letter to heaven.1

January 10, 2014 § 11 Comments

Dear Inay,

It seems there is no closer way to seem like talking to you except through my writing.  When I publish this post, I know it will automatically get sent into your email because you are subscribed to my blog.  I usually take the trouble of deleting those emails from your mailbox when I didn’t want you to read my personal thoughts.  But there is nothing that I want now more than for you to read my thoughts.

I’m sorry if I try to avoid thinking of you lately.  And if I divert the topic away from you when people ask.  It’s just that I can’t help reducing myself into tears whenever I remember you, and I know you wouldn’t have wanted that.  People tell me to be strong and brave.  Why, wasn’t I strong enough? They tell us we’re lucky we had 17 years to prepare ourselves.  But why am I still left feeling with a gaping hole in my chest? But I understand that perspective, and yes there are a whole lot of people who have it worse.  People who lost more than one loved one along with their houses.  Kids who lost both their parents at a young age.  And children who “lost” their parents even when they’re still living.  I cannot even imagine the pain they go through every single day.  So I nod to these well-meaning people and try to please them with an “I’m okay”.  After all, it’s very easy to type that with a whole bunch of smileys.  Even saying it is a piece of cake, as long as they end at that.  They usually say or do nothing else after, probably thinking I’ll get by soon enough.  I too was probably like that before, sending condolences and stopping at that.  What else is there to do anyway? There are only a few things they can say to really lessen the pain.  I realize now that you can never really imagine the magnitude of a certain pain, unless you’ve gone through it.  And even time can dull memories of pain.  But there are in fact ways to help people go through it.  You just had to teach me to be better in my compassion yet again.  Yes Inay, I will remember that.

I feel so lonely whenever I wake up dreamless, which is what has been happening ever since you left.  I asked you, didn’t I? I asked you to visit me in my dreams or in some other way.  And though it might mean you are now totally at peace, I cannot help but miss you badly every single moment.  I tried to look for you in your emails, opening the ones with your usual “babe miss you” subjects.  As I scanned through your sent items, I realized you had sent me a number which I didn’t reply to because you used my old email which I ceased opening already.  It pained me to think of you missing me while I was busy in school trying to fit in.  I’d give anything to bring time back.

While you were lying in the hospital, unable to talk to me and going through so much pain, I thought it would be easy to let you go.  That it would be the right thing, and that I understood it was time.  But now I’d give anything to just see you again and feel you press my hand a little bit tighter to signify you hear me when I ask.  This is selfishness, and I know it.  I’m sorry Inay, I’ll try to let it pass.  But I miss you.  I miss you so much.  If I cried for months over unrequited love, I cannot even imagine how long I will cry for your unconditional love as a mother.  I’m trying to stop these tears from falling all over Singapore at every odd moment of the day.  Please help me know you’re okay.  But more so, please help me know I’ll be okay.

I miss you even more when I recall the life you went through.  When people tell me how you never told them you had cancer.  Inay, I wish I was as strong as that.  I’m so sorry I didn’t understand it way back.  I miss you when I imagine Tita Edith’s story of how you went to her office one day to tell her you had breast cancer and you were scared for me and Gab because we were still young.  Look how far you got! I miss you when I think of the times I was impatient with you and got tired of your repetitive demands.  Please forgive me for that.  I miss you when I imagine how strong and happy you tried to be for me while we Skyped and Lined.  I miss you because you did your best not to disturb me during class hours even if I wanted to chat with you back.  I miss you because you waited for me to come home.  You, in fact, gave me a chance to see you again.  How can I even ask for more?

But I don’t ask for more.  I am not angry at life, cancer or God.  I just find myself so clumsy trying to deal with this new profound state of having a void for the rest of my life.  I was so used to you helping me overcome all types of my clumsiness, but I guess I’ll have to deal with this by myself.  I’d give anything to just hear you tell me now that I can do it.  I lost my number 1 cheerleader in you.  Who will tell me I chose the right person?  Who will teach me how to rear my kids?  I know Inay, I know.  There are so many other loving people who will do that, but please don’t blame me if I still think the best one would have been you.

I wonder what you do there now.  I hope it is beyond the happiness I can ever imagine.  Mama Mila said you’re one of the stars up above.  How beautiful that statement, but you were a star down here even before that.  You were our light and source of strength.  We were all moons, reflecting it back.  But I know I have to be strong now, for Ama and my brother, Gab.  If you see Gab now, you will be so proud.  He has really grown up and has become more responsible.  Oh, but you see him right? You see us now right? Please help me with Ama though.  I don’t know how I can ever ease his pain.  If I loved you so much because in most ways I had no choice, I am sure he loved you even more because he himself made that choice.

I miss you Naychi.



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§ 11 Responses to letter to heaven.1

  • Nita g. says:

    Hi, Christine, your letter to your Inay is so very inspiring. I could feel your sickness, but we have no choice,Our Lord took her in just the right time. So, we have to accept the reality. The only thing we do is to pray for her. Hoping you will relieve soon. Take care and May God bless you.

  • rizalinda de leon says:

    Christine, what a beautiful letter! i felt your pain, that hole. but with all that love between you and your Mom, your brother and Dad, i know you will be alright because love of that strength can only be an indication of courage that no one can take away. perfect love casts out all fear. God bless you, Tin.

  • Grace N. Andres says:

    Dear Christine, thank you for sharing your pain with us… I know nothing can ever reduce the pain you are feeling now… but I am confident your mom has prepared you well enough for anything that life has to offer including the pain of her passing. I know it will take a long time before you, your dad and gab will be able to accept your mom’s absence without much pain… But with prayers and with the thought that she has never really left us, will surely carry you through your days…. God bless you and your loved ones.

  • Maria Clara Asuncion says:

    mama read  this baby

  • “…together with the trial he will be making the sequel also…”

  • This letter was the most beautiful piece in your book ‘inay’. Now I see it was only the excerpt that you included and the whole is here. It echos to me so much of my own pain as I wrote to you before.

    We all want to give anything to steal back time and yet the strength they leave behind for us wakes us each day with less ache. Their blessings, their legacy keeps us going on. There are days when we wake up only for our loved ones – the ones we have around and the ones who are with us in spirit. Their hopes, dreams and aspirations live on with us.

    You are a gorgeous soul. Your mother’s strength lies in you and your words give strength to people like me. Thank you :)
    Stay blessed always.

    • Thank you so much for the humbling reply, Sugandha. Likewise, what you just said was equally beautiful and echoes to me as well. There’s nothing more comforting than finding kindred souls in this universe, no matter how vast and chaotic it sometimes feels. Thank you for reaching out – your words have given me strength too to keep on sharing my own thoughts. Thank you as well. Sending love. :)

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