But before that, let me start this story on the day before the sad news
Sept. 4, 2011
It was around 6:ooPM when I was browsing the internet, checking my facebook account and email when I read the post of my cousin saying: Papa (Grandfather) is not feeling well again. It was my initial thought that maybe he is experiencing difficulty of breathing again. Although I already had my own assumption with what is happening, I replied to the post of my cousin asking how is papa feeling that time. My cousin confirmed and I was right with what I thought that is happening during that time with Papa. I was worried so I told my sister about it but I have this self-satisfaction knowing that my cousins and Aunties are living with Papa and for sure they know what they should do.
Sept. 5, 2011
I was in my deep sleep when my phone rings; I answered it without looking the screen who is the one calling. Ofcourse I was in the middle of a deep sleep so my mind was not that active yet. I cannot understand the words I heard and even recognize the voice of the caller. I unconsciously put off my phone and continue my sleep. My phone ring and still I unconsciously answer it for the second time but my mind and body is not really awake yet so I still can’t understand everything. It was the third call that wakes me up. It was my cousin who was crying saying: “Papa is gone”. My initial reaction was asking her what did it happened? And she answered 4:19am. I tried to compose myself and to just relax. I said I will be there immediately when the sun rise up because it was still 4:30am that time. Our conversation ended there.
I was really mentally blocked and don’t know what to do. It was the saddest morning of my life. I go out in our room and I don’t why but I turned on all the lights in our living room and got back again in bed. The sad news did not sink in yet in my mind. I sat down in my bed and after a few seconds, tears wetted my eyes while remembering Papa’s face and his smiles. I was honestly hurt with what happened. My body was trembling and I can’t control my frightened voice. A lot of memories was crossing on my mind and it was really painful to know that another father left me again. May I just share that my biological father died when I was 3 years old. I have a lot of Uncles who became a father figure to me but it was my Papa (Grandfather) whom I am just so comfortable sharing anything. I lose a love one and you know you’ll miss him not just for a while but forever.
While I was waiting for the sun rise, my sister was still asleep and so I woke her up to tell the sad news and I immediately wear my jeans and t-shirt. I also get some extra clothes because I was planning to stay in the house of our relatives in Boulevard, Davao where Papa stayed while he was here in Davao and where his life ended.
I arrived in Boulevard at around 6:00am and ofcourse I tried to manage myself not to show my emotions because I know it will also affect others and I don’t want to see them that way. I entered in the room where Papa stayed. I did not saw his body because he was already covered with a blanket. I feel so sad but I want to open the blanket and “magmano” (a Filipino tradition) to him. I don’t know why but I still have this feeling of giving him respect through “mano” thinking that he is still alive maybe because I’m already used doing it eveytime I visit him. But I wasn’t able to do it because I can’t force myself to see his face or even touch the blanket. One of my Auntie was also inside the room gathering all their clothes and other things needed because Papa’s body will surely be brought home in Surigao del Sur. My Auntie was very emotional, she was crying while preparing all those things. I feel so pity seeing her in that situation. She was really crying while talking to me. Saying…
Jo, wala na si Papa..wala na si Papa Jo..Mabait si Papa diba Jo? Pa….pa…wala nang mag-aalala sa inyo kapareha nang pag-aalala ni Papa sa inyo..alam nyo yan diba..kasi maagang nawala ang Tatay niyo..Kaya ganon niya kayo kamahal..Pa…Hindi nagkulang si Papa sa inyong mga apo niya…may hinanakit ka ba kay papa jo? Diba wala? Kasi napaka bait niyan..hindi yan matahimik pag walang maibigay na pera sa inyo kahit gano kaliit man lang..Mamimis mo si Papa jo? (she was saying all of these while crying in front of me)
I was just on the corner of the room that time listening to my Auntie while crying. I said, I am very aware with Papa’s love for us his grand daughters/son most especially with me and my sister. I keep on nodding in in every questions she ask. I know she was just very emotional that time that’s why she was like a kid asking those things in front of me. I go out in the room and talk to my other Aunties and cousin. I was asking a lot of questions about Papa’s situation before he died. (ouch! I was trying to avoid the word died in this post)
They said Papa utter his last words around 9:oopm of Sept. 4, 2011. Saying: wala na akong panghihinayang sa inyo mga anak ko, pagod na ako, at tanggap na raw niya. My Auntie said that they would like to bring Papa in the hospital but Papa through his nonverbal cues was trying to mean: No I don’t want to be in the hospital..and waves his hand that means..Do not disturb me..He did not even eat the mushed rice and some food given to him. He don’t want to be touched anymore. My Auntie said, maybe it was his way of preparing. He just wanted to lie down while gasping for breath. My Aunties and cousins were praying the rosary that time. Some of them sleep already but my cousin was still awake. He was observing Papa because sometimes Papa attempts to remove the oxygen. My cousin was just there in the room and at exactly 4:19am she just saw Papa not breathing anymore.
After this talk, at around 9:00am a car from a lifeplan insurance arrive to get Papa’s body for embalmment. Everybody was in the peak of emotion. I covered my mouth with a handkerchief to resist with my emotion but then I was one of those who cried so bad while Papa’s body was slowly held out of Auntie’s house. I wasn’t able to see Papa, I wasn’t able to hold him eventhough how much I wanted to not because I’m afraid but I just could not. I just stayed until the main door and watch him slowly leaving the house with one of my Auntie.
After that, we have to set aside our emotions because we have to prepare everything that we need. It was also during that day that our family have decided to bring Papa’s body back to his home in Surigao del Sur. I and my cousin was roaming around the downtown area from 10am-12n to buy the needed things like food, coffee, candles and almost everything needed for Papa’s funeral. At 2pm I went back home to take a bath and pack up my things. It was already 4:00pm when everything was prepared. We then fetch Papa’s body in the funeral home and at exactly 6:00pm we were on our way to Salvacion San Agustin, Surigao del Sur.
I imagine myself to be in that kind of trip. I am with my cousins, Auntie and Uncles together with the flowers and Papa’s coffin wrapped with a thick cellophane in front of me. Our trip lasted for 6 hours so we arrived in Salvacion at arund 12 mid night Sept. 6, 2011. Aunties and Uncles were all awake, the house was already prepared and everything was arranged. Some of our neighbors were also awake and were there ready to help. Then Papa was at home and peacefully resting…
(to be continued)
photo credits here-http://favim.com/image/136995/ (I just edited the one I use)