Tag Archives: Grief

Of Loss and Girlfriends

FRIENDS IN GRIEF ARE FRIENDS INDEED. (from left) Karla, me, Angel & Maan. They sent me the message on this post nine days after my mom passed away in 2015.
FRIENDS IN GRIEF ARE FRIENDS INDEED. (from left) Karla, me, Angel & Maan. They sent me the message on this post nine days after my mom passed away in 2015.

Hello, Curtis . Today (and always) we just want you to know that you are loved. – Karla, Angel & Maan

28 Jan 2015, Facebook

I got this note from my girls in Singapore nine days after my mom passed away. I was still in Manila, coming to grips with burying the person I loved the most only four days ago. The photo above, sent with the message, reminded me that I may be alone at the moment inside my parents’ bedroom, hopelessly trying to take in the fading scent of my mom’s perfume on her pillows, but I AM NOT ALONE in this journey of grief.

Of course, it would take me another year or so to really BELIEVE that statement above. :P In His time, my friends. In His Time.

 

I’m Sorry I Actually Posted This

“I have lost loved ones who would have given anything to live one more day, one more hour. I have loved ones who are now dying to fight for their lives. So even if we’re family or the very best of friends, I’m sorry but I will never ever EVER accept any excuse for suicide. You are taking something that most, given the chance, would actually kill for. If you kill yourself, I’ve only two things to say to you: First, you are undeserving of the life you’ve been generously given. Second, maybe, just maybe, you do deserve to die after all.”

Four years ago, on this very day, I wrote this on my Facebook Wall. I’ve no recollection of what transpired that ended with me putting these thoughts into words for all the world to see. All I remember is how physically, emotionally and financially stressed I was trying to support a loved one who entered my life by way of suicide.

At the time, I felt I have lost control of my life after I was left to take responsibility for a child with a dead mother and a father who wasn’t equipped in any way to be one.

My hands were tied tight by love for my mother who refused to give up the child. I LOVE THAT KID, too. But I was drowning in my inability to build a life of my own in order to support other people. And since I couldn’t bear to blame the child, I channeled all my hatred for that woman who bore her then killed herself and left other people to take responsibility for what was originally hers.

Hence that post above on Dec 7, 2011.

But after losing my mother and going through the process of wanting to end my own life, regardless of how it would affect those I would leave behind, most especially that beautiful child that I consider as my youngest sister… late as this realization came to me, I would like to sincerely say to all those whose lives have been touched by suicide—

I AM VERY SORRY FOR THINKING, WRITING AND POSTING THAT HATEFUL POST ABOVE.

I knew nothing at the time of what really goes through someone’s mind when he/she contemplates taking his/her own life. I didn’t care. All I knew and experienced was the aftermath of suicide… of what it does to those who would be left behind.

And in the last couple of months, it is this perspective that is helping me postpone the urge every time. I can’t bear what it would be like for my first sister if I leave her alone to take care of our youngest sister. And yes, regardless of how many siblings we have and how many loving cousins, she would be ALONE. As alone as I have felt in the last 11 months, even right now, even with her love and support.

I can’t bear for our youngest sister to think and believe that God or the universe would be so evil as to take not just one, but two mothers from her, and then (how dare I) add myself — her staunchest supporter, her fiercest protector, and her most loving Ate — to the list of people she lost even before she’s old enough to fend for herself.

I know now that regardless of how much I loved my family, once I kill myself, they would only think of how I didn’t love them ENOUGH. They would hate me for whatever happens to them and their lives in the wake of my death. They would hate themselves. They would hate the world. And this is not the life I want for my siblings.

I am sorry for how my hatred, my hateful post, made those who tried to kill themselves feel after reading it. For how it made those left behind by a loved one who committed suicide feel.

I was ignorant, too full of myself and unkind. 

Now that I have walked — and still walking — on the other side of the road, I feel only shame and regret for posting, THINKING, those words.

Suicide is not just about the person on the ledge. It’s not just about those who would be left with nothing but memories, doubt and guilt. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS ABOUT. Now, I don’t know anything. except—

We don’t get to judge another until we’ve understand FULLY and TRULY what they are going through  — and the only way to do that is if we have gone through the same thing they have.

Until then, we’re all just ignorants whose belief that we know better than the other person may just turn out to be the hand that help pushes one further down the ledge.

© Photo owned by author.

What is your DEFAULT Emotion?

If you haven’t seen Inside Out yet, go watch it on Netflix or something ASAP. It’s a cartoon with a story that only adults would get. Check out the film plot here then come back here to read the rest of the post. :P

While watching Inside Out, my roomies and I started naming people that every “emotion/character” reminded us of. We joked how people, including us, may have a “default emotion” —a state that has become a distinct part of our personality and behaviour. When my friend asked me, “Which emotion are you?” I quickly—and with utmost certainty—replied: Continue reading What is your DEFAULT Emotion?

Are you an Empathizer? Or a Sympathizer?

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

Continue reading Are you an Empathizer? Or a Sympathizer?

Are You The Person Your Parents Raised You To Be?

“If you have one parent who loves you, even if they can’t buy you clothes, they’re so poor and they make all kinds of mistakes and maybe sometimes they even give you awful advice, but never for one moment do you doubt their love for you—if you have this, you have incredibly good fortune. Continue reading Are You The Person Your Parents Raised You To Be?

Self-help Books: Do They Really Help With Loss?

Today, I started reading this book called Overcoming Grief by Sue Morris. Right before the first chapter, the author posts a friendly “Note of Caution” (excerpts quoted) that I think everyone — from the depressed to family and friends of a depressed person — should take into consideration: Continue reading Self-help Books: Do They Really Help With Loss?

Life After Death: And We All Shine On

“But what a shining animal is man,
Who knows, when pain subsides, that is not that,
For worse than that must follow yet can write
Music; can laugh; play tennis; even plan.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Sonnet CLXXI”

I’M A WOMAN. A PISCEAN. A WRITER. 

So this maiden blog entry? Not gonna be drama-free. But let’s get it over with so that we can finally move on to the fun stuff. ;-)

<Start drama here. Death. Loss. Grief. Depression. End drama.>

Now, onto the fun stuff: Death has taken from all of us.  (OK, so maybe not that fun.) There are billions going through the same thing I am right now that is, trying to overcome paralyzing loss. But one thing I learned recently is that I don’t have to go through it alone. Nobody does.

With this blog, I hope to reach and reach out to those who have suffered, survived and overcome or are still suffering, trying to survive and trying to overcome loss as I chronicle my own adventures (and misadventures, which I have a penchant for) towards actually living once more.

This means blogging about a myriad of topics that may or may not be related to death, loss and grieving per se all the time. After all, LIFE does not have to revolve around these concepts even if we are dealing with them every single day.

This is a project dedicated to putting myself back together, not as Me BEFORE, but as the person I’ve originally set out to be before life got the better of me. Or maybe that me is already gone, too. Right now, like you, I don’t know anything but this:

I and my life in the next 12 months will not be the same as the last 12 months or the last 12 months before that.

Loss begets major changes. But they don’t all have to be sad, ugly changes. As John Lennon* sang: Why in the world are we here? Surely not to live in pain and fear.

We lost but we’re still alive. So shine on.

* Yeah, there will be billions of Beatles references in this blog.