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Here’s the message I gave on behalf of the Fabcasters during the memorial service for AJ yesterday. He was buried this afternoon.

On Wednesday, September 7, I visited AJ at the intensive management unit of Medical Center Manila. His mother, Tita Anne, has requested family and close friends to spend some time with him. By that time, AJ’s kidneys have stopped working, and his lungs and heart seemed to be going that direction as well. He was being given medicines to make the process as comfortable as possible. Everyone who visited him at the ICU found him sleeping, mostly because of the medicines.

When it was my turn to visit him at the ICU, accompanied by Tita Anne, I was jolted to see AJ suddenly wake up. He looked at me with wide eyes open, and because there were tubes in his mouth preventing him from speaking, he used hand motions to ask his mom for pen and paper. I tried my best to be calm even when the machines inside his room started making noises. Tita Anne asked me to get the nurses but AJ grabbed her, and insisted on getting him a pen. “Relax ka lang ha, Aying, relax,” Tita Anne repeated over and over as she got AJ his paper and pen. The machines were still beeping when AJ started to write. Despite being in an ICU room, the machines beeping, and all the tubes coming out of his mouth, I suddenly saw him as the usual feisty AJ. He was doing what he wanted to do, despite all odds. I saw him as he was writing his note on a one-fourth sheet of intermediate pad paper, even underlining certain words, dotting his i’s and, towards the end of his note, using all caps and an exclamation mark for fabulous emphasis.

Tita Anne says AJ never had any other communication after that — he was asleep again most of the time, until the fateful cardiac arrest at 11:30 pm on Mama Mary’s birthday. It is the last piece of written note that he left us. I have that piece of paper with me right now.

I am sure you are asking, what does the note say?

Through out the time he spent with us, our little group we call the Fabcasters, he left us notes too, in fact he gave us more than just notes – he left us recorded thoughts, in his own voice, soundbites, we call them. They reveal the wonderful, unique person that AJ Matela is. I’d like to share with you some of those soundbites now.

Let me now go back to that last written note that AJ left us. What does it say? Right after AJ wrote that note, as soon as Tita Anne handed the note to me, I saw AJ fall back again to sleep. I was left with the one-fourth sheet of paper, and had no chance to ask clarificatory questions. Some of the words are clear, some are not. I wish I could read it all out to you, but I cannot. One thing is clear though, he wanted to tell us something. He had a message for us. His life and his death are timely powerful messages for all.

Comments (7)

  1. Han said on 03-10-2011

    my name’s han. that was ajay’s term of endearment for me then. we had a brief but sweet online affair years ago when he wasn’t out yet, not to most his friends, not to his mom. we met for the first time when i came back here in the phils. almost 6yrs. ago.

    i’m an occasional reader to your blog and it was only through this that i just found out that ajay passed away. i just thought it was somebody who looked like him- with the same name…

    my deepest condolences to his mom, his kuya.

    this song will now always make me think of him.

  2. Pow said on 16-09-2011

    I’m sure he added color to this world, and made it more colorful with his passing :)

  3. popsyturvee said on 15-09-2011

    I am saddened by his passing. I felt like I’ve known him, although I just knew him through your podcasts. His remarks are always funny and witty. I feel for him. I think we have the same personality. “I’m ok being alone but I don’t want to be lonely”…this is exactly how I feel. As a Virgo, we like to do things on our own. Do great being alone. We depend on ourselves and not on anyone. I will miss listening to AJ’s voice. I’m teary eyed and emotional as I write this.

  4. maccallister said on 15-09-2011

    waaa!im dying to know whats in the note….but i respect na you dont wanna share it :-)

    hindi ko pa naranasan mamatayan ng kaibigan, pero ramdam namin ang lungkot nyo.

    may he rest in peace.

  5. Fred said on 15-09-2011

    i would like to offer my condolences to AJ’s family. not too long ago i was also lying in bed at the IMU of the same hospital.

  6. Brian said on 15-09-2011

    “you’re responsible for your own happiness…”

    I do agree with his statement and I may also have the same view when it comes to happiness. Moreover, I know that everyone is not foreign with the feeling of losing someone dear so I’d like to share a quote from Richard Bach:

    “Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

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