Love and Loss

12:00 AM

I just came from a prayer service for a friend who left us last December 4.  Tomorrow marks the third year of my grandma's death.  It made me think how much sorry this month could bring to me, this month which was supposedly all about dream-come-trues and granted wishes.

Death is inevitable.  It is part of life, a very basic and integral part of our existence.  But while we all know that those who live die, there is still that heart-wrenching feel whenever we lose someone we value because of death.

I promise to myself that I'm dedicating my college graduation to my maternal grandmother who have showered me so much love and care.  I was still third year at that time she died and the last time I saw her was when she visited Bohol from Zamboanga City back when I was still a high school student.  Back then, I was busy with the demands of my senior year so I didn't really had the chance to entertain them.  I thought that my graduation will be the next time.  I was planning to celebrate it in Zamboanga City with my maternal side of the family.  But it broke my heart to know that there will be no next times.  I was not able to give her the warmest of all welcomes.  I thought there will be next times.  I really thought.

I sobbed. When I saw my grandma lying inside the coffin, it felt like part of me left with her.  It felt like all my plans were shattered into a million little pieces.  I told her (or asked her) why she didn't wait for me, with tears flowing from my eyes, as if she will be able to answer.  There inside the coffin was a woman I loved so dearly. I wanted to hug her but can't.  I wanted to kiss her but can't.  All I can do was look and sob.

It was the first time in a very very long time.  I was back at my mother's home.  One night, I was sitting at the corner and then I saw, inside a little mirrored cabinet, all the Jollibee toys I had as a child, all glued to the compartments, as if telling people that this toys are to be untouched.  I remember, before living for Bohol, I gave all my toys to my cousins.  I didn't expect it to be there.  But it was there and I valued how my grandma kept those little mementos from my childhood in good shape.  And I wonder if she looks at it, does she reminisce about me.

On the day of the internment, I was at the beach.  I had my sunglasses on, probably an hour before the internment.  I was looking at the sea and the blue sky while my tears were like never ending streams.  I was crying before everyone could.  That day was finally goodbye.  In my mind was a rush of flashbacks of memories I would greatly miss.

Three years have passed and while penning this entry, I can't help but still cry.  No one gets to move on from a loss.  We can just carry on. When we travel back the highways of our memories, the cuts become fresh.  The scars becomes wounds.  And that's when we realize we never forgot.  We just accepted and moved forward.

Three years and still I long for my grandma. I miss her tone of voice whenever she greets me "Good morning." I missed her early morning text messages every time it is my birthday. I miss that small growth of skin on her armpits I used to pinch back when I was a child, when we sleep together. I miss her smile.  I miss her...a lot. And if I had just that one rare chance to go back in time, I wish to go back to the day she went on a vacation here with my grandpa.  And I will hug her so tight and shower her with kisses because I know, three years down the line, I won't be able to do that again.

My friend Jenny died a few days ago and all I can do is to mourn in silence the death of a friend who I haven't seen for quite a long time.  It made me realize how long we haven't kept in touch with each other and all that we shared are but memories that will stay with me forever.

The hardest thing about people leaving is when they leave with a piece of you. When they leave with all your love, knowing that while it was the best thing in the world --- to know that person --- it is also the saddest knowing that making memories together ends there.  They stir storms deep in our souls and leaves deep wounds in our hearts that would take so long to heal. President Snow in Mockingjay said "It's the things that we love most that destroys us."

I realize how much important time is. I've lost the chances with my grandma and Jenny. I cannot afford to let an opportunity pass --- to show those I love how much I love and care for them.  Time, is the best expression of love, so they say, and the most precious gift you can give someone.  It is giving a piece of you that you can never have back.

To Jenny, "Buanga jud nimu uy! Namiya man ka. Mingawon ko nimu yot! Ayaw tan-aw'g Alberta diha sa langit kay ma-demote ka.  Salamat sa friendship."

(To Jenny, "You're definitely crazy! You left us.  I will miss you, yot.  Don't watch Alberta there in heaven or else, you'll be demoted.  Thank you for the friendship.")

To my grandma, "Lola, sakit gihapon nga wala ka,  Salamat sa tanan.  Bantayi ko kanunay.  I hope happy and proud ka nako sa akong mga naabot.  I love you."

(To my grandma, "Grandma, it still hurts that you're gone.  Thank you for everything.  Please look after me always.  I hope you are happy and proud for all that I have achieved.  I love you.")

My grandma is an angel now, watching over me.  For sure, Jenny is as well.  And this song is a song that brings tears and comfort, a song that I imagine them singing for me.  Their memories stay with me.  By that, I'm never alone.

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DEEJAY WRITES is a proudly Boholano lifestyle and travel blog by LifestyleBohol in-house writer Deejay Arro. Launched in June 2014, DEEJAY WRITES ranks among the Top 200 Entertainment and Lifestyle blogs in the country and has been consistently receiving positive feedback from readers..