Monday, July 22, 2013

KCAT CAN: Dealing with death

Dealing with death

In life, we have no control over the storms that we encounter. It’s normal to feel devastated and sad, but to continue being sad is already our choice. I have come to realize this because of what happened to our family two weeks ago.

On that day, I already felt that the mood in our home was a bit off. My mom suddenly gave me my anti-seizure medicine and told me to drink. So I did. I was unaware what the reason was for her unusual behavior. But a few minutes later, she told me, “Wala na si ME.” ME (short for Mommy or Mame) is what we fondly call our grandma, my fathers’ mom. I was silent for awhile, and then when it finally dawned on me, I blurted out, “Nalulungkot ako.”

I felt like I needed to say it out loud and express how I was feeling to prevent me from crying. I can’t cry. Too much of it will have me hyperventilating with a tummy ache and sore throat. I went back to what I was doing, but I could feel that I was sad. I kept on thinking of the memories I had with her but instead of making me sadder, it kept me calm. Those memories were a proof that she had lived a very fruitful life. I was sad no more.

Before she passed away, ME was in the hospital for nine days – five days in the ICU and four days in a regular room. During those days, we were able to see her smile, cry and laugh. She was still responsive. We were able to say our goodbyes to her when we left the hospital, not knowing that it would be our final goodbye,  and that it was really her who’s heading home — home to the Lord.

Thinking about my final encounter with her lessens my sadness. While they were tubes attached to her body which was partly paralyzed, she looked like she was at peace. And after she was out of the critical stage, she was able to rest well, away from all the stress she had before she got sick.

Any kind of separation is sad and hard especially the death of someone close to you. But as they say, death ends life, but not the relationship. During the wake, one of the Mass cards had the words, “Love creates memories that forever blossom in the heart.” All those happy and beautiful memories we had with ME helped us to move forward. We will forever cherish those moments in our hearts.

ME was so kind and generous. She took care of us often and helped us every step of the way. She was there to support our schooling, helped in our medical bills, sent us groceries and cooked for us. Her one-of-a-kind mechado was the best! That’s how she showed her love and care. She didn’t like to see her loved ones going through hardships. It was just sad that other people often took advantage of her kindness. But whenever that happened, she just flashed her sweet smile and still helped. We were really so blessed because we had her.

Although we both live in the same compound, I wasn’t able to visit her often because her house was on the third floor. Both of us had difficulty in walking. Instead, I often sent her handwritten letters letting her know how much I loved her and how grateful I was for all her help. Whenever I could, I climbed up the stairs to her house just to see her, greet her, kiss her and hug her. Don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone you love them and show that you care. I know I did that’s why ME’s passing left me with no pain and regret.

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.- Romans 14:8

As my cousins and I released the balloons during her funeral, I shouted, “ME thank you! I love you, goodbye!”

Death ends one’s life but the lives of those that were left go on. Remember that our lives did not end with theirs, but merely changed. Death is a part of the change that constantly happens in our life. In the end, what matters is how we view and react to death. Once again, I chose to welcome change with a positive attitude. I will definitely miss my grandma but all the memories I have of her are already enough for me to move forward with my life. Rest In Peace Teodora A. Yarza (May 20, 1929 – July 9, 2013).

(Baby Zybil Claine Calma from Mexico, Pampanga needs our help. Since she was born on Oct.8, 2012, she has been in and out of the hospital. She has leukemia but the family does not have enough resources to confirm what type or how far out the sickness is. Baby Zybil had blood transfusions to help with the WBC but more tests are required to determine her condition and the availability of services available in their place is very limited. If you wish to help Baby Zybil in any way you can, you may contact her parents Rencille and Elsie Calma at 0905 618 6466.)

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