of loss and love

5:53 PM Sunday, July 16, 2006

Sometimes, when gripped by loss, or even just loneliness (or ok, simple stupidity), we tend to compare losses.

Whose loss was greater, the excited Mom who had a miscarriage, the anticipating mother who gave birth to a still born, or the one who lost a 3-year old child? What about the Mother who lost a 17-year old child? And does it matter if she lost her eldest, the first child that defined her and gave her the role of Mom, or her last child?

Whose loss was greater, the child who got orphaned early... or when he's already a teenager?

Whose loss is greater, the bride who loses her groom weeks before their wedding... or months after their wedding?

Which would one prefer, losing a husband before having kids with him, or after?

Does it matter if you lose someone from a lingering illness, from an accident, from sudden death... from a congenital disease?

Does it really matter if you've known him for decades... or just days?

A loss is a loss, ain't it not? A loss is something inevitable, true, and also irreplaceable. Even the dogs you lose cannot be replaced by other dogs. But yes, you CAN and probably WILL love other dogs again.

A loss is a loss and is inevitable. And because of loss, there is grief. And when we lose someone in our life, we grieve.

So, if we sometimes compare the gravity of loss, we cannot help but also pretend to predict the gravity of grief. But is grieving for a child comparable to grieving for a parent?

Because it all boils down to that... due to our individual personalities and preferences and ways of life, due to our varied roles and skills and charms... due to our achievements and the promises conceived in our potentials... none of us is comparable.

So handling grief now boils down to LOVE. Anger and fear is as much a part of grieving, and yet, people tend to pretend it's love for the lost one that's stopping them from enjoying life... from letting go... from moving on.

We... for everyone initially is entitled to irrationality... lash out at ourselves and at the world, angry that God took this person away, or that other people were not careful enough, or that the authorities or the adults didn't respond early enough, or that there were certain things we failed to do.

We ask and ask and get absorbed in the questions as to why dad has to die when we're still young, or why a cousin had to die so young, or what you could have said and done to prevent someone from killing herself. We get lost in self-abuse and regrets... of I-wish-I-did's and didn'ts. We scream at the coffin being lowered six feet into the ground, "Why, why did you leave me?"

But if we truly love those that we lost... the grief gets transformed... in time. The questions, though unanswered, start to bother us less. And we find ourselves laughing about something and momentarily thinking, how a friend or husband or son would have loved this beach, this joke, this conversation, this moment too. A stab of pain, a remembrance, and a sigh follows. And then we smile again and continue.

We eat and breathe and learn again. We take up new hobbies. We welcome new people into our lives. Indeed, we learn to love new dogs. And we learn to continue loving and caring for our kids who are still with us. We fall in love with life again.

And the one we lost to accidents, to disease, to crime... we start loving them without selfishness. There is less of that, "who'd boil water for me in the mornings?" and more of "if you were alive, you'd think this new recipe rocks!"


It's been a sort of terrible week last week for me. Sister got DENGUE. It only manifested itself really (apart from the high and on and off fever) six days from her first feverish incident. She's still confined at MaDocs. Aside from worry over her, I have to admit I was also worried for my parents... breaking the news to them, hearing Mom cry again and again in every phone conversation, feeling for them so far from their BUNSO, scared that I make a WRONG and FATAL decision regarding the care of my sister...

But of course, being Pinoy and having the ability to make fun of even serious and sad stuff... I kept kidding my sis that she's endangering my inheritance since our parents are sure to blame me if she dies. :) She's been a real trooper though... allowing us to force her out of bed to take all those tests before... and listening to me when I make her stop scratching her rashes. She's bent on getting well because I also tell her we're not missing Pyro's birthday party next Saturday.

Was alrady silently enlisting my brother for possible blood donor in case Rez needs one... but my brother ends up getting the flu. Susmio!

I think JRA is only too happy that am not getting sick considering the rainy days we've been experiencing and my usual allergy-ridden constitution... he's been happily buying me all my cravings.


Happy birthday MOM. I love you!


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