To Victor

You don’t know me and we’ve never met so I can understand if this comes off as too presumptuous. I climb mountains, too, and your wake is being held two blocks from where I live. It’s funny how humans attempt to create meanings from even the flimsiest connections.

Maculot rockies view

If death is finality, then I hope life has been good to you. I hope you laughed and cried to your heart’s content. I hope you played in the rain, squished mud in your hands and ran as fast your legs could carry you. I hope you loved truthfully and passionately, and were loved with as much truth and passion in return. I hope you captured the richest patch of beauty on your viewfinder but I also hope your lens wasn’t blind to the grime and ruthlessness of the world.

I hope your loved ones find solace in the midst of grief. I hope your mother would have the chance to shed tears in private, without the glare of a camera, an intrusive microphone and an insensitive media exploiting her heartbreak.

I hope your memory won’t be reduced to a cautionary tale, a two-minute segment on the evening news. I hope your life won’t be condensed to a trite summary of “that guy who fell off a cliff and died.”

If there is an afterlife, then I hope it treats you well. I hope there are more mountains to climb on the other side. I hope gravity is kinder and there are no more falls. If you do fall again, I hope the ground catches you gently. I hope goodbyes are not the end and heaven is more than wishful thinking.

Talk is cheap, words are worthless, and even the most beautiful eulogies are of no use to you now. They are only cold comfort to the living who must make sense of a sudden loss, a life unceremoniously taken away. I don’t know how far hope can take us, maybe to eternity or maybe just until the maggots get to us. But nonetheless, here’s hoping.


10 thoughts on “To Victor

  1. adventurouskikay

    Teary eyes naman ako dito Tin…same here, I don’t know him personally but when I joined the invitations on FB and twitter from his friends (mountaineers and non-mountaineers) on SAR last Apr. 6, and dami ko nalaman about him, not just a mountaineer but as a FRIEND…I was so touch with what his friendship can do to his friends. I was assigned together with Maam Amber and Sir Mike (Backpackers United – his mountaineering group) to accompany his 8 childhood/college friends who were all first time to conquer a mountain, they were all ready to faced Mt. Maculot even the risk and danger may possibly occur, they were all setting aside their fears on climbing just to search for their dear friend, sir biki (most friends called him by this nickname).
    Dedma nalang kahit magkasugat sugat at magkadulasdulas pa sila sa trail. Meron pang mga nag paa nalang. Sa bawat pagsigaw nila sa kagubatan at pagbanggit ng pangalan ni sir biki, mararamdaman mo yung pagmamahal nila. Sa tuwing magpapahinga kami, ikukuwento nila ang mga masasaya, makukulit at di nila malilimutang mga pag uugali at gawain ng kaibigan upang maibsan ang kanilang pagod. May pagsigaw sa isa sa mga kaibigan nya ang di ko makalimutan, “Biki, umuwi kna, nagtagumpay kna, NAPAAKYAT mo na kami ng bundok”…
    At higit sa lahat, naramdaman ko ang matinding kalungkutan sa kanila sa aming pagbaba ng Maculot na walang nakitang “biki”…

  2. kmreyes

    If death really allows us to look down at the people we care about … and strangers who share their sympathy, I’m sure he’s looking down on you and thanking you for this sincere message 🙂 RIP Victor Ayson.

  3. Pingback: Sad news from the other mountain | Just Walking Distance

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