My mother passed away on December 2000 from a sudden stroke. Going home was tough and for a while, after losing her, I thought I was entering through the portal of depression. I want to share a glimpse out of my journal I had written for her. Reading it just now, gave me the comfort of knowing how good our God truly is, for promising His gift of eternal life to those who believes in Him. This is the hope I cling to, knowing that someday, I will see my mother again. May you always treasure your mother and father and other loved ones and friends. We have a short life in this world…
Here, I was traveling to go home to see my father and be there for him to support and encourage him…After flying for 13 hours and riding in a car for 2 ½ something hours, my mind was just wandering….
“As the night slowly covered the tropical skies, I saw the silhouettes of the mountains, of swaying coconut trees, of carabaos in the rice fields, of people outside their homes mingling and chatting about how their day went, of kids playing outside, not minding the hardships in their lives. I thought it would have to always feel good to go back home. This time, it was the worst!
I was imagining my mother’s face, as I sat in the back of my cousin’s car and tried to recall more memories I spent with her. The tropical air brushing its warm breaths against my hair, I felt my mother’s warm kisses. I pictured her glowing smiles, the smiles that I knew I would eternally miss since the day she died. I just lost the maternal guidance I admired and which served as an inspiration in reaching my goals. I just lost a special person who was happy and grateful for even little things.
The illuminating and bright amber lights shone all over my mother’s casket, like a spotlight highlighting a statue. Eerily, despite the lights, I couldn’t see anything. I could cry a river as my legs started to ascend the stairs of my parents’ home. They felt heavy. I was like a prisoner dragging those metal balls, with chains wrapped around their feet. I didn’t commit a crime but I felt I just became a prisoner of the war that had beaten me and my mother - the war of life against death.
There were a lot of people sharing our grief: downstairs, in the terrace and inside the house. Their faces seemed blank to me as I could only see my mother’s face, through the glass that showed her beautiful face. The beauty like that of a princess from fairy tales that was just asleep. The picture of her smiles stuck in my mind while riding in the car was replaced with this real photo of my mother’s surrender to mortality. Beautiful flowers surrounded her and I knew she would have enjoyed them because she loved flowers.
This wasn’t the scene I wanted to see. I didn’t want those bright lights highlighting my mother’s death. I wanted my mother - the very own light in our home. I didn’t want those beautiful flowers, which smell lingered and seemed to announce my mother’s passing away. Instead, I wanted to smell the wondrous cooking, of foods specially prepared by her for many seasons. I longed for that big smile that would greet anyone, always painted on her face. Instead, I had this still pair of cold lips that made me cry. I was looking for those warm hugs and kisses that came from her. Instead, I got hugs and kisses from people, from all walks of life, sharing their grief with me.”
Before sulking into being depressed, it was the Lord Who comforted me. Even up to this time. I’m sharing this with you now, for you to remember that as you face any trial, no matter how impossible it seems, cling to His hand because He is the Greatest Comforter. We are all facing different degrees of trials. But God is always there for us. His hand is always reaching to us. All we need to do is give ours to Him so He can pull us out of what’s drowning us.
These were the words I spoke to the people who came with us when we buried our mother:
“I stand in front of you today to thank you all for sharing your love and respect for my mother. As I was sitting down and looking at my mother’s casket, I thought about a caterpillar that has to die in order for it to become a beautiful butterfly. We don’t really know much about death or the other side. But this world is like a big classroom where we all have to learn a lot of lessons. The greatest lesson we can learn is sharing what we have and giving our love to others, without asking for anything in return. We will all graduate someday, like how my mother just did.
I didn’t cry because my mother died. I cried now because my other brothers didn’t see all these wonderful people who shared their love and prayers for our mother and father and for us, her children. God bless all of you…”
I still have a big hole in my heart…that only my mother can fill….But God bandaged my broken heart with His love and sealed me with a promise that I would be going to His Home and see my mother again…for forever…Glory to God!