So this is what grief is all about… the endless sense of loss, darkness and loneliness. I find myself floating in an emptiness that has no floor and no ceiling, nothing to hold on to… just emptiness. Grief

To lose a parent is painful enough, but to lose them both so close to each other is disorienting, debilitating, and simply overwhelming. It’s not just the sadness, the grief, the terrible sense of loss, but the feeling of being left behind without being asked.

Grief, I am learning, makes you selfish and greedy, pushing you into an abyss of self-pity and need to be embraced all the time when you can’t stop the tears from falling. Every little detail triggers the emotional breakdown but when I look around at the end of the day, all I find is a sleeping cat who wonders why we have turned the apartment upside down again. Story of my life.

When I made my list of projects and objectives at the beginning of the year I never suspected the intensity of what was coming my way over the next months. Yes, I knew I was moving to Manila, but I certainly didn’t expect to be packing and moving so often this year, let alone dealing with two deaths. I am still struggling with Empty Nest, but at the onset of it I was comforted by the fact that I could dial my mother’s number at any given time and she would cheer me up somehow. Now that she is gone, that they are both gone, the finality of death has come crashing down on me.

When Daddy got sick, I packed up their entire household, sold the house and moved them to a smaller apartment exactly a year ago. May this year I moved from Bangkok to Manila, but also packed up my daughter’s things as she moved to Europe. After Daddy died last month, the apartment was far to big for Mommy and she transferred to a smaller unit down the block from me. Now she is gone and I am dealing with boxes all over again, deciding what to keep and what to throw. This time it is for good, because I cannot keep the items for another day when Mommy might need them or Daddy will look for them. The cabinets built for Mommy for the flat downstairs and were transferred to her new unit, are now being installed in my place. Her apartment now reverberates with hollow echoes, all traces of her presence gone, no warmth or cheer.

I wanted to ask Mommy something last night, but suddenly remembered I can never do that again. I need information from Daddy,  but stopped myself when I realized I have to search for the answers myself now, based on whatever knowledge he imparted over the years.

I desperately want to get on with my life, but need this time to grieve, be selfish in my sense of loss, and crave to be embraced by my mother’s arms once again.

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