations were reduced to yahoo messenger [YM] chat sessions last year, checking on how each one was doing, how work was, when my "mr. right" will come along, and how she promised to prepare pasta for me when we see each other again in manila. her diet seemed to be more on the italian side, and i was intrigued about how her culinary creations tasted.

but then the shattering news came to me, via offline messages in YM from her sister and other friends, that she suffered a strange seizure and was hospitalized, and quite suddenly died. it was all shocking for me to absorb, and all i could do was pray for her soul and send her family a sympathy card.

so young, so full of promise, and now just a memory. you are dearly missed, arlene. i wish we had met again in manila one last time--pasta or no pasta.

jeff, on the other hand, was someone i knew as a "brod" from our sorority's partner fraternity. we spent some classes together, if i remember correctly. he came from a well-to-do family. he was a short, little guy who seemed carefree and always had a joke up his sleeve. well, i guess the jokes were really specially meant for another friend with whom he shares a "close friendship"...and later a professional partnership which abruptly ended before it even began because of his untimely demise. he was found lifeless in his own bedroom one evening. needless to say, we were all shocked by the news.

and so these souls are part of the list of the departed loved ones and friends i will light a candle and solemnly offer a prayer for tonight. only God knows why he took them from us this early in life. perhaps one of the reasons is to remind all of us who were left behind to cherish the people around us every single day of our lives and live it to the fullest...

may your souls find eternal rest in His divine presence, arlene and jeff.

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