It all started with a text message.
I was in the middle of a busy Monday afternoon when I checked my mobile phone. My brother and older sister sent a message saying that my mother passed away. It was a “death-on-arrival” situation so things happened instantly – leaving everyone around in a “shock mode”. I stood in one place for a couple of minutes and felt that the world had stopped. Noise around me continued – laughter, conversations, and concerns. The world did not mind but for me it was a lifetime change.
I traveled for six hours and went straight to the wake. With her eyes closed, great Filipinia dress, and loving family surrounding her, she silently lay inside her casket as if she were just sleeping. Tears fell uncontrollably. Then stories on the details of her death followed. I reminded myself that I needed to listen in order to know what to say when others asked. My heart cried “enough” but I still managed to maintain my silence.
Then people arrived. Some I knew, some were unfamiliar ones. It was like a scene from a “Teleserye” show where you have to repetitively explain the details and post the same questions. I prepared my script and memorized it after the first three visitors. Tired bodies followed as preparations were made, lack of sleep kept on knocking, and the fact that my mother died still was unacceptable.
Thursday was her last day. We decided to make the last service a “private” one in order to talk of personal things. Cremation followed afterward.
We never planned to have a “short-message” part in our last service. It happened instantly when people started to go in front and talk about my mom. I was really surprised. That instance made me realize the reason why these things happen. Lessons were given in an unconventional way. I started to list them one by one and this is what I have so far:
“Mama touched the lives of her friends in a way unexpected”
Since Day One, people from different parts of the country came to pay homage to my deceased mother. These are not politicians, company owners, or business tycoons. They are the simple people my mom used to be with in her job, civic actions, and church organization. There were policeman, employees, families from the province, Sampaguita vendor, high school and college buddies, pastors, singers, students, and even old people. They were all shocked but smiled when they started to tell something about my mom. I clearly remember the words I uttered thanking these people and I quote: “This is not an event to mourn for the loss of a friend. This, I believe, is a day to celebrate her life and to remember how she uniquely touched our individual lives.”
“Mama is my greatest fan”
Whose mother do you think isn’t? But when a lady approached me and asked if I am the son from Baguio, she held my hands and cried. I will never forget the words she said, “You just do not know how proud your mother is of you.” I was numb.
“Mama’s death is a start of something new”
Her death opens the door for forgiveness amongst our family members. It showcased the friends who are always there to lend a helping hand. Personally, her death inspired me to do my best in all my endeavors. Most importantly, it taught me to love my family more – always check on their condition and make their interest my top priority.
“Mama loves us so much”
The sickness that caused her death was with her for a longer period of time than I knew. This has been verified by one of her friends who shared that whenever pain comes in, she bears it. She also requested her not to inform us so we would not worry. She loves us soo much even to the point of sacrificing herself for our own benefit.
Yes, life will never be the same again.
There will be no text messages who will ask me if I am fine, no “Kare-Kare” every Christmas season, no stories to listen to whenever I visit her place after a long separation, no one to tell “I love you mama dearest”, no one who will proudly say that “he is my son” whenever I receive a great achievement, no more practical advices on life, and most importantly no person to whom I will call “INAY”.
We love you mama. I will see you very soon there. The legacy you left will be ours forever and we will do our best to share it with others.
Like what we usually say when we were kids before we sleep at night:
“We love you mama dearest” and a goodnight kiss.
Submitted by Anonymous
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