Knitting the Shroud of Death


I am dying blind man insignificant to the human race. My reality is wrapped with thick misfortune and long bleakness. I am dying blind and alone. My sincerest compeer is pain because it has accompanied me in all my life; painful night, painful clouds, dark life, dim hopes and solemnly painful life. I am a man who was once a son, a lover, a leader, a dreamer. I have lived my life in that seamless order. Now I am dying blind man. My blindness is not caused by the deterioration of my health but by deterioration of life. I have been blind from happiness for 18 years now and the last thing I saw were the cold corpse of my body killed by the people I loved. This is my story; the story of a blind writer who can only write about what existed almost 2 decades ago because his sight and soul died long before him. The story of a child who has been unparented to a father which was killed by his living. This is my story. A story of God’s forsaken child. I am one of the many.

I have been trying to write about my life but to no avail. Thinking of my past and the memories it created still brings the shiver that’s been embracing me in all the midnight of the past 18 years. My tears have the same taste from my body’s death to my dream’s, and to my soul’s. I kept everything to myself. I had to primarily because there hasn’t been anybody to talk to. I had to beat my soul with every pain and agony because there was nobody else to share my grief with and never anyone to validate my sentiments. Secondly, I always believed that not talking about death and everything that happened would make it less true than it already is. That the moment I say my dreams are dead is be the moment they die. I thought denial of loss and melancholy means validation of life and happiness. Now I realize that no matter how much I hide my grief I am still going to be miserable and the more I collect these pain, the more miserable I become. I have forgotten how it is to dream because every time I try to widen my mind the only pictures it can produce are whimpers and curses. As I have told you, I am but one of the many forsaken people. I lived in a village that was known as the ”Village of God’s forsaken people” because in that place, God did not have angels. In that place God had no ears, in that place God had no love. Whatever despair the world prayed against, the heavens threw over us. Whatever event trembled the Universe, the saints filed for us. Ours was the net that percolated the worst retribution for human sin. But before the series of unfortunate events unfolded, my life was a typical childhood life, with simple happiness and family. There were chirping birds and dancing flowers. I was a fatherless child but with a mother who thought I was the most intelligent child she has ever gave birth. Part of it was true because I was her only child who liked books than to play games outside. You must know that the use of past tense still bothers me. But that is what death of happiness does, it makes everyone just part of history, an immovable part of the past. It isolates everyone in a time that is void of second-chances bound never to happen ever again. I was a weird-nerd child when I was 5. I have been fatherless for 4 years when I met the new husband of my Mom, who was not only catching thief(policeman) but also transporting lives from brightness to darkness. To him, I was the most adorable and cutest child he has ever met. Every time he visits our house, he would always have ‘Pasalubong’ for me. I knew he did those to show good impression, but the act seemed so sincere that it eliminated all annoyance of meeting a new father and disappointment, leaving only an admiration for his determination (But I knew I love my dead father more than any other guy in the world). He courted my Mom for a month, that was equivalent to 30 new books I read. The reason why I initially did not want him to be my new father was that I have never been a good balancer of love and I did not know how to be a good son. But I saw that the days my Mom lived with him was the days the sunset was most beautiful for her. After months of being a husband to my Mom, my mother decided to get a work 450KM away from our house. Leaving her with the only option to visit us once a week. Days passed when my new father picked me up from school. We were traveling home in his car when he held my hand. It wasn’t the first time he held my hands but that was the time I remember most until today. My eyes could have faltered me but my memory remains true. Not sharp, but true. After a moment of pressing my hand while looking alternately at the road and me, we reached our house. The moment I entered our home was the moment I smelled a strong chemical scent, I wasn’t sure if its a home cleaner liquid or paints but I know that there was smoke lingering into my mind. I went directly to my room and there he followed me, he held my hands again and kissed my lips. He was the first person I have ever kissed aside from my Mom. So I did not know how to react and what to do. But I felt his tongue pushing its way to part my lips and he succeeded of course. His tongue was conquering my body, wet and wild. His tired arms hugged me, stroking my back and squeezing my body every now and then. He stopped kissing me in time to close all doors until we both became a silhouette of darkness. I remember.

I remember because that was the most painful emotion and silent cry I have ever had. I asked him with tears ‘if he could stop’ but he held my head with burning eyes and threw my small body on the bed. He kissed me again until I felt his fingers crawling on my tummy to my sensual part. I felt something painful from my head to heart and to my whole body. It was as if all of me couldn’t do anything more, as if my body has became his slave. That moment, he whispered softly that he wanted my small body and I should be his toy forever. His big rough hands were all over my body until I finally felt his fingers leading my hand to his manhood. I looked at him while crying as if I was asking for forgiveness. He held my neck using his strong hand trying to kill my innocent life, he whispered “I want you and I will kill you!”, and that day he made himself satisfied using my 5 years old body and my innocent mind.

