LOSING someone special happens to many people. This loss could be a breakup or through death. It is painful. Oftentimes no words can describe the pain of losing a loved one.

How much more if your child dies? For parents, this could be doubly painful. Parents would rather that they die before their children. Even if the child is sick for a long time, his eventual death is still very painful for a parent.

Recently, we have been hearing about deaths of young people. Sometimes in violent ways, many because of illnesses. They are too young to die. It is sad and shocking. It is difficult.

Just as each person is unique, everyone has a different way of coping. Even if one has moved on, there will always some degree of sadness in his heart.

I work at the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA), and we have a program to help sick children. One day, I was introduced to an 11-year-old boy with stage 4 cancer. Our group brought him to a pediatrician and he became a "suki (regular patient)” in the hospital.

We would bring him books to read and games to play whenever he is admitted. Last week, his frail body gave up and he died on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. We were consoled that Mama Mary carried him to heaven to take away the pain and have peace.

I am not his mother but I am grieving for his loss. Sometimes, I would ask the Lord, how could this young boy suffer? He is just a kid! I know the Lord has plans for all of us. He has done his mission here on earth.

I know that the pain of his parents is greater than mine. He also has siblings, an older brother and three younger ones. I am sure they also feel the loss.

I have accepted his faith and glad he is in heaven watching over us. Thank you for the wonderful memories. I am also grateful to all who helped us make his life less painful.

Grieving is part of life. Filipino traditions allow us to grieve for one year. According to Elizabeth Kubler-Rosd, there are five stages of grieving. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

If one is "stuck" in the depression stage, please contact the PMHA-Bacolod Office at 433-8868. We will be glad to help you move to the “acceptance” stage.