Sunday, September 6, 2009


If you haven't experienced the loss of a loved one yet, either by his demise or by his going out of your life forever and you know that he will no longer be near to share life with you, you would not have been through unbearable grief, of pain, of anger, of disappointment. Further, you'll never know the true meaning of "moving on", how you could cope with your life in disarray so that you could spring back to normalcy again.

Our family, the Castro family, hit the bottom when God took away our father, my husband, a nephew, and our mother, in that order, in a matter of barely two years in 4 different modes of passing away. A good priest I talked with for counsel said, "God is good. When He gives blessings to His chosen ones, it pours as in "siksik, liglig, at umaapaw" (cup overflows). Similarly, when He chooses you to suffer with Him, He hands you down a package deal". Of course I didn't understand or should I say, I refused to believe that God would do the later to His own creation.

However, the advice kept burning in my mind. That was when I started to read the Holy Bible. The more I read, the more disturbed I was. Life stood still. I couldn't find the comfort I was looking for. I wanted to know how to start living again without my husband. I couldn't offer any consolation to my grieving siblings either, no matter how I wanted to. Our kind of loss was too surreal to bear. I was afraid to verbalize my own thoughts. Not after some petty misunderstandings happened among us, siblings, because we were caught flat-footed, unprepared, too overwhelmed to realize that no one was to blame for our parents' demise.

No more words had been spoken. No promises had been made. We seemed to have gone separate ways as a result of our family setbacks. Since we, siblings, live apart by circumstances of our marriage and work destination, we healed our wounds separately in silence. In fairness, we continued seeing each other on All Saints' Days in November and during our Annual Barangay Fiestas in May- in memory of our dead loved ones. We celebrated special occasions together like birthdays and death anniversaries. During such reunions we learned about each other's attempt to keep closer to God. A sister and her husband joined the Couples For Christ, another sister, with her family, became active in religious activities in their subdivision. And as years went by, we were exchanging notes about our lives as true Christians, Roman Catholics involved in church-related endeavors and apostolates, giving lectures on family life, joining support groups on bible services, serving in Eucharistic celebrations as lector/commentator, choir member, etc. As one family, we conduct family prayers together during family gatherings.

The loss of our loved ones taught us a lot about life. Soon we found ourselves keeping in touch more often than before. Today, we look forward to invitations for family gatherings. In good times and in bad, we support each other. No matter how big or small, we stand by each other's dilemma. Family setbacks still spring on us. But we now have a holistic approach to problems that befell each of our families. Prayers, are our handy medium in our common quest for comfort and for the many unfathomable happenings in life.

About ten years ago we were disillusioned due to the deaths of our loved ones. We lived our lives in disarray because of setbacks we forgot were unavoidable spices of life. Today we realize that we can't prevent them hitting us, but we can face them courageously with God. God is our refuge. We put all our trust in Him. Or else, how can we take our present sufferings with perseverance and better understanding? A brother has kidney disorder and is up for kidney transplant, a nephew is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer of the blood, a sister is undergoing series of traction or nerve disorders of her lower limb, another sister and a brother have cardiovascular problems, I have diabetic neuropathy aggravated by shingles infection, and the latest - a sister recently lost her beloved husband in untimely death due to complications of diabetes. One morning, she bid goodbye to him and went to work as usual, barely an hour after, her housemaids rushed him to the nearest hospital. She arrived to find her husband comatose. He never recovered within seven days at ICU. He passed away without warning, no nothing. I feel her hurts and pain. I had been through these before. I fully trust in the Lord that my sister and her 2 children will in time find comfort with our new-found approach to family setbacks-to talk to God, to walk with God, as one big family.

To me, this is the real meaning of "moving on". You don't learn it. It just catches you without warning. The Holy Bible doesn't give you the answer. The meaning is felt from within. It is guided by God with human support. You only need to trust Him, understand yourself and the circumstances of the problem. God is really good.

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