In memoriam-A A +A
Thursday, September 13, 2012
IT’S BEEN four years. Unbelievable. It felt like only yesterday that she was here.
Do we really get over the death of a loved one? Do we really move on, at peace with the fact that they are now in the warm embrace of the Lord, away from worldly troubles, free from pain?
To a certain degree we probably do, but at times, the longing still seems unbearable. Sometimes, the pain of realizing we will never see them, hug them, or converse with them ever gain can be crippling.
I still cringe when I see hospital death bed scenes on tv. I still cry when I read stories on sickness and death, and losing family. I still take time to read the notes she left behind. Sometimes I still peek at her dedication on books she gave me, and the kids.
Mama died peacefully in her sleep on September 14, 2008, three weeks after she was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia. She chose to go at a time when (I think) her doctor was on the brink of asking me to decide (as she could no longer be successfully weaned from a ventilator) knowing full well I would fight it out with her to the end, no matter what the cost.
To this day I am thankful that she shared her life with me, and that she devoted all the best she could be to help me be where I am now. I will forever be grateful she stood by me despite my stubbornness, that she never gave up on me even when I was at my worst.
Last night, Nadine asked me if Lola Mama “has facebook”. She would have enjoyed it if she did. Mama had always loved reading, and quotes, and “status updates” (by some other name before they were termed as such).
I thank God for great memories we have shared; sometimes I just have to close my eyes and I would remember special times we had together. Most especially I thank God for the ability to retain, and retrieve memories, as they sustain me when longing is at its worst (or more aptly, at its best).
The day after she died, I found a clipping of “The Hopi Prayer” by her bedside in our house. It was as though she sent me a message from heaven when I found it. I now share it with you in her loving memory:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there,
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
On the ripened grain.
I am the gentle Autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on September 13, 2012.