If you have lost someone in your life, no matter how ”long ago” it has been, there will be days when an overwhelming sense of grief comes over you. But even if you try so hard to shake it off, it stays. It creeps into your heart and makes you wallow in the pits of sadness.
A week ago my very close football friend, Van, lost her sister.
Since the day she brought me home to meet her family, I have become one of the many adopted daughters of this happy bunch.
What makes this family special is the warmth and love you feel as soon as you step foot inside their gates – dogs barking to welcome you home, a dozen of adopted stray cats flipping over ready to be rubbed, Tita coming to greet you with the biggest smile and funniest joke of the week and Tito making the house smell of yummy herbs and heavenly pasta.
And of course there was Mariel.
She would actually be the first one out, all smiles and giggles. Her hands would flap all around, signaling and telling me that I got fatter (or thinner) than the last time she saw me. Her sign language baffles me because she would ”talk” so fast, I get lost in translation.
She’d follow us around all the time, attentively listening while we talk about football, college, life et cetera. We watch, she watches, we eat, she eats, we sleep, she sits and stares until Van would shoo her off to bed.
I too lost a sister.
They both adored each other so much, evident in the many squabbles and bickering that would lead to endless laughter.
Only after a few days did Mariel’s death hit me real hard.
I have gone through a lot of pains in life and through the years I’ve discovered that denial or repression has become my main coping mechanism for any distress.
It works for a few days, until grief finally humanizes the soul. It always brings me back to this.
All the memories come flooding in and I cry like it was just yesterday.
Death taught me one thing: the reality that life on earth is temporary. Time once gone can never come back.
I see kids shouting at their parents, daughters walking away from their fathers, brothers fighting against brothers, sisters cursing sisters and it saddens me because it is always late when people realize what a waste of time these all are.
When one is taken away from you forever, all the memories you’d want to remember are the good ones. Have you made enough happy memories to fill your tank for years?
I wish I did with Mariel.
I have lots of my father but I wish I had more.
I wallow in pain these days, not because I have lost my spirit of joy, but because grief is really hardcore painful. Christ himself was a man of sorrows, fully acquainted with grief. He knows what it means to weep.
He knows, he understands, thus his invitation,
”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
A few more days (hopefully hours) and I will come out of this pit, fully rested, refreshed and ready to start filling up my tank of memories again.
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller