When there is life, there is death. When one is born, one is bound to die. But despite this simple fact, it does not make death an easy one to accept especially if it is one of our loved ones, one who is a part of our family, whose blood runs through ours, and without whom, there is no way we will ever be born.
I just lost my maternal grandmother, Lola Carmen due to multiple organ failure. She was 79. She was the last grandparent I had. My paternal grandparents died when I was still so young to understand death. My maternal grandfather died just a few years back due to cardiac arrest. That one was the most shocking because it was an unexpected one. Lolo Esteban was a healthy old man...or so we thought.
My Lola Carmen however had been going back and forth to the hospital. She frequently needed medical attention because of shortness of breath. Her first stroke proved to be fatal to her health. It rendered her incapable of walking and talking. She was bedridden the entire time. The only way she communicated with us was through moans and through eye contact. It was heart-wrenching. Seeing her in her hospital bed in all her frailties pained me much.
In the early 2012, when she was again hospitalized, that was the last time I saw her alive before I relocated for work. She was so weak. And she was suffering too much enough for her to even ask God when will she die. However, it was not her time yet. God gave her another Christmas with us and now, finally let her rest.
Loss because of the demise of a loved-one is never easy. It is always hard to accept.
In my Lola's case, when I learned that she passed away, I cried for sadness. I cried because I already miss her. It is different when your loved-ones are still alive because even if you don't see them or talk to them more often, you are secure with the fact that they are still with us in this world and that we can still see them anytime, in our case, every Family Reunion. It's different when they're gone forever. You can never talk to them anymore, touch them, kiss them, hug them. You can no longer see them smile or laugh or cry. They become forever absent. What's left are the memories.
However, I thank God that she let my Lola rest already. I am somehow glad that she is finally free from the physical afflictions that rendered it difficult for her to be truly alive. I know, deep in my heart, Lola wanted to live longer to look after her children and grandchildren, to be able to savor life at its fullest. But God has different plans for us and who are we to question Him? I am sure that Lola Carmen is in a far better place right now, reunited with Lolo Esteban and at peace with God.
And I believe that Lola had no regrets whatsoever during her lifetime. Surely, there were hardships that she faced but that is innate in this life and I am sure she accepted that fact. I am also sure that she still had many plans had God allowed her to live longer. But our lives are borrowed from the Almighty and who are we to decide for ourselves the length of time we should stay on Earth?
I am crying for the death of my Lola without asking God why. I am crying for sadness that another family member had gone to a place where the living could not reach. I am crying for the voidness I feel in my heart, for the empty space where my grandmother had been. A space that no one can ever fill. But, despite the voidness because of her death, the spirit of love keeps burning in my heart. She will forever remain in this heart for as long as I live.
I lift unto God all the pain and sorrow caused by this loss secure with the fact that Lola Carmen is now in the presence of God in His Holy Place. And I thank God for my grandmother's life. He made her the vessel through which we were brought to this life and savor God's miracles. And I can say that Lola accomplished her purpose. And now is the time to go back Home.
Good bye Lola. We love you.
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal"
John 14:1-4 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.