Nobody knew that the beautiful sunset outside our house was a bad omen for me and that the day he abused my body was just the beginning of my suffering. Who would have known that my life would be just that, a series of of pain and bruises? That night, the rain was pouring heavily. Words from my stepfather informed me that my Mom is coming. I was preparing to tell my Mom what happened to me for a week while she was gone, the things that caused the bruises and wounds on my body. I was shaking because, although my evil Stepfather warned me never to tell anything to anyone, I was still determined to tell everything to my Mom. But I never expected that it would also be the night my happiness and love for the world would disappear. I never expected my Mom to ignore my tears and pain, I never expected her to just say “It’s okay anak, your Tito is a good man and I love him” after hearing my painful stories. I found again my body in his arms the next day, carried by the same pain that killed my childhood and dreams. There was my body, lying on the bed, there were blood, there was wounds all over my body, there was a child’s body without life. I was wearing nothing but blood, because he was using my body as an ashtray for his cigarettes, he was beating me, he was using my back as a mounting when ironing his clothes, he was punching me every time he has taken his drugs, he used my body and he killed me. I remember crying, kneeling, shouting, and asking for his pity. I remember shouting for the help of God. I remember crying and more crying. Then there was darkness. The sun never shined on me, days, weeks, and months passed by cruelly to give me more pain. For almost one year, I struggled to live and had pain and sorrow as my happiness. I had to ask myself to hold on and enjoy the pain. I stayed at home while he was with me. In our broken home with my broken life. I had to brave myself from pain or I lose in life. I continued to be a battered child for a year until the family members of my dead father discovered the things that was happening to me. It was like a roller coaster ride because I was almost killed by the evil’s gun, but at the end he was captured and sent to jail for life imprisonment. After the tragedy I became the talk of the town, the subject of everyone’s story, and I became an unfortunate fatherless child pitied by everyone. I never saw my stepfather again and I never wanna see him again.

I grew up fighting for life, I grew up fighting with the painful memories I had. And education became my only companion, if there’s one thing that I am proud of because of the painful memories, it was the medals and trophies hanged on our house. It was the education I earned from school and the intelligence I earned because of pain. When I was released from the hands of the devil. I became more pious. Prayer became my only desperate act to live. It became more than a personal affinity with God; I began to thank him for letting me feel the most painful thing a child could have ever experienced and for sparing me from cruelty after a year of burden.

I wanted to see myself alive. That was just what I wanted. I prayed everyday and did my devotions. I went to Pastoral school for 2 years alongside my prelaw school. I had a relationship with someone and I fell in love. But something is still missing, memories of the past is still killing me. Are my prayers not enough? Are my devotions not enough? Is my love not enough? And at the moment, I realized that I will never be happy, I would never see the beauty of the world again, because I died long before I knew I was dead. I died when I was 5 and the child who rose from pain was just an imagination, a memory of pain and sorrow. At the age of 18, I left my Christian church. I can still remember that it was a day of cold wind blowing to my face and the tears from my eyes were running endlessly. I kissed the cold corpse of my dreams and happiness, dreams and happiness, dreams then happiness, then happiness then dreams. I kissed them separately, I hugged my dreams and happiness tightly and on that awfully cold day, I parted with my breathless dreams, faith and happiness.

I have lived another four years to remember how cruel my life was and my life is. I have lived another four years to write about the pain from the past. I have never known what kept me alive in spite of the pain, in spite of the suffering, in spite of the anger. I have never prayed to God to lengthen my life after the death of my dreams and happiness. If truth be told, I have never prayed to God after I left the Christian world. But He has a sadistic way of inflicting me more pain; he kept me alive for miserable years falling for someone who would never care for me while I drown in the memories of my childhood. It is the years that killed me, it is the living that defeated me, not dying.

Today, I am already blind. The life blinded me but it did not kill me, it can never kill me again, because I already died 18 years ago. Deep within this body is hollow soul. Punch me and I will not wince, cut me and I will not bleed, kill me and I will not die. For the last four years, I have isolated myself from happiness and recuperation because unlike Job, I will not accept concessions for what was taken away from me. If these were a test from heaven, let it be that way but I will not yield. If tomorrow, after I have carved all my sentiments to the world, God will return everything I have lost when I was a child three-fold, I will gather them in my mind and burn them with it until the smoke has ascended to heaven were they are to be kept by Him. If you are even pensive as to the intention of God in doing this to me, then know that I was curious too. But such knowledge is no longer essential to me. What I have only learned is that Heaven’s greatest assassin is the world it has created. Anything in this world can be a murderer like a venomous snake and will poison either your body or your soul.

Last night I saw love knocking on my door. I told love to spare me and just take my body when I can no longer write this story, but this story is done. And so, when love shall come back tonight to take me, it shall find me sitting beside the window. Blind man facing the world while knitting the shroud that will cover his dead body. A man without dreams, happiness and love.

Aleph Alpha Naught Naught One!


2 thoughts on “Knitting the Shroud of Death

  1. I literally stopped reading the end of paragraph 2 because I can’t bear the pain you endured while you continue to live despite the evil doings of your stepfather. I am so sorry you had undergone all these. I admire your strength for keeping all these by yourself for more than 2 decades. I won’t tell you to believe in Him that one day you will see sunshine as hope again and sunset as the end of your misery but please stay faithful to Him. I don’t know how you do it but I believe that someday someone will bring back the lost light in your life. Thank you sir. You are very brave and strong.

    Liked by 2 people

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