Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Death In The Family

"Death comes like a thief in the night"..."we all live on borrowed time"..."it's the best way to go"..."she is in a better place"... "you now have another angel in heaven"..."life goes on". All those words are true, but they do not lessen the pain...they do not take away the grief...they do not make the tears stop...they cannot remove the sadness brought about by the sudden loss of a loved one.

A Death in the Family

My father's only sister, the last surviving member of their family passed away last September 2 at 5 PM in the afternoon.  It was a sudden death caused by a massive heart attack.  What made it so devastating is the fact that she just celebrated a very happy 81st birthday last Sunday, August 31 and gave no signs at all that she was not feeling well. My mom talked to her for almost an hour long distance and she happily shared how proud she was of her first grandson who was part of a one-night show at the Resort's World last Friday. And so when we got the news Tuesday evening, all my mother could do was shout, "WHAT?  WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR MOM?"   I rushed to the room and my mom was looking at me glassy eyed  and shouting, "SI INDAY PATAY!" (Inday is dead).   I immediately took the phone and it was my cousin telling me what happened...I could feel the sadness taking over my heart and could only sob...nothing I can do or say can change anything.   

The last time I felt something like this was when my Dad died in 1991.  My Dad was only 58 when he passed on while my aunt (his sister) just turned 81, however he too died without any signs or warning.  In fact I talked to him just before he left for the bank en route to the city hall ( he was a MTCC Judge), and the next moment I got a call telling me my dad collapsed in the bank and was in the emergency room of the local hospital. Everything happened so fast but I remember every detail, from the minute I entered the ER to transferring him to Bacolod, to the doctor telling me that what I was looking at was just the epinephrine effect, to the time I touched his feet to tell him that it was okay to go and leave us...everything remains clear to me, and to this day, the sadness never really goes away.   

Coping with Bereavement

There is an array of emotions felt when a loved one suddenly dies.  In my case, it was a mixture of shock, disbelief, sadness, loss of energy and fatigue.  Some may feel guilt, anxiety, fear, anger, problems sleeping, work difficulties, overwhelming grief,  mood swings or feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

People cope with bereavement in many different ways, but for me the best is through Prayer.   In my times of sorrow and uncertainty, simply praying The Our Father never fails to make me feel 100% better.  The words "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven" comforts me and offers me hope.  Talking to God, calling on Him, feeling His presence gives me peace and strength to face the future. 

We can never completely be prepared for a death, but we cope and yes, life though changed will go on.

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.

                                           ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Author of On Death and Dying (1969)



In Loving Memory of  Maria Concepcion Lopez Ledesma-Buhay (b. August 31, 1933- d.September 2, 2014)
finally reunited in eternity in heaven with brother, Antonio Lopez Ledesma (b. August 25, 1932 - d. February 7, 1991) and twin, Ramon Lopez Ledesma (b. August 31, 1933 - d. April 29, 1969)






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