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Borrowed Life

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Published by: Coach Elsie

“Ate, she was living a borrowed life.”

A day after Christmas, I scanned through Facebook and saw Virtualahan’s post. I was in denial. So I called Coach Rose to confirm the news. 

At the back of my head, I was whispering a prayer that somehow the news would flip and that there was just a misunderstanding of some sort. I simply couldn’t just get the thought that something tragic happened to a close friend on Christmas! But Rose confirmed what I dreaded to hear. 

Ann died in Bali the day before Christmas. 

I grasped for air and held it in for seconds so I could hold back my tears. But I just couldn’t. My tears fell uncontrollably. I cried and sobbed, yet still in denial. 

How could she die? She had all the energy of any human being. She had this contagious enthusiasm to live life that I could only envy about. 

I can still vividly remember our last exchange of messages. She invited me to visit her in Bali. We tried arranging dates for my departure but my time wasn’t something I freely own. The hustles of life made me miss out on traveling and spending quality time with friends. 

I promised her that by summer (in 2020), I would definitely book a flight. But now, she could never see me fulfill that promise. 

I opened my messenger and scanned through our conversation. She told me how much she wanted to extend her connections in Bali so she could help our Virtualahan community. I sobbed again. 

But I sobbed even more when I realized that the last time I talked to her was in August of 2019, four months before December. I haven’t checked on her in four months!!! 

How can I be such a negligent friend? My crying was unstoppable so my sisters had to hush me but my sobs continued. 

“Ate, stop crying. Your friend was living a borrowed life. You’re lucky you got to know her this long because her condition has been complicated ever since she was born.” 

That night, I couldn’t sleep. I contemplated about life and the inevitability of death. Anything can happen to anyone in times we least expect. Things could go wrong. 

I just wish I talked to her more often and asked her about life. But I was too busy and preoccupied with my own affairs. 

No matter how much I regret my actions or loathe myself, there was nothing much for me to do but cry it all out and accept the truth.  


In every death, tears are shed, hearts are torn. But we find healing knowing that the sun shines after the twilight. 

Coach Elsie

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