The Official Weblog of Ronnel Andaya

The Other Face of Death

In Current Events, Thoughts on August 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

People vary when it comes to their perception about death. Their perceptions are generally influenced by age, race,  and cultural beliefs. Nevertheless, they tend to think of death on the same perspective — the negative one, the ugly one and the fearful one.

Children do think of death as a fearsome process of transforming into monsters. I was no exception. I very much feared death when I was a child.I dreaded the first days of November when I am obliged to come with my parents to the graveyard. Other cultures believe that death is a punishment, while others see that it is brought about by evil paranormal elements. All of these are but the ugly face of Death.

The Desirable Truth

So what is the beautiful and desirable, true face of death? Death is nothing but a temporary process within the Almighty’s plan of happiness. Our physical bodies die in order for us to be able to claim the promised blessing of eternal life with Heavenly Father and to be able to come back to His presence.

In my own humble opinion, death is very much misunderstood considering the death of the former Philippine President Corazon “Cory” Aquino. I have seen how people reacted to it. There was so much pain than  how much it should have been. Her death was not abrupt, else, that would be more painful. Instead, she was given ample time to prepare her love ones whom she would have to leave.

I don’t say that I don’t feel grief with her death knowing how important her role was and is in the lives of each Filipino. What I am saying is that her death should have been seen as a blessing, a process of happiness — her coming back to the Creator.


Truly, letting go of a person who died is hard, very hard. Human are created to naturally behave as influenced by their emotions. It is nothing but normal to undergo a bereavement process. But this phase of grief should last in a fairly short amount of time. It will, as I believe and as I have experienced first-hand,  if it will be coupled with hope and soothed by the fact that separation with that beloved person is temporary. One must look beyond death to appreciate how important it is. He must focus on the end not the means.

All of us will undergo this very important process. The process may not be easy or may be very painful both physically and emotionally. What’s important is that we prepare ourselves for this time. In other words, what we need to fear is the outcome of how we lived this worldly life. Let us ask ourselves, “Am I going to live eternally happy with my Creator, or will I be forever condemned under the power of the adversary?”


One thing which might also help us overcome death less painfully is the acceptance that we are mortal and that we are vulnerable to death. This is an idea I have seen and one of the reasons why I like the renowned novel by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter. It portrayed the importance of accepting death and the advantage of coming to the right side of the good-and-evil continuum. Although I don’t believe there’s many nor I know anyone who does, we must not be like Lord Voldemort who couldn’t accept this very simple fact — he is mortal.

Should everyone have the same understanding of what death is, then overcoming death will not be as painful, as gloomy and as fearful as it is perceived by most today.

I hope I have tickled your brain cells with this. Come to think of it. Constructive comments are welcome. Thanks for reading!


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