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Posts Tagged ‘on death and dying’


Have you ever experienced being alone in a crowd? Have your loneliness got the better of you and you felt crying?

When we were in the province more than a month ago, I saw so many relatives and friends that I’ve never seen for years. I felt elated for a while talking to them, sharing about life and death and dying. Many of my cousins volunteered to cook every day and prepare snacks (until Alden’s funeral) for our guests who attended the 6-day wake.

I would look at his coffin and I would cry silent tears of goodbye. How hard is it to let go? How hard could it be losing a sibling who is very supportive of your own family?

I think of people leaving this earthly life, is dying like falling asleep but you never wake up? I remember my sis-in-law’s story when Alden died. She was at his bedside. According to her, he smiled and said, “panalo na”. Panalo na means we won or I won. I really don’t know what that means except maybe to tell the world that he was finally free from pain. He won over the three difficult years of his illness.

I lost interest in politics when Alden died. It seemed like there was a vacuum, some unfufilled yearning that I can’t define. This sense of loss brought me again to the question, “what is happening to the world?” They elected an unworthy man, a crook, a thief and a liar instead of a proven and reliable incumbent vice-president. They don’t want someone who is fit and experienced when it comes to people they promised to serve. Until now, there is still a question of election fraud, that those electronically transmitted results were padded. Imagine having transmitted more than 50% votes in two hours. They say we have the worst internet connection but the fastest transmission of the election results.

One time, my sis-in-law, niece and I were outside just letting the hot afternoon go by, watching Mae’s cats and their pregnant dog. I told Mae that she accompanies me to the sari-sari store nearby to buy something to munch on. “No need tita”, she said. She brought out a big box full of different biscuits and let me choose what to nibble on.

My other cousin twice brought mangoes from their tree during our novena prayers. Another cousin prepared pansit and soup alternately for our afternoon snacks during the novena. Two more cousins alternately lead the rosary prayers. You see it is the small things that count.

Feeling alone again and reliving the happy days.

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It is a long road

With you at the other end

And me a long drive away.

I could barely hear your voice

Telling me in a whisper to come home

Nissa and I did.

We were able to talk to you

And you kept saying,

Pagod na pagod na ako, gusto ko ng mamahinga ate“.

I know, it was very, very hard for you even to just speak

I told you to let God and let go

His will be done.

Nissa and I were on our way back home inside a Victory Liner bus at NLEX when I learned of your passing on.

I have to bring mommy home to see you…for the last time.

It is still hard for me that the only thing I see is your picture

It is still quite hard for me to see that all your architectural drawings are still intact

I had my share of seeing all your collections of Architectural Digest and home magazines.

I cry reading tributes to you from friends and relatives

I can’t stop my tears flowing seeing the best legacy you left behind to the people of our town – the Mabini Town Hall

It’s a legacy that would survive through the years way beyond our lifetimes.

I see you in every corner of this small house you left behind

And I remember, I remember our conversations a long time ago

You made me laugh with your stories sharing the hardships and the joys of living

You made me smile remembering our childhood years – the days in between.

You were too young to die

And I miss you still.

Written on 24 May 2022

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He must have waited for us to come home. Nissa and I rode on a deluxe Victory Liner bus last Friday and we were there around 9pm.

I talked to him yesterday morning before we left. He listened. He left us around 3 pm as we were traversing NLEX.

THY WILL BE DONE LORD.

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“for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause” Hamlet, Act III, Sc.1

After life there is more…The end is just the beginning…If you are into parapsychology, metaphysics and the supernatural then this book is for you.

What Dreams May Come is the story of Chris Nielsen and his wife Ann. A love story that transcends death – a guy willing to spend his life in Hell just so he could be with his loved one. The story opens with Chris dying in a car accident but he does not realize that he is now dead. His main concern is his wife and family. He hovers within as a ghost until he finds himself in Summerland (the idea of heaven) and meets his dead dog Katie and his cousin Albert who serves as his guide in heaven. Summerland, more a state of mind rather than a place. Despite the beauty and splendor of Summerland, he still longs for his family specially Ann to the point of wanting to be reassured of when they will see each other again.

Ann could not accept the demise of her husband so she commits suicide breaking the ties forever and she finds herself in Hell. Chris,  in his desire to help Ann, goes down to the lower realm accompanied by Albert and there he personally witnesses what hell looks like but he does not find Ann there. She does not believe in afterlife so she is trapped in her own hell. He lets himself becomes part of her reality so they could be together forever.

