Friday, February 16, 2007

Death of a Friend

Created: December 25, 2006

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I wasn’t into the Christmas spirit anyway, but the last couple days have made that even worse. You see on Friday, I lost a schoolmate, a classmate, a friend.

He was only 22 years old. His demise was the result of a failed health system. A health system that has failed many before and will continue to fail in the future until the cronies in charge are removed and the health system becomes one of serving the people rather than the pockets of crooked doctors, businessmen and politicians. And it’s not even the public heath institutions I’m referring to.

But he wouldn’t want me to rant about this. He was a simple and humble man. Polite beyond comprehension and with a sense of duty to his friends and especially his family. He was an exemplar to us all. An exemplar by the way in which he sacrificed so much of his own potential luxuries in order to be a rock for his family. He was only just finishing his studies even while working full time. He was going to work on something he enjoyed.

If ever I wanted to believe that there is indeed a higher power, it is in times like these. I want to refuse to accept that people like him are taken from us, not to go onto a higher realm. A realm beyond our comprehension. Life throws obstacles in our way. He had overcome many in his short lifetime. This was one that he had no control over, because I’m sure if he did, he would have persevered to find a way around it. He did not want to go. He suffered for three weeks before finally succumbing. In the end, it was perhaps the better thing, given his condition. Even so, he was taken from us unbearably young.

A couple weeks ago I read about a 100 year old man, Marvin L. Northern who finally received his university degree. He had fallen one credit shy when he didn’t have the chance to take the Chemistry 101 class in 1929. He had to leave school to help out his family when the Great Depression hit. The university conferred the degree after he took a substitute class for Chem 101. He had been enrolled in that class for 100 years, without even knowing it. It was Life 101 and the University passed him with an A+, citing that ‘He’s mastered that course and mastered it well.’

Even though he was only 22, Suren would have passed that class with flying colours. He had experienced more life in his 22 years than many would experience in four times that. And in the end, I suppose that should be the #1 thing on our list of things to do while we’re here on Earth. To pass Life rather than have Life pass us by.

Who knows, maybe when we ourselves make that final journey to our graves or pyres, it would make more sense but for now, it seems unfair and cruel. A test of our faith and beliefs to make us realize how fickle we all are.

The holidays are all about misery and obligation, yet strangely, like a masochistic ritual, it doesn’t seem right until each element of the process is ultimately fulfilled. So lights, cameras and acting, it has begun. Usually I’d try but this year, I’m just indifferent.

So to all of you have an enjoyable and safe Christmas. Whether you’re like me and just going through the motions and managing a genuine smile once every so often or you’re really into the Christmas spirit. Take care of each other, because in the end, it’s only each other we have.

Rest in Peace Dewan Surendra Ramberran, Gerard Bertand, Garnet Lalla Maharaj and all other Pres Men taken from us too soon.

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