healing process (pt.1)

Friday, June 17, 2005

It's been almost three weeks since mom passed away and I still can't fully express what I feel. Let me rephrase that. I know what I want to say, but it's all jumbled up in my head that I can't find the right words. There's just too much going on inside my head, I have to reorganize and sort out my thoughts.

Mom's passing was bittersweet. We're grieving her loss but at the same time we are happy because she feels no more pain, her suffering has ended and she's now in a better place. Yet not matter how many times I tell myself that she's in a better place, it doesn't completely fill the void she left in my heart. I do know that one day the pain will go away and I won't have to cry myself to sleep. It has to end, coz I know she wouldn't want me to be like that. I have lots of wonderful memories of mom that will last me a lifetime, but there's nothing better than having her right here with us.

I admit it's hard not having mom around. We've been so used to having her here in every aspect of our lives, that we greatly feel her loss. Even during the times her body was weak, her mind and her spirit were at it's finest.

My responsibilities have naturally broadened, since I'm the eldest, which sometimes make me feel like I'm the mom now. But no matter how hard the task seems to be, I will try my best to live up to mom's expectations. After all, she taught us well. She prepared us for the eventuality of her loss, although even if we seemed like the best prepared persons around, when that time comes, no one really is. We just have to go with the flow and hope and pray that we're doing the right thing.

I've said time and again that writing is cathartic (as well as having a really good cry). The past few weeks though, even if I had the time to write, I avoided it. I wasn't ready to dwell on mom's death. You might say I was in denial or at the very least, avoiding the issue.

Normally, I'd write down everything that I could remember from all that transpired since we rushed mom to the emergency room until today. Not this time. Remembering is still painful, although it is all clear in my mind. Going through it all over again would feel like my heart was locked in a vise. Besides, this blog entry would be very long (actually, it's already long enough :p)

I told myself before writing this entry that I'd only talk about the significant event. I know I'll have a hard time because everything is very significant to me.

I remember her telling us to let her go, when her vitals started getting tachy and the doctors and nurses did all they could to relieve her of her pain. I was the one who asked if I could talk to the doctor and not the other way around, because I had a feeling that mom's condition was deteriorating and I wanted to know what our options were.

The first doctor I talked to was the kidney doctor, who told me that mom's blood gases were very high and we should think about mom getting dialyzed within the next few days. I was surprised because mom was admitted for having fluid in her lungs (which had already been drained) and here was this doctor telling me mom needed a dialysis. She too was surprised at the turn of events and so she gave me our options. I immediately said no to the dialysis, even if I hadn't asked my dad and my siblings. I don't want to put her through any more pain and I know that mom wouldn't want it, too. The doctor said they were going to give her medicines to try to lessen the blood gases in mom's body, but the effects would only be temporary.

When I got inside the room, my sister and mom's sisters Nanay Lita and Tita Belle surrounded mom, and she was calling out our deceased grandparents' names. She had a very beautiful smile on her face, her aura was different and I couldn't see a hint of the pain and discomfort I knew she felt before I left the room. She waved her hands, smiled and called out the name of our uncle, Nanay's husband, who passed away last year. I felt a chill up my spine and braced myself. Although I had to smile myself because that was the smile she had before we rushed her to St. Luke's, when she told told me not to cry because she was going to very beautiful place. Mom's expression was peaceful and happy.

Around 6 pm, mom's heartbeat became erratic and her oxygen levels were dropping further. At the same time, the nurses had difficulty getting her blood pressure. It was then that we felt mom's time was almost up. My dad, my siblings and I surrounded her bed and told her everything we ever wanted to tell her. She couldn't speak because of her oxygen mask, but we communicated with gestures, loving looks and kisses.

My sister and I alternated sitting in bed with mom, her head nestled on our shoulders, while dad and my brother held her hands. We told her it was okay to leave, because we know how much she has suffered from this sickness. We will miss her but we will be fine because we know that she'll be our angel. The moment we told her that, I felt a calmness from her. We told her it was okay if she wanted to sleep and rest and we'll just be there by her side. She fell asleep less than five minutes sfter we told her that (which was amazing because the past few weeks, she hadn't been able to sleep well - she was even given sleeping pills, but it didn't work). It was like she was just waiting for us to tell her it was alright to go.

Mom passed away peacefully in my arms 9:02 pm Sunday, surrounded by family and for that I am very thankful. She didn't suffer in the end, she just slept and never woke up. It was the way she wanted to go.

(to be continued...)

I'm going to miss you, ma...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

DSCP1 029
Divine T. Sales

Aug. 25, 1949 - May 29, 2005

Mom's remains lie in state at the San Lorenzo Room, Holy Trinity Chapels, Sucat and her ashes will be laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Paranaque on June 4, Saturday at 10 in the morning.