The story flashes to Chris finding himself again in Summerland and they both move on until such time that Ann chooses a quick rebirth on earth. They are soul mates and the story ends with the premise that they will be together again in another life.

Okay, here’s my take on the story.

What really happens to us after we die? Do we really have soul mates? The imagery between heaven and hell is so vivid that you would prefer to be in heaven than anywhere else. Anyone can escape Matheson’s hell – they only have to recognize and accept their shortcomings. It’s a sort of temporary dwelling until such time that you eventually go to heaven.

There was a movie made on this book and Richard Matheson is the same author who wrote Bid Time Return which was translated into a movie called Somewhere in Time – one of my favorites.

Quotations from the book:

“It’s a painful thing to learn I know,”he said, “that every thought we have takes in a form we must eventually, confront”.

“Language is more a barrier to understanding than an aid. Also, we’re able, through thought, to communicate in any language without the need of an interpreter. Moreover, we’re not confined to words and sentences. Communication can be enhanced by flashes of pure thought”.

“I noticed you have no mirrors,” I said.
“They serve no purpose,” he told me.
“Because they’re mostly for vanity?” I questioned.
‘More than that,”he answered. “those who’ve marred their appearance in any way by their actions in life aren’t forced to witness that marring. If they were, they’d become self-conscious and be unable to concentrate on improving themselves”.

P.S.

I have read this book back when I was not a member yet of Goodreads.  Reread it again a few days ago. It has a new cover at Goodreads though. Today is All Saints’ Day,  a reminder to us that we all could be saints.  Doing good deeds without counting the cost.

A blessed All Saints’ Day everyone!

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It Comes Too Soon.


I feel sad. I was just talking to a priest friend a while ago and he said that one of their fellow priests died yesterday  because of cardiac arrest. He was only 55 years old.

I remember those days when they were together in our Parish and they also used to  preside mass here in our subdivision. I remember the  meaningful and uplifting homilies they used to share with us parishioners.

What they say is true. death comes like a theft in the night.  One would never really know when the time comes. It is all in God’s hands.

This keeps playing in my mind. Would you prefer a sudden death over a prolonged illness?

Rest in peace Fr. Larry!

 

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Spent the early part of the day going to the wake of a friend’s dad. He died at the age of 87  last Tuesday. When someone leaves us in this world, we  talk of the happy memories, the good times that we remember of our deceased relative. We always talk of  the times that we remember the most in our hearts, we talk of the caring ways, the love and care, the gentle touch of a loving dad to his kids and the great love he showed our own mother.

I remembered  Dad vividly in my mind while I was praying for Paul’s father. Letting go is not that easy. We always think we are prepared for any eventualities that may happen but when it is a close member of our family, we cannot just ignore the deep pain we feel, the sense of loss we experience.  Even if we say that we have accepted everything even before we lose a loved one, there is that tight knot of pain that surrounds our hearts.  Tere, another common friend who was with me at the wake intently listened to us exchange thoughts and ideas about death. I told Paul that he could still laugh, joke around with us because he can still see his father right in front but after the burial when everyone has left and it’s only the family facing each other, you feel empty, there is that deep void that no one can fill.  Your thoughts would slowly unlock all the lovely things you hold dear when your father was still alive. Acceptance is one thing but what is important is allowing yourself to grieve  so you would heal the pain of emptiness within.

Saying goodbye is not without its tears.  You experience all kinds of difficult emotions that sometimes you think  the sadness would never let up.  They say that there is really no wrong or right way to grieve. It may take a year or two or you feel the loss the rest of your life. We are not only talking about death here but of other circumstances when  our emotions are deeply affected. And then we ask ourselves, “is there a normal timetable for grief?” I don’t think so because it is a personal thing. Some of us may cope well because we make ourselves busy, it lightens the burden when we share it with close relatives and friends. Ignoring what you feel would just make you miserable. Real healing takes place when we face our fears. It’s normal to cry, but it does not mean that you don’t feel the loss when you don’t.

Time heals. It is  a slow dance of remembrance and unlocking  of precious memories you hold in your heart. Then you will smile at the thought that you have those precious memories to keep you warm.

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“Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps 23:6)

The nation mourns, because it lost a commendable and one of the finest servant- leaders it ever had.  You will surely be missed Sir. May our present servant-leaders emulate what you did for our country. Rest in peace and may your family find strength and comfort with the thought that you are one in a million, much-loved not only by your “kababayans” in Naga but all Filipinos as well.

(whoever owns this pic, thank you)

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