Thursday, November 3, 2011

Remembering the Dead but Also the Living

"Remembering the dead but also the living" ~ this is what made me think after reading the article by one of the most brilliant writers I know in my generation, my good friend Dr. Christine "Tin" Guevarra of UST, a resident of the Dept. of Neurology and Psychiatry. 
Tin's Grad Pic at UST Medicine
Dr. Tin is a former Associate Editor of Sinag, the official newsletter of College of Arts and Social Sciences of UP Diliman.  To be an editor in this newsletter, Tin underwent screening and bested several and a lot of popular students in the campus.  
during college, Psych days
a designated composer and lyricist of friends

I'd say Tin, despite her musically-inclined and brilliant writing skills - remains grounded and humble. Brilliant yet unassuming, talented yet modest, and one of the persons in the batch whom I think deserve higher honors than many others, only that she wasn't "pakitang-gilas, mayabang, kupal or pakitang-pansin" to teachers like some (whom I won't mention here)She comes to school with the simplest outfit and never ever bragged about her God-given brilliance in so many ways.
Tin & her best buddy Anne Mondala (both YFC leaders)

Tin with her one her of best guy buddies in college, Deneb Labial

She has been a writer eversince gradeschool - where some of her works are published in school newspapers, newsletters and magazines.  

I with Tin along the U.P. PSYCH faculty's hallway
Imagining ourselves locked in an Asylum
Also a hired lyricist, composer and writer by friends - Dr. Tin was my seatmate, groupmate and batchmate way back in college (AB Psychology) and has always been one of my treasured friends eversince.  Here is one of her well written short-but-sweet essays especially for All Soul's Day.
Morto: Incognito
By tradition, burial places, catacombs, and sacred urns are visited, scented, and adorned with flowers popularly during early November to commemorate the existence of loved ones and significant figures in the society who once walked the same roads we step on each day, and at one point in time, simply ceases to do so; not momentarily, but for all eternity.

At one time, he was looking, and at another, he was just staring; the bellowing of his thorax is nothing but a mechanism of expansion from a mechanical ventilator. 24 minutes post resuscitation, BP 0, pulse rate 0, a flatline on the cardiac monitor accompanied by the long beep that seem to go on and on, only to be drowned by the sobs and wailing of the mourning.

November 1, All Saints Day; November 2, All Souls Day.

 I include in the remembrance of our dear departed brethren the ones whose bodies remain in our realm and yet, deep in the brain parenchyma, and the deepest recesses of the unconscious, they live and yet do not "exist."  What may be worse than death are coma and catatonia. No flatlines, no CPRs but there is wailing, and sobbing, and, staring, the endless beeping in the ICU, and the stretching of hope waiting for its breaking point.

But there is hope. It is stretched, yes, but it remains there. Hope.

The therapeutics of Neurology and Psychiatry is a summoning of the seemingly-dead and the surely-alive. It is not a per patient basis but always a dynamics for families, friends, and other support groups wherein all involved are treated in one way or another. The so-called poor prognosis specializations...not quite.

One is buried in coma and catatonia only when a person ceases to exist in the hearts of those who remain with him, when hope is extinguished, tangled in the tubes and wires of the ICU, the hum of the ventilator, just waiting for the long monotonous beep; And for a psychiatric patient, left to wander the halls of an asylum only known to him, trapped in its maze and gone forever.

Let us tinker with your brain and caress your soul.

Prayers for the dead...and for the living as well.

*We remember our beloved departed today and pray for their eternal repose. May they rest in peace with our Creator.
~ Dr. Christine Guevarra, M.D. 
Year 2003 - A picture taken almost 8 years ago.  An unforgettable year for both of us ;).  Thanks Tin for the friendship. Thanks for keeping me learn from you on Love, Light and Him.

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