Of death, starting over and faith

May 11, 2006. Thursday.

I still feel I am floating in mid-air, fully aware of what has happened yet not knowing how to completely react. Four days after Papa’s demise, it is still unclear what the future has in store for us, for me.

A dear Ate had just texted me this encouraging words.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It’s facing the battle in spite of it.

I have to admit I am starting to get overwhelmed by the incoming responsibilities and the fear that I might not be able to sustain the strength I am showing everyone now. When I start thinking of all the bills we have to pay, how much the tuition fees of my three siblings in private school will cost, how drastic our lifestyle would change and similar concerns, my knees get weak, I start shaking and my heart sinks.

Still I am okay. I know of the need to be headstrong not only for myself but for the family I am now fully responsible of. At the quick passing of the weekend, I had become an adult, a father, a provider all at the same time.

I don’t know how many times I have sighed since Papa left. Maybe that’s my substitute for tears, which until now hadn’t shown themselves. Sigh.

May 17, 2006. Wednesday.

Papa’s cremation lasted for almost 3 hours. By the time we got home, it was lunch time, and so that was what we did, had lunch. After some farewells and thank you’s to family and friends that came, my body just gave up. I was more than tired, more than exhausted. I wanted to sleep so badly, I almost did while I was sitting beside the dining table. Mustering all the energy left that’s inside of me, I went up to my room and in no time I was fast asleep.

I guess that was at about 2 pm in the afternoon. I woke up half past seven.

I sat there on my bed and thought I needed to see Papa to talk about something. As I took the first step down the stairs, it dawned on me. Papa’s gone.
That was it. I felt an unexplainable ache in my chest and I ran back to my room as fast as I can. I broke down. And cried.

I was so mad at him. He was so unfair. We had so many dreams. I had so many dreams. I was like an insane man talking to no one, weeping like crazy at the same time. I was telling him that I was not prepared. I was telling him I could not do it. I was telling him I wanted to give up.

At the end of it all, it was still him who comforted me. It was his shirt my tears were falling to the whole time. It was as if I was crying on his shoulder while he was there doing nothing but listening.

Yes, I cried. Somehow, I felt like a failure. Somehow, I felt like I was just an act, a fake one. I didn’t want him to see me crying. But I did. Yet, I knew deep inside it had to happen. I felt better, I felt lighter. I knew a part of me that was weighing me down got released.
Now it’s all over. A new life is up and coming. It’s time to start over.

I love you Pa. I know I’m never going to be even half the man you were, but I will try. Trust that all the lessons you’ve taught me will never go to waste. Just be there for me, ok? Thank you for the love, the pride, everything you’ve given me. I know I’ll be seeing you again. In God’s time.

November 1, 2010. Monday.

The 21-year-old young man who wrote the posts above has stopped floating in mid-air, is not as overwhelmed with responsibilities, bills and tuition fees and has significantly sighed and wept less from four years ago.

But the same man, now 25, still wishes that life had a reset button.

While attending mass yesterday, it dawned on me why some people, including me, still believe in the concept of faith.

It’s neither the belief of an all-powerful creator, nor the fear of being subjected to the fires of hell.

Sometimes, it’s because faith is the only thing that they – I – can hang on to in the hopes that someday, they’d – I’d – be with their – my – departed loved ones once again.

*****

Image credits: Reset: flattop34, Faith: MSSC54

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