Sunday, November 4, 2012

Not My Day (the public meltdown)

Warning : Kilometric Post

Yesterday started out so well. The first part of the day was lazily spent at home. Then by mid-afternoon, we were on the road to Eastwood (my parents' condo). N and I talked about seeing a movie and we were even choosing between Argo and Skyfall. We chose the former because people said it would be pulled out of the cinemas first. Skyfall can wait. So after dinner, I went to the mall across the street to buy our tickets and go around a little bit (yeah, still feeling deprived) while N stayed in the condo. But well, the movie didn't happen because everyone seemed to be in the cinemas at the exact same time we wanted to watch. The 11pm screening was just too late for me. 

I then walked around the mall but after all that, I wanted to sit down and have coffee somewhere but had to look in Charles and Keith first. After asking for my size for 3 different pairs of shoes and being told, "Sorry, Ma'am no more size 36" (boo!), I left the store. Right outside it is Cafe Mary Grace. I hesitated a bit because this was where we would usually have post-dinner coffee and dessert on Sundays. It felt like I was taking one step forward, then stepping back and saying, "Nah ... I still can't." But something urged me to go and do it, have coffee at this old familiar place where most of the time, I'd sit next to my Dad while he had his usual cup of decaf and I, my regular brewed. I walked to the counter, ordered a cup of coffee and sat down at an empty table. 

This is when it all started. I people watched while waiting for my coffee to arrive. The mall was busier than yesterday. I guess a lot of people are back in Manila after All Saints/Souls Day. People were walking around with family, obviously doing their Christmas shopping. It hit me like bird poop from the sky. Sorry, but it really felt so crappy! I suddenly felt angry ... like bitter angry. There I was, surrounded by happy, cheerful folks with their shopping bags and their smiling faces. The piped-in music was Jingle Freakin' Bells or Joy To The Effin' World. I sat there thinking ... 

"Why are you all so happy??? Don't you know how annoying it is for someone who doesn't even feel like celebrating Christmas this year?!?!" And so just seconds after that, the thing I've been hoping wouldn't happen DID happen. I had a very public looney moment aka meltdown! I tried to stop it by looking away and focusing my eyes on something else other than the crowd. Didn't work. I got a piece of tissue from my bag and pretended to be cleaning up my "smeared" eyeliner. Nope, no good either. Then I realized, what the heck. I doubt if anyone would want to approach me to ask me if I'm okay because my eyes felt like they were burning. I was giving everyone dagger stares. I continued to cry  but still somehow tried to pretend I just had something in my eye (yeah right).

I'd say it was a good 10 minutes, which is good time. I usually give myself 15 minutes tops everytime sadness hits. So I was okay based on my own standards. 

All I can say is ... WOW. What was that? Was that a preview of what Christmas Eve and Day will be like for me? Us? I don't want to spend those days bawling because of N and the kids. I don't know if I did the right thing by going to Cafe Mary Grace. Was it too soon? Did I force it on myself? Maybe. 

So yeah ... I'm really missing my Dad even more these days because Christmas is coming. It sucks to the core. It really really really does. If you've been in my shoes before, I would love to hear how you handled your first holiday minus a departed loved one. I have no clue how.


  1. :-( Am out of words to comfort you...but sincerely hope that each day becomes a little bit better for you, coping with your loss.

  2. Depression hits everyone, with or without suffering a big loss. I am told that one way to fight sadness is engage in activities that serve others. That way you put the focus away from yourself and towards others. I don't have all the answers nor can I say I know how you feel, but I will still send good vibes and prayers to you.

  3. Hi Janine. I'm hoping this isn't depression in the real essence of the word. That's even harder to beat (in my opinion) than any kind of physical illness. You're right about re-focusing. Thanks for all the good vibes. Hope to see you guys soon.

  4. Oh Patt! I lost my mom 1994 and my dad 1995... When I say I miss them everyday, it is not an overstatement. I miss them every single day. I had a very public meltdown just a few months ago while holidaying with my inlaws in Kuching. We visited someone in the hospital (we went there from airport) who had brain surgery. I hardly know the guy. I was in a happy mood, looking forward to me-times, shopping, etc... But the moment I locked eyes with him, I saw my dad. I hyperventilated, excused myself and stayed in the toilet for a while trying to calm myself. Couldn't take it, I felt suffocated, I went out and I didn't cry, i bawled and was gasping for breath. Apparently my brother in law saw me, and he just hugged me and listened to whatever I was saying... I couldn't stop crying... I've said this before, when we lose someone we don't get over it. We just learn how to cope with it. I don't shun the sadness. I actually let it wrap me, I would stay there and feel it in my heart... And I let go.

  5. I don't know why it took so long for me to reply to you, Che. "I actually let it wrap me...". Yeah, I've learned to do this as well. It sucks for about 10-15 minutes but after you're all bawled out, you actually feel so much better.