A letter to the verbally inexpressive people

To all verbally inexpressive people – I write to tell you that we hold no control of time.

I have always considered myself normal. More or less, I act the same way as the other kids I know. But as time passed by, I realized how senseless I really was. There was no room for expression allocated.

Since I was still a kid until a week after I graduated from high school, I was always the verbally inexpressive one. I cannot recall even a single instance in which I have said those three words, eight letters that people love to hear, the “I love you”, to any of the member of the family. Whenever my friends also tell me they love me and that they care for me, I didn’t know what to do so most of the time, I just give them an awkward smile.

I knew in my heart that I love them and I thought that even if I do not say those words, they know that they play a big part in my life. Maybe the reason for not being expressive is that I’m always taken aback by the thought that if I tell them what I feel, they would think I was just being “OA (over-reacting)” – what a lame excuse, I know.

They say that some of us do not really appreciate what we have until we lose them. Sadly, it took the death of my elder brother to open my eyes.

I can still remember what exactly happened four years ago like it was just yesterday. I can hear my mother’s and sister’s cries in my head loud and clear. A single phone call turned into the biggest downfall of my family.

I have always been a fan of my elder brother. He was the man I looked up to and really respected. I don’t know why but I guess it was because of the fact that he was really a responsible man and that he excelled in everything he did.

From the time he entered a well-known military school in the country until he served the nation, I have heard a lot of good comments about him – from prominent people down to normal ones. He was really the man that everyone loved to be with.

From a perspective of someone who grew up with him, I could certify what people say about him. Though there were times that he would automatically go to his room every after meal just not to wash the dishes, he was really a good man by nature. I just didn’t realize it though until it was too late.

April 3, 2012 – the date no one in the family would ever forget. It was supposed to be just another normal day. Everything felt like it was in its place until the news broke.

My mind instantly went blank. The next thing I knew, my phone and Facebook page were already filled with condolences. I realized how easy it is to say “Condolence” to other people yet when you’re the one being given that kind of message, you just do not know if you should be happy or what.

Every day and night at his funeral felt like a feast – there were a lot of people who came to our house that we even had to utilize one side of a block for tents outside. Though I could see his body inside the coffin, I still couldn’t believe he was gone.

Remembering everything was so devastating. Just a week before he passed away, he was still at our house celebrating birthday with his twin brother, and my high school graduation. He may not always be at our side all the time, his presence was always felt since he always sends us messages through SMS. But in just a snap, he was gone. He came back home enclosed in a coffin.

Empty – that is how I would describe what I was feeling. I didn’t know how to deal with it. I wanted to cry so hard and scream but I just can’t – I needed to act 10 years older than my actual age and be strong for my family. I wanted to flip the tables and smash everything I see.

The thing that has been tearing me apart until now is the fact that I never got to tell him how much he meant to me. It has been bugging me since that day.

There are times in which I miss him that I just want to pick him up from my dream and hug him tight for real. If tears could really build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk right straight up to heaven and bring him back again. There were just a lot of things I wish I have said to him.

I have learned a valuable lesson the hard way. Call it cliché but life is really short. No one knows when our Creator will get back the life He let us borrowed.

Few years had already passed but every time I remember him, tears just roll down my face. I regretted all those chances I didn’t grab. Some would argue that actions speak louder than words but sometimes, doing only one of them isn’t enough; you have to do both.

If you truly love someone, never wait until it’s too late to tell him/her how much he/she means to you. Say the things you want to say while they can still hear you and feel the love you have for them. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Once you lose them, you can never get them back.

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