He was smiling at me as I approached him. I smiled back.
“Hi! …can I have your papa’s number? I called him several times, he’s not answering!”
I was petrified.
“Did he change his number?”
My heart sank.
And before responding, I took a deep breath.
“You didn’t know? How come? I requested someone to tell you; I lost your number in my other phone…. He died more than two months ago, on December 1.”
His eyes turned a bit reddish, tears were about to flow. He looked straight to my eyes with a lot of queries that surely I wouldn’t know the answer.
“How come? I used to see that person, he never told me so…. I’m so sorry for that, for the loss…. I was even telling my friend that we’ll talk once he visits. I wondered why I never heard from him. I was hoping to see you, but… good to see you today. Again, I’m sorry.”
I bid goodbye with a faint smile. If I stayed longer, maybe I wouldn’t able to stand the situation. I left without looking back.
“She’s my relative. Her mom is my cousin. I am so sorry to know he passed away, such a good man!”
I was brisk walking, but his voice was clear, so audible that I was able to hear his utterances.
This is one of the rare moments I could say that the feeling was mutual – he was shocked; and so do I.
More than Mere Shocked!
I wasn’t able to recover yet from a morning shock, and there I met someone who shocked me along the way to AUP campus.
It was noonday. Today’s sun was smiling, but I suddenly felt the jolt deep in my heart. I felt the sun frowned.
I was afraid of my first reaction when I heard my mama over the phone relating what happened to my first cousin, Mariz. I was afraid that I didn’t cry, screamed or had any hysterical reaction, which I normally had when my siblings and father died. I just didn’t know what to say, what to feel. I was overwhelmed!
So I read again my mama’s text message last night about my cousin being rushed to the hospital. It wasn’t sinking in. It’s so shocking to hear that Mariz died last night. I never thought she was that worse.
I knew how it felt to lose a sister, my deep sympathy goes to Macmac & Emar, my two other cousins.
I knew how it felt to lose a father, they‘ve lost theirs even before I felt the fear of losing my own.
But I would never know how it felt to lose a daughter, until I’ll have and lose mine in the future. It’s just unfathomable! My deepest sympathy goes to my aunt who lost a husband; and recently, a daughter.
Until now, I haven’t called her contrary to what I planned. I didn’t send her a text message yet. I just don’t know what to say. Yet, God knows that unutterable agony and love I have for Tita Ercie, my cousins and her own family. I have this fear of hearing her two children crying over the phone. She’s so young to die! I’ve been braver after losing my own loved ones, but this is just set-apart.
More than two months ago, Tita Ercie lost a loving brother. She’s the only sister my father had. She has a heart problem, and I am hardly praying that she’ll bear all the pain. No one understands like Jesus, and that’s the most that I can do is to pray for her. Pray harder. Pray and pray.
I still haven’t regained my voice, still hard to speak; but I will call her. Maybe, I will just listen to her, and finally cry with her (crying isn’t planned after all, but it’s a gift of relief).
I will call her when I am ready.
She wasn’t even ready when that unexpected crucible happened.
This is one of the rare moments I could say that the feeling is mutual – she wasn’t ready; and so do I.
© 2014 LAF
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