On my way to work today, the cab driver was tuned in on Korina Sanchez’s radio program and she was speaking over the phone with NCRPO Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales over what seemed to be the ‘intentional’ prolonging of the case by the QCPD. “Didiretsahan ko na kayo ah: pinapatagal.” That’s how she said it. The driver seemed to agree.
Over the weekend, it seems the hot topic these days is Ted Failon. At work, we talk about his case and why we think it was really a suicide. At home, we watch the news on TV and it’s always Ted Failon here and there. On board four cabs just last week alone, the subject’s always Ted Failon. (I even figured into an unintelligent debate with a cab driver who seemed to come up with the wildest theories). Even after my bible study, my growth group mates and I were discussing it! (Can’t blame them: One’s a lawyer at the Supreme court; the other, a Reporter at PDI. And me? I’d like to think of myself as an investigator. I like getting into the bottom of things, even if it’s just me.)
So yes, it’s been Ted Failon here and there the past week. I don’t think it’s overrated. For one, there are too many things to talk about in this case. That of the mishandling and apparent abuse of the QCPD cops, that of our rights and the right to privacy, that of media exposure (excessive, just right, doing their job, biased?) that of politics behind Ted (his running for the 2010 elections might have a part in all this, his regular bashing of the QCPD police), the story that he and his family will only know, the themes surrounding the alleged suicide of Trina (was it money? Was it another man? Was it business-related?) and that of suicide.
I don’t know much about the details of this case. For more technical information, this blog post is helpful. Like everyone else, I can only make “logical” explanations/guesses based on the facts that I do get, the reports I read, the commentaries I come across, and the video footages I watch (although according to Korina, the public seems to have already labeled this case as finished because of the simplicity of facts: She had a problem with money, she was too embarrassed to tell her husband about it, she had talked to friends weeks before of her intentions to take her life away, she killed herself.) Apparently, this part of the story is what the public has chosen to believe.
Now let me tell you what I think of suicide. I don’t pretend to understand, let alone assume I ever will, what goes through the minds of people who entertain the thoughts of suicide. I speak for myself as I have never, in my 23 years, thought that I’d get to that point where I’m better off if I take my life. As a kid, it was pretty normal I guess to exaggerate when we say, “I want to die!” over some petty heartache, but we were always just saying that without any seriousness to it. Or maybe back then, it was serious to us, but what do we know about life and death as kids anyway?
But I’m 23 years old now, and I’ve come across many real-life stories of suicide. I’ve formed certain beliefs about it, most importantly, I’ve decided early on that I will never (and I say this in real good faith) take away my life. The question of who owns my life begs to be explored. Do we own our life? Is it really ours to live, ours to take away? Is it not correct to say that since this is our life, we can do anything we want with it? That said, I think suicide is taking away life that is never yours to begin with.
I feel for the family of Ted Failon. I feel for her daughter who took the pains of announcing on national TV that her mom committed suicide. It’s hard enough that a family member dies; what more in such a tragic and ‘sinful’ way. Let’s admit it: we know suicide is unacceptable in the society, in the church. But I speak as a Christian who has given her life to Jesus Christ, I believe it is wrong before God.
I cannot even begin to comprehend what desolation she must have been feeling to think it’s better for everyone if she dies. No in fact, it’s better for her if she dies. I wonder: how much of ‘others’ did she think about when she was contemplating on suicide? Do people who want to commit suicide think about who will be affected by it and how much they will be affected? She has a husband, she has two kids. She has parents, she has sisters and brothers and friends. Her life is not just her own anymore.
I think suicide is selfish. It thinks only of oneself. I don’t believe just because you take your life away, it’s only your life that is destroyed. The thing with death in this manner is that you also kill others in the process.
But like I said, I don’t understand what goes through the minds of people who want to commit suicide. How she could not have thought or convinced herself enough that this will be more complicated for Ted and her family is beyond me. How can a mother just decide to leave this world behind when she has two kids who will not only sorely miss her life, but will grow up with a void that will never be replaced by anyone else anymore?
I’ll tell you what I believe about life. It is not my own. I am only on borrowed time. I believe God gives us life, and takes life in His own appointed time. I believe we do not live for ourselves, or so we can just have a life that is quantified by the number of friends we have, the jobs we’ve acquired, the knowledge we’ve pursued, the wealth we’ve accumulated, the lessons we’ve learned, the places we’ve traveled, the family we’ve built. Because by the end of it all, what do they mean in light of eternity? Solomon had all these and more: he was the richest, wisest man on Earth, and yet the only words that could summarize how he viewed life were these: Meaningless! Everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind!
Life isn’t about us. And I shudder to think we’ve been living this long thinking it’s about us.
So the facts are these: With Trina Failon’s death, life isn’t any easier for her family: Not for Ted, who is accused of killing her (and the fact the woman he’s loved for 25 years is gone), or the maids, who are in jail for allegedly tampering with the evidence, or for her two daughters, whose youthful zeal for life are all but gone and will grow up not having a mom to be with them on their wedding day, or when they need love and care only a mother can give. It’s not easier for her sisters who blame themselves if only they could have stopped her, or for her friend who should have taken her warnings more seriously.
Her suicide, if indeed it was a suicide, did not make things any better.