Forgive so You can Heal

The first month of 2017 is almost finished. I don’t really understand what’s with the time we’re in these days. It seems to glide by so swiftly, leaving a lot of to-dos undone!

I went on a writing hiatus for almost a year. So many things transpired, the inspiration got lost somewhere amidst the swirling, twirling, winding, and unfolding of events.

Looking back to the year that was, I have no exact word to describe it in its entirety, but the first quarter, it was historic. I got a new job in January, and then my father passed on in March. Nothing phenomenal followed. My story rapidly rose up to climactic heights in the first chapter, then it fell abruptly to extreme low. And what came next was life flowing placidly to indefinite direction, resigned to what was and would be–wherever the current took me.

It eventually went well, somehow. Some points along my state of wandering were moments of reflection and awakening, moments of getting back on track and doing exactly what the world taught me–deal with it, accept it, and when you finally regain balance, look up, get up and move forward. This is life, the way we fight is the way we live and survive.

At the start of each year, it feels good to look back and appraise the gems of life’s lessons that I gained from it. In 2016, the most precious of them all was FORGIVENESS.

Eight months before my father passed, I went home to see him. I was surprised to learn that it was the only thing he waited, because on that very same day, after a month of staying at the hospital, he got discharged. I went back in December of that year, we met again and on the day of my flight back to Manila he came to see me at home early in the morning. He was getting frail at that time and I truly appreciated him making that effort of sending me off even if it was only up until the outside of our gate. While waving goodbye, it somehow crossed my mind that that moment could be the last. It was indeed. It was bittersweet.

Fast forward to March 2016, he was admitted in the hospital again on a Saturday. By that time his heart was very weak making his blood pressure drop so low, that he was not allowed to undergo dialysis anymore. On Monday he was already delirious, and I was already goggling where this could lead us. He was already showing signs of dying and yet he was fighting. I told him over the phone to calm down and pray, and surrender everything to God. By 6 p.m., he was already gasping and could no longer talk. I asked his long-time partner, who was by his side all through this ordeal, to put the phone on his ear. I talked to him, told him how much I love him, that if he was already having a hard time it was okay to go, and that we would meet each other again somewhere someday. Five minutes after that, I got a call that he already expired.

The next time I saw him was at the morgue, two days after he passed. Before he died he requested that, if the time would come, he wanted me to do his make-up. When the white cloth covering his face was removed, I felt a surge of joy and relief. He looked so calm and peaceful; he was, after all, ready to go.

They say that death is hard for the living. Truth. If there are unresolved issues with a dead loved one, it is a burden that the living would carry up until God knows. I am thankful that in my time of mourning, I’m only mourning for the loss without dealing with the feelings of remorse and anguish over the things that I could’ve done.


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