A letter to my grandfather

“Kumain ka na, apo?” is what I always hear you ask, without fail, whenever I’m about to leave for work and the moment I arrive home (if you’re still awake by then, that is). And I will always respond with “Opo, Lolo,” even if I haven’t yet, just to appease you. Because we both know that you wouldn’t stop asking me to eat if I said so.

The day of your passing, I heard nothing from you when I went out.

I was up early to run some errands and went back just a little before two in the afternoon. I didn’t even grab lunch. For some reason, I wanted to go home almost immediately. Maybe it was due to my lack of sleep the night before.

Even when I got home, I didn’t get the chance to see or hear you.

Losing a loved one is hard enough to go through, what more under these challenging circumstances. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/DAVID TOMASETI

I didn’t even get to say goodbye.

And maybe I preferred it that way because I know I wouldn’t have been able to let you go if I had the chance. A week has passed and I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that you’re really gone and life will never be the same again.

It is always a heartbreaking sight to see black, candle default photos and sincere condolences being exchanged so often on Facebook and Twitter timelines ever since the pandemic struck. As of 30 August, the total tally of deaths due to Covid-19 has reached 33,330 and not to mention that there’s been a surge in positive cases recently.

A lot of people have lost a loved one or have known someone who did — myself included. It wasn’t (and I don’t think it ever will be) easy, and I somehow forgot how to function during the whole ordeal. Losing a loved one is hard enough to go through, what more under these challenging circumstances.

I was napping and my aunt woke me up. She was in distress, and I could only, silently, hope that the worse hadn’t come knocking on our doors yet. But it did. My grandfather was already not in great condition a week before his passing, and it slowly and surely made me restless.

Sure, it’s a part of life — but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt.

“We think he’s not breathing anymore,” she told me.

It was the worst wake-up call I’ve ever received in my entire life. I sluggishly walked towards the room, not wanting to believe it. I was scared, and a little in denial.

IN sixth grade, my grandfather gave me two bunnies as a graduation gift. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/LIZ BRENDEN

I had trouble talking to people, sleeping and eating the following days. I couldn’t even think straight. I was on auto-pilot, physically present but mentally, emotionally absent.

It hurt. It still is. I don’t think the pain will ever stop.

“Inevitably, the grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried — and there is no ‘normal’ timetable for grieving,” said an article in helpguide.org.

It added, “Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.”

I still remember the state I found you in that afternoon like it was just yesterday. The sky was dark and gloomy as if sympathizing with the rest of us. I remember crying so much that my face started to hurt.

I’ll remember to eat on time so you won’t have to worry about it wherever you are, Lolo. Don’t even worry about a single thing. I miss you already. Thank you for everything.

You are and will always be in my heart.

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Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph

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