I never thought writing a eulogy would be this difficult. There’s just so much about a person that words can never explain. And sometimes, a person’s effect on us is better left felt than described. But then again, I was tasked to make this speech in front all of you today. And that should be an honor that I have to fulfill.
I also never thought that writing a eulogy for my sister could happen this early on in my life. Somehow, I always knew that her life expectancy would be significantly reduced by her illnesses. But I never imagined this to come so soon, especially when she was so hopeful of overcoming her recently-diagnosed hyperthyroidism.
Alexandra is a beautiful person inside and out. She is not perfect and has her own share of flaws. If you consider the totality of her person however, you’ll come to realize how her death is unjustifiable to those she left behind. She is the biggest loss my family has had over the years, and nothing can ever replace her.
She was a clear asset to my family. She started the fun, she built bridges, she mediated over conflicts, and—even in her death—she gave us the chance to rebuild the foundations of our home. Outside the scope of family, Sandra was a good friend in many of her circles. I saw how she valued relationships when one night, she was crying after her friends Ipay, Junrey, and some others left the house without asking for her permission. She was not too sober and she cried like a child because she thought her friends have forsaken her.
I also remember her resilience as a person. She was diagnosed with diabetes since she was 18 years old. She later on became dependent on insulin and she had to inject herself with it three times a day for her to manage her disease. Moreover, she just had the guts to do things. She was not scared to explore unchartered waters or go outside her comfort zone. And truthfully, she just loved to complicate her life in so many ways.
What came with her daringness was her ability to live life to the fullest. She disregarded impediments and carried on like nothing can stop her. Even I could not stop her from eating sweets despite her diabetes. I could not stop her from eating at least five slices of pizza when we went to Yellow Cab. I could not stop her from pursuing her own version of happiness.
Perhaps it is her set of choices that have led to her death. But at the end of the day, even her non-existence can’t take her away from our hearts. It is the same set of choices that have immortalized her. What she did with her life is what makes her unique as a person.
She was a daughter, a sister, an artist, a friend, a lover, a nurse, a grammar nazi, and a free spirit. She was just so full of life.
I’ll surely miss singing with her. I will miss singing our duets like The Prayer, I’m Your Angel, and I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You, among many others. I will miss her angelic voice and the way she used it to speak, laugh, shout, and cry. I will miss anticipating for her returns from Manila because I knew that she meant joy, and that she would invest money for the sake of her siblings’ happiness. And damn, will I miss her constant corrections in Facebook over my grammar and use of prepositions. She was just exceptional, one of a kind.
At the same time, I feel bad that it is only after her death when we can all obsess about her. I wish I gave her the same amount of thought and scrutiny before she died. That way, I could have been a better brother and friend. But right now, the whys, what-ifs, and what-could-have-beens do not really mean much. They are the means for self-loathing and regret, and I would not want to send Sandra off with a heavy heart. For all those who were directly responsible for her death, however, justice awaits for you in this life or the next.
I am also thankful that she has reestablished her faith before she died. She turned back to the church and that gives me peace.
I would like to end this speech with a note of gratitude. Through Alexandra’s death have we celebrated life. Life and death are opposing brothers and I have realized that both have touched us through this event.
To all those who came and reminded us that we are not alone, I thank you. Your gestures of kindness and concern really made things better. Seeing so many people show their love for my sister has been very beautiful. You give us life when we have to face death.
Sandra, I love you so much. Thank you for the gift of your person and thank you for reminding us how precious life is.
I therefore challenge everyone who is here to love those who are still living to the best of your ability. Strengthen your relationships with all who are dear to your life, for that is how we prevent death from truly crippling us once he pays us a visit.
Thank you very much.