On eulogies, longing and coping-A A +A
Thursday, May 31, 2012
DELIVERING a eulogy is a common part of a wake, and when you are granted the privilege of doing so it is because you are close to the deceased, and expected to know a lot of things about him or her, preferably all good. After all, it is abominable to speak ill of the departed. That was not a problem with our Lola Eva: people only had good words, and sweet memories of her and the life she lived.
What struck me the most and touched my heart were the eulogies delivered by my younger cousins. At times we adults tend to underestimate the way young people think. We find it easy to dismiss their ideas, and tend to overlook their feelings, assuming they are simply too young to make a difference. But my younger cousins, in their mid-teens to early 20s, stood there bravely fighting off the tears, to pay tribute to a grandmother they love so much. I was in awe, listening to how they described in detail even the seemingly simplest things Lola had done, but which meant a lot to each of them. It broke my heart, and gave me the realization that oftentimes, it is the little things we do that matter – more so if done with great love.
Days after Lola was buried, I see videos they made, songs they dedicated, comments they posted all for Lola Eva, and I can feel the pain each one is going through. I might not have the chance to stay in the family home for longer than a week even before; but even just those visits were enough to make me feel the emptiness of the house now without her around.
I have lived through one battle like this before. When I lost Lola Mama four years ago I felt this much pain that was almost crippling, and everyday longing that seemed to take my breath away. In times like these one has to gear up: it is not going to be easy. One cannot compare with definiteness which is more painful – waking up in the morning and realizing she will never be there, or that very silent moment when you are about to sleep, alone with yourself and knowing you will wake up to another morning of longing, knowing you cannot bring her back. There will be that first Christmas without her, your first birthday without her, her first birthday without her, or any moment when for no reason you will realize there is still that word left unsaid, that deed left undone. And you relive the pain all over again.
But revel in the pain; it is all part of the healing process. The world will not stop turning because you are hurting much too much, and life has to go on. There is no choice but to be stronger, no recourse but to cope. With every tear shed, have faith that you are closer to healing, and simply embrace the happy memories. In moments of pain, find it within your heart to be thankful that your life had been blessed with the gift of her love and presence. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 31, 2012.