Friday, March 12, 2010


Dear insansapinas,

When I came back from vacation, I know I was suffering from grief. Unlike those people who  deny what they feel and deceive themselves that everything is alright, I do recognize and deal with it. I slept a lot. (oops).  I just wrote that my oversleeping was due to anxiety of not being able to start my book project.  Lately, however, I realized, it is not the cause; not even the cough syrup that I am taking for my cough. I know that when I sit down to work, the ideas just flow naturally. Naah. I decided to slowdown (that is the carpet is now littered again with books and materials that I need as I watch TV while formulating accounting problems). 

It is grief. This must be the same feeling described to me by my deceased mother-in-law who before her death intimated to me her fear--knowing her friends were dying and her loved ones getting sick, she felt alone in this world that two weeks after I moved to LA temporarily, she died.  But my MIL was in her 80's at that time and so were her contemporaries. My friends and colleagues were young. Hardly in their 50's except for one who already retired.

I wrote before that I found out that four of my former faculty members passed away. They were not only my staff, they were my friends as well. I forgot to cry at that time I heard the  bad news. And I realized I am still nursing their loss when I arrived back from the Philippines. Let me cry for them.

One of them was my assistant who worked very hard that I feared he would have a heart ailment. He was so dedicated in his job that he did not miss one working day. He was so responsible that he would stay in the office late in the nights just  to finish class schedules and assignments of faculty members. Seventy per cent of my work hours as Dean was spent on unnecessary meetings to feed the big ego of some senior professors who literally dot your "i"s and cross your "t's" as they critiqued the curricular programs which were outside their specializations.

My assistant was gay who never came out of  the closet. God knows how he struggled to become "straight". He married and had  three children. The eldest  became my goddaughter. He did everything to provide for his family.  Aside from teaching, he took in boarders in their apartment and later in the house that he bought. He died of aniurysm while he was vacationing in  Baguio together with his wife and children. 

He visited me in San Francisco twice when he toured with his wife in Canada and US. I knew then that he was disappointed to have been by-passed in the promotion. He was originally assigned in the College by the university administration as their eyes and ears to "this" renegade dean. Later,I won him on my side. 

The other faculty who died was a businessman and a practising CPA. He was also a very competent member of the staff who used his own money to help the students in their university activities. He was robbed and killed in his office. That time, he was estranged from his wife and lived alone by himself. I knew the story about his failed marriage. That was how I was close to my friends and colleagues in the corporate and academe. Nakikipag-inuman ng diet coke after office hour while they poured their hearts out.

The third died of loneliness and depression. His wife of many years got an alzheimer's and he was pressured to retire by an envious new head of the department. 

The fourth died due to complications of diabetes. She was only in her early 40's.

A relative by affinity also died of complications of diabetes days before I left the US.

But then there is another grief  that I am suffering from. Grief is not only an emotional response to a loss because of death. It has also social and psychological dimension associated with loss of bonding to a person close to him/her.

I hate being frank because I know I can hurt other peoples' feelings. But I prefer to be the villain to correct what I sensed is wrong. I have been critical of people who treat their over 21year old children as kids. So when they mentioned kids, I cringed. Anong bata ang pinagsasabi mo? I also disliked parents who spoil their children, overprotect them and shield them from criticisms.

These will be the individuals who will succumb to nervous breakdown at the first sign of trouble. These will be the individuals who can not take criticisms because they were used to being defended of their wrongdoing when they were young.. 

These are the individuals who need affirmation, constant encouragement and applause for the little things they have done which are mostly for themselves. These are the individuals who became selfish and think nothing but themselves as the center of the universe. They can not  take rejection that they woud resort to everything from tantrums to feigning that they're sick just to get the attention of people ignoring them.  They become destructive both to himself/herself and people who became victim of their unhealthy ego. 

These are the people who will always find excuses for their actions but would not reflect on whether their actions hurt other people too.

I grieve for the parents and the children.


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