Monday, October 27, 2008
A father's grief.
"When a parent dies, you lose your past; when a child dies, you lose your future." - Anonymous
Children are not suppose to die. Parents expect to see their children grow and mature. Ultimately, parents expect to die and leave their children behind. That is the natural course of life's events, the life cycle continuing as it should, however...
My brother died in a tragic accident last summer - he drowned in the beach during a family outing. He wasn't even swimming then, but was merely playing with the wave.
He was 16 years old.
My dad loved him deeply, and even when he manage to accept this tragic loss, I am certain he is left with a grief that paralyzed him emotionally. He is his Junior, he was named after him. In fact, it fascinates me to see the ways in which they were alike, and the ways they are different.
My father wanted for his Junior to be happy doing something he loved. Over the years, my dad tried to give him experiences, guidance, knowledge, taught him basic skills – gave him the best chance to live a life feeling good about himself and others. When at some point, Jujun lost interest in school, my dad hoped it was temporary. He hoped that something deep inside himself would pull him through, that he would learn to be a responsible youth, and find contentment as an adult.
But it wasn’t temporary. Junjun will never use those tools and skills. He isn't around anymore to share experiences with my dad. There is no more past or future for them to reconcile, but only the present and there are only memories. In spite of everything my father did, or what he tried to do for Junjun, he was unable to do the one thing that would have kept him here, and that alone is devastating.
A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan. But...there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that's how awful the loss is!
Junjun, we will always love you, and we will remember everything about you as long as we live.