What the caterpillar calls the End of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.- Richard Bach
Death, the inevitable yet mysterious occurrence of our lives. With different kinds of causes, but brings the same effect to everyone, especially to a loved one. Painful. Sometimes, unacceptable.
As a child, as young as 6-year old, I had experienced death of a loved one- my beloved mother. At that time I couldn't even understand why people have to die. How did they die? Where do they go after they die? Do they become spirits or ashes? It was really vague for me. All I remembered was I cried a lot whenever Papa would carry me and brought me near my Mama's coffin. I think I cried not because I knew mom was gone, but because I was scared seeing her, lying inside a coffin, breathless, lifeless instead of seeing her laugh and alive! I kept asking my grandmother, "when is she coming back"? All she kept saying was, someday, you'll see her again. Someday…As years gone by, I've seen many deaths in our family. My grandfather died after my mom, my father died when I was in Junior High and during my College days the best person in the world for me passed away- my grandmother. For me death was the most painful, unbearable experience I could ever have. It is so hard to let someone we love go and leave us in this world. Some of our friends would comfort us, telling us "it's okay, it's normal and you're gonna get through it". Definitely I've survived it! But before I became who I am today, I've struggled a lot and encountered a great deal of emotional and psychological stress because of sorrows. I've struggled a lot and encountered a great deal of emotional and psychological stress because of sorrow.
Just so recently, our institution have lost one of its' dear personnel. SJO2 Lourdes L Aralar who died of cancer on July 13, 2015. Ma'am Lourdes or Ma'am Odette was loved by her family, co-workers and friends who remembered her as a jolly, kind, helpful and a loving person and a mother. Personally, I have known her for a brief period of time but I could say that she was one of the awesome persons I've ever met. She was assigned at the Finance Division and used to tease me whenever she saw me at the Regional Office. We even had a conversation a week before I heard the sad news. Her classmates and colleagues at the office were shocked and saddened upon hearing it. The irony of it was despite the horrible pains and suffering she still worked with smile and cheerfulness on her face. The strength that she showed and portrayed was unbelievable. She was the real picture of a strong and unbeatable woman! And although her ailment took away her physical abilities, it never dominated her mind, heart and soul. She continued to fight for her family.
My heart falls for sympathy to her family who must be in a devastating moment to know the fact that Ma'am Odette is gone. The fact that her children won't be able to feel her again, confide in her, call for help and even ask advices from her, is one of the most heart-breaking moments of all. I couldn't even look at the casket where her body will lay forever, because I want to remember the smiles and the lively picture of her inside my head. And for her children, I want to share one of my favorite poems about losing a mother or a loved one…
He Only Took My Hand
Last night while I was trying to sleep,
My mom's voice I did hear;
I opened my eyes and looked around
But she did not appear.
She said, "Baby you've got to listen,
You've got to understand,
God didn't take me from you, Baby,
He only took my hand".
When I called out in pain that night,
The instant that I died,
He reached down and took my hand,
And pulled me to His side.
He pulled me up and saved me,
From the misery and pain.
My body was hurt so badly inside,
I could never be the same.
My search is over now,
I've found happiness within.
All the answers to my empty dreams
And all that might have been.
I love you so and I miss you so,
And I'll always be nearby.
My body's gone forever,
But my spirit will never die!
And so, you must go on now,
Live one day at a time.
God did not take me from you,
He only took my hand…
Death is terrible. It turns our world upside-down. It makes us think it's the end of the world. Losing our loved ones changes everything in our lives in all aspects. Knowing you will never see them again, hug and kiss them, be with them, or just simply enjoying their presence. All these are gone, in this world at least... But sooner or later we realize, no matter how painful it is, we couldn't really change the fact that it happens to all of us. We are not alone in this journey. Some things we cannot change because they are meant to be accepted. I guess only God really knows how this ends, or what is really beyond this point of our journey. It is very peculiar, but I believe in life after death, where there is no sorrow, pain and suffering. Only happiness with our Master and Creator.
I believe nothing we love is ever lost, not really. The people we love and value, they always go away sooner or later. We can't really hold them and be with them forever. But if they've touched your life, if they're inside your heart, then they're still yours. At the end, it doesn't really matter how long you live, but how well you live.
We are only dead when we are already forgotten. Ma'am Odette, wherever you are, you are gone but will never be forgotten. And saying goodbye is the hardest, so let me just say, till we meet again…