"These past few weeks before the board exams, I could not help myself but weep in the privacy of my bathroom. No one's there to witness my breaking down. It is only now that I have felt the total loss of the death of my last remaining parent. It's a desperate emptiness, a hollow void, that pulls you down under wherein in every corner you try to hide and close your eyes, no magical change happens. The fact is this: the reality of their demise stays with you like a gut-twisting nightmare. Yes, it is a silent and personal nightmare where on the exterior all is well with the world, but upon introspection and reflection, the emptiness sucks you in. It is also a nightmare for no matter how much people sympathize with your plight, the truth is that they can't change your reality. No amount of words or promises can make the comfort of the past fill you up again. The emptiness clings, and it clings tenaciously.
I hate this feeling of the constant knowledge that my entire world has imploded on itself like a house of cards which I know there won't be any chance of making it whole again. Many of the things I hold dear are gone- the people before me, the security of hard-earned tangible assets, the family name I carry.
Now, the house my parents lived is but a shell of its former glory- much like the fall of the Buendia family in Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude." I know that there won't be Christmas parties at the front yard where the entire first floor is flooded with lights, the Christmas tunes being blared from a karaoke stereo and the tables filled with lots of fiesta food. There won't be afternoon meriendas on the balcony, or the sight of garden hoses cluttered on the lawn just before dusk. The comfort that one feels seeing that the rituals of the past are still being practiced, or that the people of your past (e.g. parents) are still alive makes the memory of home and family all the more important. When these are gone, the loss that we feel is devastating. For me, I can feel the palpable emptiness of knowing that they won't be with me in all my future milestones. I can't help but grieve at the thought they won't be around during my oath-taking.
Reality is cruel for it uproots you from your own self-designed delusion that a family is secured until everyone's hair turns white. But no, reality kills everyone off, and laughs at you telling you that the worst possible scenario can and will happen to you. It hacks you limb by limb until you feel you can't go on.
Rationalizing the situation does not solve anything, but only masks the emotional trauma by linguistic palliatives. At first you may say, "Hey that's right, I should not feel this way," but after searching your memory bank, every one of your reason flies out of the window leaving you groping in the dark with such emotional pain you can't ignore. For me, a lot of things has been stripped of hope and reason, but it's only faith in a higher being that's keeping me sane.
It's funny because days after mom's death, I could still joke and laugh fooling myself that she was just indisposed then, and that she'll come back sooner or later. The sense of loss is not felt right after the funeral, it strikes you when you feel most vulnerable. And it starts weeks, months, or even years after. That's why I do not believe that grief lasts for only a month.
Sometimes I just want to do a Gauguin, but that would be unfair to all their sacrifices that made it possible for me reach this far. Even it feels as if I want to chuck it all up, I have to go on for the sake of their memory."
Happy B-day Mom... even though you're up there looking down on us.