I choked up as I thought about it. I felt sick. I went to church at 8:00 am this morning. I was standing there with a heavy heart. It was the very same time when he died. Everything happened around 11:00 pm to midnight (Manila time) two years ago.
I remember on that day, I just stayed beside him. He really loved listening to me and my siblings sing. So I sang any song that came to mind. All songs I could ever think of. We kept singing and talking to him despite that he was unconscious. Sometimes he was awake but we knew he was not the same. It was always just a blank stare. I held his hands as if it was the last time.
It was 11:00 pm when I received a message to proceed to the Intensive Care Unit. I had a bad feeling. I just left him 30 minutes ago and everything was fine. His operation (Tracheotomy) was a success. He was finally relieved from the tube he had for two weeks.
The nurse told me that he was stable. I could go and rest. I sent my good news to my siblings and everyone was pleased. We were all holding on to HOPE.
Everything quickly changed in just an hour.
I was walking towards the ICU and from afar I could see what was happening. His room was packed with nurses and a doctor. The room was very busy. They were all trying to revive him. I could hear them. I was just less than 10 feet away. I sat on a chair and I had to lay my head down on the table. I knew it was the end. I was so numb. I cried quietly. The doctor approached me and told me that they had to stop reviving him.
I had to make calls to tell the family. They all came and we did what we had to do. Then for the very first time, I went home. I fell asleep on his bed. We were all so very very tired emotionally and physically. I had no more strength.
Sometimes I would ask why did I have to see all that. It really broke my heart. I know that every time this day comes, I would feel the same way and I will remember EVERYTHING. For the rest of my life.
I will not forget the saddest trip I had in my life. It was exactly two years ago today. I can still remember being by myself at the airport. I was just crying on my seat. I could not help it and I did not care anymore. While the rest of the people around me looked so happy and excited, I was just broken. It was a very difficult time, that day and the next two weeks.
I flew right away as I heard that our father was resuscitated. Everything was just so sudden. I had to fly thousands of miles just to get in time. It was somehow a blessing to still find him there although he was already unconscious. I am not sure up to now if he even knew I was there. And watching him for the next 14 days was traumatic.
I wrote about that experience here right after I came back home. Losing a person very close to your heart is very painful beyond words. It was raw and unedited. Until today, I still do not have the courage to read it over again.
This morning, my sister and I were talking. She said something. “Most days are so busy, we go about our lives without thinking about him.. but there are definitely times when a lot of things around us no matter how simple remind us if him. And those moments we think of him is just heart breaking and makes me feel like crying.” It is true, I try not to think of him because it makes me sad. However, it is just unavoidable. The person you love will always be a part of you.
I hear a lot of times some people would like to say “MOVE ON”. What does moving on mean? Yes, we have moved on. We have continued to live our lives. But when you talk about someone you love, who has passed, it just means that you remember them. You miss them and that you love them. And that is absolutely natural. It is okay.
It is true what they say. In time you will no longer feel much pain. You will keep moving. You’ll finally get used to the absence.
As much as I love him, I try not to dwell on the thought that we lost him. I try to see it in a different perspective. He lives in us, we carry him in our hearts.
I still cry but not as much as I did. When he crosses my mind I feel sad but I feel much stronger now.
Although there are moments when I can’t help the tears especially when things around me bring vivid memories of him.
Like last night my kids were playing with their Dad. My little girl was walking on his back and saying that she’s giving him a massage. I remembered during our younger days when we would do the same. Tears fell from my eyes.
Just a while ago when we were watching one of our favorite comedy shows, if featured the 1980 something show called Knight Rider. I remembered the talking black car called KITT, that drove super fast, was bulletproof, fireproof, and helped Michael fought injustices in the world. It brought up some childhood memories. My siblings and I were fond of the super powered car that we named our family car, Kit. If I remember it right, our father even put up a moving light in front of our car pretending that we’re really driving Kit! Something like this:
Every morning, to wake up my kids, I put up the curtain and let the sunlight into our bedroom. I talk to them or sing to them just the way our old man did.
I know there will be more reminders along the way. One clear proof that our love ones continue to live…
I experienced my first loss when my father passed away. It opened my eyes about this bitter natural phenomenon. I have spent a lot of times pondering about life. After which I have been sensitive and very aware of people I know who are sick and who died. I have a list of the people I know who passed away and I pray for them.
One man who was at my father’s wake and who was helping us around died after a month .
Another family friend we called on the phone to inform them of what happened to my father also passed away in two months.She was sick and was on chemo during the times my Dad was in the hospital.
When I got back to the US,the same fate happened to this old man I always talk to in school. He went to Manila for a vacation. I saw his son and I asked how he was doing. And I was shocked and got teary eyed when he said that he was gone.
Now I heard about some women I know who are sick with Cancer. They happened to be my school mate/classmate. One was from elementary and the other one was from high school. They are the same age as me. They are moms too just like me. And from the time I heard about their fight, I pray for them so they will have courage, strength and most importantly be healed.
I remember other friends who have been battling with disease/sickness for years.
I pray that the sick will be healed. The dead will have peace, happiness, and eternal life. And I wish for us who are left in this world, that we will see life as a gift everyday. That we will be more appreciative and grateful for everything. That we will try to live our lives to their fullest.
Change is the only permanent thing in this life. We have seen it from books, photos, and films how the world around us has changed. Industrialization. Technology. People. Way of Life. Everything changes. Everyone does.
Based on my own experience, there is something else that has remained constant. It is the “inner SELF”. I am not sure how it is called. It maybe a person’s spirit or soul. I feel exactly the same way ten years ago and even twenty years ago. And as far as I remember. I am me.
I grew up and learned more things from school. I am continuously learning from my everyday experiences. Although there have been changes in the environment, in my situation, status, in the physical world, somehow there is still that core being which has remained the same all through the years.
I close my eyes and I have always been that same person. Although when I look at photos of me, I look different each time. I am getting older. And that is something that we can not escape. No matter how rich and beautiful we are. We all do our best to prolong our life. We take care of our bodies. We exercise. We try to look our best. Some are even more fashionable. More luxurious. But we can not stop nature. We will all look old someday. And we know what happens next. Then we are all the same…