Tuesday, August 21, 2012

For the daughters of the late Sec. Jesse Robredo

The very sad news that we were all NOT wanting to hear came this morning

Yesterday, I surmised that this may happen, given that it's been 3 days since the crash and there's been no sign of anyone. I silently hoped for the sake of his family (and the families of the others who were with him on that flight) that the bodies would be eventually discovered. That way, they have closure. 

It's been 3 months since I lost my own father. Everything is still fresh to this day. I don't cry all the time but I miss him with a pain that I can't even begin to describe. Yet, my family and I didn't have to go through the same kind of painful waiting that Sec. Robredo's family endured these past days. That must have been the longest 3 days of their lives. Now that his body has been recovered, they can finally move forward, despite their grief. 

To the daughters of Sec. Jesse Robredo - 

I certainly have an idea about what you are all going through at the moment. The pain of losing a father all too suddenly and unexpectedly is something I can definitely relate to. One minute, larger than life. The next minute, gone and never to be heard from nor seen again. It is a life-altering experience, to say the least. I still wake up sometimes, thinking he's just around. Then when I see the rest of my family and he's not there, it hits me again. 

You have so much more to deal with and will need a lot of support from friends and other family members. I pray that you will be able to find comfort in knowing that your father was a very good man, admired by many and that his death affects the entire nation. I found so much of my strength from people who had beautiful stories to tell about how my Dad helped them and made a difference in their lives. I hope that the people around you share similar stories about your Dad, to keep you afloat in the next few days before you lay him to rest. 

It will get harder as the days go by. You will remember him with sad tears, at first. I still do. But one day I know I'll have only happy tears to shed whenever I think about my Dad. Prayers have helped a lot, so spend some quiet time everyday to pray to our Lord for comfort and to your Dad to help you move on. There is no surefire way to get rid of that lonely, nagging thought that your Dad is now gone. I know because I tried to find one but couldn't. Live the rest of your lives one day at a time and deal with your sadness and emptiness the best way you can but NEVER without calling on the Lord to hold your hands. HE will listen and HE will be there to help you get through this crisis. You need to be strong for each other, no matter how difficult it can be sometimes. But you will be surprised at how much stronger you really are. I was! 

Whenever I look back on the 4 1/2 days we spent at the Christ the King during my Dad's wake, I'm amazed at how I was able to carry on my duties as the eldest child, entertaining hundreds of people who paid their respects and granting interviews to reporters while having to worry on the side about how my Mom and brother were doing. And on top of that, looking after my children who were also devastated by this loss. I can only assume that my inner strength came from our good Lord who held me in the palm of His hand all throughout, and from all the people who expressed their sadness and their love for my Dad. 

HOLD ON TO EACH OTHER especially at this time. When the crowds have gone and when the whole world has stopped talking about their sadness, you will have only each other at the end of each day, dealing with this great loss and the pain. BELIEVE that your Dad didn't die in vain because he was such an inspiration to many. Don't forget that your Mom needs you, too. She will be the main source of strength for all three of you, but remember that there may be times that the roles will have to be reversed. 

How have I done it so far? Mostly by remembering all the good stuff. I refuse to entertain the sad parts (but it's been hard to shake certain images off, I'm only human) because doing otherwise won't help me at all. I also believe he never really left me/us. He has made his presence felt on more than one occasion, but even if that weren't the case, I know in my heart he loves us too much to simply just go. Crazy as it may sound, I also talk to him a lot - aloud or in my mind. I tell him whenever I'm sad and I report to him every time a good thing happens to me. Just as I did when he was still alive. I'm confident he hears me when I do this. I'm slowly getting used to not hearing him reply. In time, it will be easier I know. 

In closing, I would like to say it doesn't matter what the circumstances are. Losing a parent is painful PERIOD. But everything that happens to us is all part of God's divine plan. It's true that HE allows us to go through painful situations but it doesn't stop there. HE also holds our hand and never leaves us. 

I know this is true because HE has done the same for me. 

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