Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one.
I hate to admit it, but I think I am now entering The Burying Years! It wasn’t long ago that we bury my brother, and now the family is again to bury another family member while just a week ago my father-in-law was also laid to rest.
Maybe I am still in denial as I am not ready to bury parents or aunts and uncles yet because I’m not ready to see them go or live in a world with them gone. But the fear is more than that, maybe it’s the manifestation of the fear of aging for after the burying years, come the dying year.
But right now, I am too numbed to think of the future. I am just too tired of the emotional and physical pain that cancer had inflicted on our family. It was just that we had become all too familiar with the pain, anxiety, astonishment and sorrow of burying a loved one who succumbed to cancer. We are all too familiar with the rituals…from diagnosis, to surgery, to treatments, to recurrence and, ultimately, to death. This was just my way of dealing with the pain.
I knew far too well what it was like to lose a love one to cancer. My grandfather died of colon cancer, then an auntie, of breast cancer, and now this auntie of lung cancer. My father is still battling colon cancer as I am writing this and only god knows when he will leave this earthly life.
There is a giant hole in my heart right now, but maybe more so with my dear cousins, Thirdy, Trish and Joem. With their mom gone, Christmas, New Years, and esp. Mother’s Day won’t be the same again. My Tito Tom will also dread the coming Valentine's Day as he has no wife to celebrate it with. The birthday of my aunt will now be a day of mournings. Thankfully, close friends and family provided unconditional sympathy, love and support that have buoyed us through the darkest hours. Through her death there was an affirmation of those bonds that join us together, ensuring that we do not suffer alone. Besides, her death only teaches us how precious life is. I am sure she wants us to laugh again, to enjoy life.
I know that coping with the death of someone you love is not an isolated journey. People cope with loss everyday all over the world, some, more tragic than others. Yet, it’s a trip we all must make on our own.
Goodbye Tita Bebing. We will never forget you…