Sharing with a Grieving Heart
I’m trying to compose my thoughts on how to go about in sharing what’s on my mind for my post but the intro words seem to escape me. So I’ll just say it as it is.
Last night I went to the wake of my friend’s Dad (and my Dad’s friend). It was only last March that Sarsky learned that his father was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer of the liver. The same infliction that caused my own father’s death a few months back. I think it was the same day that I was offered my new job that I was informed about it as well. It was a total killjoy news. I felt a squeeze in my heart for what my friend was going through, what she will be going through, and all the uncertainties “dying” presents.
One is never ready for death. When I knew my dad was dying, it was a just day before he died. Me and my half-brother rushed him to the hospital and all the time I was just thinking it would be a rerun on what happened in the December of 2009. When the doctor informed me he had cancer… that was when all the floodgates of my tears opened and the reality of losing my dad to a very traitorous illness broke through my defenses. But I had to be strong… for my dad… my mom… and for myself. I never really internalized what was happening around me… the gravity, the severity of the situation… just an issue that I would tackle on a later time since more pressing matters needed to be attended. I was running on auto-pilot… especially in the morning of his death I spent most my time on his bedside in the ICU, alternating from grabbing medicines at the pharmacy, talking to the doctors, following up on my health care benefits, lending him my iPod (the last playlist I made for him is still queued). People always asked how I did it. Not breaking down and cry?
I just did. It couldn’t be helped. Dad always wanted things to be in place, and to be always happy. And that’s what drove me… I guess. I know I’ve already accepted his death even before anyone else in the family did. The vigil we kept by his bedside table from the time the doctor confirmed he will be going anytime soon, up to the last rise and fall of his heart monitor, up to his final intake of breath, and up to his final heart beat. I witnessed it all. Dad died a peaceful death. With his ready smile on his lips at his wake, he didn’t look like he suffered from any pain.
I know I’ve grieved my fair share. But there are a lot of times, that I wonder if I’ve ever grieved enough. Seeing my friend at the same state that I was then on my dad’s wake – always ready to share what happened, entertaining guests, offering food, forgetting to eat, participating in the services, and always being her happy and sunny self – resonated and struck a chord deep in me. Thankfully though, Sarsky and her family are very close and are very spiritual. They had each other to comfort them, and she has friends (like me and my college classmates) ready to be there anytime she needs us.
My heart goes out to her family. Tito Jun’s cancer did not rest well on him. His body was totally affected by his sickness. On a sad note, I couldn’t see Tito Jun in the man who was lying there. The picture on top of his coffin will be the face that I would always remember. The picture which he chose since he new his features would change when he dies. Typical of Tito Jun to always make light of a dark situation. I feel really bad. I didn’t expect the change to happen. Not in such a short span of time. I guess cancer, the time frame when you find out about it, and whether you go to the hospital to be treated plays vital roles on how it affects one’s body.
When my dad died, he retained most of his physical features. Though he dropped a few kilos, he was still recognizable. Maybe because he died the way he lived. Always at the moment. Not plugging himself with medicines. Just for that thought alone, I am grateful that we learned of his illness at the last minute. My regret is, I never got to spend much time with him, nor spoil him. No more impromptu music sessions, early morning greetings during birthdays or holidays for me. You can read the eulogy I made here.
Okay… enough about that. We need to keep moving forward. Besides, it should be a happy day too. It’s Sarsky’s birthday and me and my college classmates will be meeting up to make her happy on her special day.
Posted on May 21, 2011, in A Blog A Day/Week, Family, Friendship, Health and tagged cancer, death, family, Fathers, friend, Grief, health, postaweek, postaweek2011. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.