August 05, 2006

A House Burnt Asunder

From my journal:

"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.


Dr. Emer said...

I am so sorry to hear about this, Jules. I too have also recently lost my Mom. And believe me, I've been running on empty since that time. Malaking kawalan talaga. Happy Birthday to her.

Also, I book-tagged you. But hey, no pressure. Do what you have to do first. 'Coffee tayo pag free ka. Email mo ko kung kelan yun. Treat ko. :)

Dr. Emer said...

Happy Birthday to your Mama!

Anonymous said...

hi jules. just bloghopping. i read your post and I can relate with your plight. my mom passed away this year and until now, i cry every day kasi sobrang nami-miss ko sya. as i write this, naiiyak din ako.the pain of losing somebody you love will not go away... hope you are doing better... God bless.

jairam said...

I'm sure your Mom is always looking down on you and constantly praying for your success and good life. :)

slim whale said...

the most painful part of all this is that time will heal the wound. and the scar will be there forever.

Gypsy said...

I feel for you. It took me four (!) years before my dad's passing hit me full force.I cried my eyes out then. Reality can be harsh but thankfully, it cannot rob us of the good memories left behind.

Anonymous said...

Juls, happy birthday to your Mom!

I can imagine that the words on this blog post are not enough to describe the exact pain you felt and still feel at the moment, but even then, I know you haven't forgotten as well that your Mom (together with your Dad) is watching over you and smiling... always proud of your achievements and proud of you!:)

Rose AGL

Jules said...

firstly, thanks to you guys who commented...

dr. emer: thanks. i really appreciate it. i still feel how unfortunate our family is, but when i look back at the blessings the Lord gave us, marami pala.

marlyn: thanks. when i read what you wrote, i remembered again that things will never be the same, ever. sigh.

jairam: thanks. i hope you'll get to say all the things you want to say to your mom and dad before you know... sadly, in my case may mga issues pa di naresolve before she passed away

slim: thanks. exactly! you took the words out of my mouth!

gypsy: thanks. tama sabi nila that in the end, only memories natitira... i just wish more opportunities pa sana to create more good ones.

rosie: thanks gid. :) :)

and pasensiya na if mejo delayed magreact. Boards kasi. Now that it's happily over, all i can say is this: prayers do move mountains... (topic for next entry)

Abaniko said...

Jules, I want to say words of comfort to you but as you mentioned in your post, they won't do much. Anyway, my thoughts are with you. I can very well relate to your journal entry because I lost both my parents already and the passing away of my mom 3 years ago left an emotional scar. Oh well, life's like that. We all don't stay in this world for long. Take heart my friend!

P.S. Sorry for this rather late comment. Apparently, Bloglines doesn't properly update your rss feeds.

Vix said...

I can definately relate. It's been 18 years since my dad died and I still feel the grief - it comes in waves and some days are better than others but it is still there.

Jules said...

abaniko: thanks talaga. it is from words of empathy like yours that gives me encouragement and faith for the future knowing that if others can rise above their grief, so can I.

vix: thanks. i guess everyone has in some way or another suffered a loss of a parent...

Anonymous said...

Hi Ting, this is Manang Joy. I read your blog and I totally understand how you feel. I do the same thing here - hide myself and cry. The passing of Mom is still very hard for me and always will. I wish I am there with you right now. I would love to give you a big hug and I need a hug from you too. I am very proud of you and I know Mom & Dad are smiling right now to you.