Losing someone we loved is one of the worst and most painful things we could ever experience in this lifetime. No amount of words or advice could ever appease or heal our broken hearts once we lost someone we deeply loved. They say that, “Time heals all wounds” but the truth of the matter is, not even time could not heal all wounds. There are no words in the whole world that could describe the pain of losing a loved one.
Feelings like depression, sadness, fear, insecurity and loneliness would normally overcome a person once he or she had lost a loved one. Some people are able to recover after years of losing their loved ones. Some, on the other hand, could not overcome their pain that sadly, they would finally give up and no longer wished to live. Having said that, the big question is: can we really overcome the loss of a loved one?
I first experienced the pain of losing a loved one when I was 19 years old. My father, whom I lovingly called “Papa” had a stroke while we were both attending a church service. He passed away a week later while in the hospital and my life suddenly turned upside down. In my 19 years of existence on this planet, I never thought that I would lose someone I loved through death. During that time, I viewed death as something “unreal” and most likely “not to happen” to any of the people I loved. Of course, I was totally wrong.
As a youngster, I always thought that my family, especially my parents, would grow old together. But Papa died at the young age of 49. I was a “Papa’s girl” and all of a sudden, my Papa was taken away from me by death! I was truly devastated and so shocked, that during his death, funeral and burial service, I was totally numbed that not a single tear had fallen down my cheeks. I never cried during my Papa’s death and up to this moment, many years of his death, I had not cried for losing him even though I loved him very, very much. Then, several years later, I lost a second loved one when my eldest sister Marie at the age of 41! Like what happened when Papa died, I couldn’t cry or shed a tear for Marie. There were no tears in my eyes. I had only this intense pain inside my heart that I could not let out or forget.
After Papa and Marie had died, my biggest fear was losing my mother. Every single day, I would pray to God not to take away my “Mommy” because she was the most important person in my life. Although I loved Papa and Marie so much, somehow, I had come to terms with their deaths after several years. But losing Mommy was something that really frightened me. I could not imagine my life without Mommy—my love, my life and my inspiration!
Then, in late 2014, while in Bahrain, I received a call from my elder sister Karen that Mommy had suffered a heart attack! It was that type of call that no one working abroad would like to hear or receive but I did. I was too shock to cry for Mommy and it was during that time, when she was fighting for her life in the hospital that I made a pact with God—if He would take my Mommy now, I would not question Him but will accept His will. I only asked God to give me the strength to go on if Mommy would pass away. After a few weeks, my greatest fear happened. Mommy passed away at the age of 77 and I was devastated. However, despite the pain in my heart, I did not cry when Mommy died. I had left her in God’s care and had promised to accept His will. The only thing I could do now was be strong for my siblings and move on with my life.
After Mommy’s death, I turned to my elder sister Karen for comfort. Even when we were still children, I had always treated Karen as my “best friend”, “second mother” and “confidante.” I was doing okay after Mommy’s death in 2015, because Karen was there to be my guide, strength, inspiration and source of joy. Then, last year, in October, I received a call from her son Jayson Darwin who told me that Karen had passed away due to severe asthma. The worst thing was due to the COVID-19 restrictions, I could not go back to the Philippines to attend the burial of my sister Karen.
Never in my wildest dream did I ever think I would not be present in Karen’s funeral because I loved her so deeply and I was very close to her. I remembered whispering that time, “Lord, this is the fourth time that I lost somebody I loved so deeply. Your will be done not mine.” After saying those words, I immediately felt peace in my heart. My only consolation was the knowledge that Karen was no longer suffering and she was with Papa, Marie and Mommy in God’s kingdom.
The bottom line is, after losing four members of my family, I can confidently and honestly say that yes, it is possible to overcome the loss of our dear ones. Of course, it is easier said than done. But yes, you can do it, no matter how great your lost is.
I lost, not one, not two, not three but four loved ones! I finally realized that despite the great pain the deaths of my family members had brought and caused me, I have no other option but to continue and move on with my life. C’est La Vie!
Losing a loved one should never be an excuse to give up on life. Instead of making us feel depressed and hopeless, we should do our best to overcome our pains and difficulties because death and losing a loved one are parts of what we call “life”. I remember I read a quote once which says, “You are not human unless you experience pain.” I agree. Yes, life must go on. And you must go on, too!