I am still sad about my brother dying

When I left for Manila on Feb 28, Kuya Romy wasn’t interred due to the memorial park’s lack of staff. Walang maghuhukay, fully booked ang chapel, etc. His body was placed in the freezer while waiting. He was resting in freeze instead of resting in peace. I couldn’t wait for March 15, the scheduled funeral, so I just held a prayer service at his residence in Binangonan, Rizal on the same day of his interment in Fremont, California.

I got so busy back in Manila until the third week of April. Then I had a few days of reprieve. And I realized I was still feeling sad over his death. I was just too busy to grieve. The busyness greatly helped deviate my attention from grieving. I was too busy to even think about being sad. I imagined Kuya was still alive, living with his family in California.

When I visited Kuya Ben at the cemetery on June 12, kneeling by his grave engulfed me with a sudden realization, oh sh…it, my two brothers are dead. They’re gone forever. Then I started weeping. It’s been a decade since Kuya Ben died but I still feel sad. I don’t know why.

It was Kuya Romy’s birthday on June 28 and his family visited him at the cemetery and brought flowers and food. Looking at the photos posted on Facebook reminded me again that Kuya is gone but I didn’t feel sad that moment.  His apos were there lovingly remembering his birthday. I just put visiting him and mama and papa in my to do list as soon as I am back in California.

I am now here, arriving at almost midnight last night, July 4.  I slept at 4 am up to 12 noon. I watched tv muna pampa antok.
It was deja vu. I was seated on this very same sofa in February waiting for any news about Kuya Romy who was holding on to his last breath while we, his family, were all holding on to one last tiny hope that Kuya would pull it through and live for many more months at least.

My eyes were filled with tears but I didn’t want to let one tiny tear drop because I knew it would be followed by an avalanche. I stood up and got myself busy. I cooked fresh mushroom soup, tri tip beef salpicao, while Nyke made saing. He also bought ready to eat Asian salad.

After lunch, I remembered that I haven’t unloaded my stuff and while I was unzipping my old navy blue luggage that seems to be whispering in my ear “Hey jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better.” I was crying while opening my luggage.

There were tons of all sorts of magazines, flyers, junk mails, and other mails waiting to be sorted out.
It was only after lunch that I was able to take a look at this accumulated piles of paper.
And I saw this note from the mail.

Kuya Romy Thank you card

As soon as I saw Kuya Romy’s picture, an avalanche of emotions ensued. Tears flowed and while I was opening my luggage, I started weeping. I just couldn’t control it. Why? Because when I visited Kuya at the ICU, his shoulders started to shake when he saw me. He looked at me with begging eyes and started shivering. He was crying! That moment is forever engraved in my mind and in my heart. I couldn’t help him. There was nothing I could do or maybe I could have done something but I didn’t know what to do. His doctors pronounced that he would not get any better, the hospital followed suit, and the insurance company failed him, no longer willing to provide or pay for any succeeding treatments. Iba dito sa America. Kung sa atin sa Pilipinas, ilalaban natin yan. Susubukan natin kung hanggang saan kaya. Pero dito, wala lang. Basta give up na agad.

A loved one dying leaves a deep wound that doesn’t heal. You may cover it till you forget that it’s there but your soul will forever nurture that wound.

One thing though, the wheel of life will keep churning even without Kuya Romy, and Kuya Ben, Mama, and Papa, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about their existence. They will forever be a part of us. One day in God’s time, we will all be reunited and hopefully in a much better place devoid of any sickness, sadness, or suffering.

Kuya Romy Thank you card

In loving memory.


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