My greatest fear in life is losing someone I love.
A few months ago, I received a call from our eldest brother saying our mom was taken to the hospital in the Philippines and was in a coma. I could not believe it at first because I knew Ina was healthy. She might be taking medications, but they’re just for controlling her blood pressure and cholesterol levels, not enough to warrant such a dire situation.
But after that phone call, I knew I had to go home. A few days later I was on my way to Bulacan. I arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport early morning and went straight to the hospital where Ina was. Kuya was right, she was in a coma. I will not describe how she looked lying there helpless, eyes closed. But I would say that I did not recognize her. I was screaming in my mind, “Where is my mother? This is not her!”
My younger brother had to prod me and said, “Talk to her Ate, though her eyes are closed, she can hear you.” So I held her hand, it was warm. I began talking to her, saying that it’s me, I arrived to visit like before, and that please get well soon so we can go home to our house in Pandi, together.
In the days that followed, many of our relatives and friends came to visit. We cried together and asked each other how could this happen to someone so good? They told us how precious our Ina was to them, how helpful, how understanding, how loving.
The doctors told us straight that chances of Ina recovering was slim, and even if our mother lived, because of the effect on her brain, she would be reduced to a vegetative state and that she won’t ever be the same again.
But still we prayed and believed she would get better. So on the 12th day, when the doctor said her condition was improving and that we have the option of taking care of her at home, we began planning our schedules and tasks, even canvassing for the equipment that we will be needing. But that night, her condition turned for the worse. Her blood pressure kept going down, her heart rate got slower, her breathing shallower.
Early morning of Ina’s 13th day in the hospital, our eldest brother arrived with his family straight from the airport. A few hours later, Ina breathed her last.
No feeling can compare to that of losing someone you love with your whole heart. I felt my world shifted and changed. I willed myself to go numb and not feel anything. Although I keep repeating to myself that Ina has gone on to a better place, far from problems and sickness, my heart could not accept she was gone.
But as with anything else, I knew this feeling too, shall pass. I knew that there’s a time to grive, and a time to heal. Each of us who has lost someone to death can chose to grieve for a long time, or help yourself to heal. I chose the latter. God helped to get my mind busy with work and with other things. Yes, there are times when I’ll just cry whenever I think of Ina, but I also think about her happy face, now that she no longer feels pain. I see her in my dreams, embracing me, always smiling, as if saying one day we will be together again.
Yes, I fear of losing a member of my family. But no one lives forever. So when the time comes again for me to lose someone I love… yes, I will grive but I will also heal again.
Hanggang sa muli!
***Thank you to all our friends and relatives who condoled with us in a very difficult time. God bless all of you!”