As a nurse, death comes as a no surprise to me. As an adult, I have come to terms that death, indeed, is inevitable. However, when you’re faced with an impending death by a loved one, all principles seem to fly right out the window and the thought of death will leave you disoriented, distraught, and terrified. It’s not that you’re fearing death itself, no, because that comes so easy, you wouldn’t even know it already took place. The most difficult part is the process, and that’s the only thing that varies, really. For my Papalolo, it took a few gruesome months. He was diagnosed with Cancer a few years back, but I wouldn’t talk about that because I was not there with him most of the time. I feel so bad for not taking care of him as much as I should have because I was too busy with other things. It’s just so true how they say you don’t realize the value of something or someone until they’re gone.
If we’re close, you’d know how much I value my family —each and every single one of them. If we’re close, you’d know how close our family ties are, and you’d understand why this ordeal comes too painful for us.
I’m happy to know, however, that my Papalolo is really the ‘Superman’ that I always thought him to be. Through the people who have paid their last respects in the past few days, I am reminded just how simply amazing my grandfather was and will always be. I hope it’s really true that the dead can still hear us even after they’ve gone, for I know that it will truly make his heart happy to know that all his efforts while still living did not go to vain.
He always valued family and moral values. He was so smart, witty, and a bit mischievous. He was strong-willed and dedicated. He had a lot of principles — all were strict and strong. He was often misunderstood by his children and other people around him, but now, we realize that all he ever did was make strong people out of us. I guess he knew that he would be needing his family to be grounded for when he has passed on the other side. He needed to make sure that we would be capable of taking care of ourselves, most especially of our grandmother, when he’s no longer around to do that job.
I’m sure I’m speaking on behalf of my family when I say that he will be missed terribly. I don’t say this just because he’s already gone, but because it’s the truth. My mornings won’t be the same knowing that I don’t have to cheer him up, or to have us talk about trivial or deep topics — it depends on his mood. I won’t be able to hear him and Mamanana bickering about the smallest of things. I won’t be able to have the luxury of him teasing me endlessly about my weight and my career. I simply won’t be able to hear him say he loves me out loud. And that is the process I’m talking about. That is the most difficult part. It’s the part I despise, I fear.
But, the mourning continues as years pass. Years from now, I know I’d still remember Papalolo, and the thought of him will always bring tears to my eyes, but not because he’s physically gone, but because I know that he’s a big part of who I am and who I will be. I would have my own family, kids, grandchildren, and whatnot, and I will make sure that they would know of their Papalolo and all the wonderful things he was. I’ll be sad knowing they won’t be able to experience him firsthand, but the things I learned from him would guide me to be just as how he was. I would want to be like him because he was just so loving to all of us. He and Mamanana were able to create a family bond so strong that no arguments, fights, and misunderstandings could ever ruin it. It’s nice to know that I come from that type of family, and I will always be grateful for the both of them for giving us that.
Papalolo’s life is an inspiration to all of us. His undying love will always make me smile when I look back and remember. We will always be proud of his works, and we will constantly work hard so that he can be proud of us, just as how proud we are of him, and that, I believe would be his greatest legacy.