We have heard stories of many a woman who triumphed in the face of adversity. Hidilyn Diaz was one of them, giving us the first Olympic gold medal in almost a century. On August 15, another name was added to that list – our dearly beloved Mama.
Mama wore many hats in her more than six decades of living in this world. She was a loving wife and mother, a caring daughter and sister, a loyal friend, a dedicated worker, and a faithful believer. I know you would agree with me on how I described her, seeing the outpouring of sentiments and condolences upon the news of her passing.
Her loss has created a void in our hearts. We lost someone near and dear to us.
But let us look at the silver lining of things.
Mama left us during the feast of the Assumption, when Mother Mary went up to heaven. The Blessed Mother served as her source of comfort during the times when she experienced chronic pain. And at the end of it all, the mother of our Savior raised Mama with her – to a place where there is no more pain and no more suffering.
Just like how Hidilyn lifted that barbell to give the Philippines its Olympic gold, so did Mother Mary lift up Mama’s pain to achieve victory. Mother Mary also lifted our anxieties and uncertainties surrounding Mama – assuring us that she is in a better place now.
Her passing, then, is not just simply a sad occasion. Rather, it is a celebration of victory. The victory of heavenly compassion over earthly pain. The triumph of heavenly healing over suffering. The triumph of faith over the reality of death.
But while Mother Mary lifted Mama from her chronic pain, it does not end there. She left an incredible legacy through empowering people to lift others and achieve victory. Thus, I call on everyone to “lift” each other in simple ways – through being good partners, friends, children to your parents, colleague, and persons all in all.
“Love each other,” those were her last words the night before she left us. She would be very happy looking down on us all – knowing that we have inspired each other, and all of you, to strive for the gold in this life and the next.
You, too, have uplifted us with your messages of comfort and sympathy. We no longer feel anxious, knowing that we will carry on our journey through life with people who lift us up.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I delivered this rather short eulogy on August 18, the last night of my mother’s wake, during a virtual necrological service held in her honor. She was then laid in her final resting place the next day.
I haven’t had the time to stop by and make new posts for a while now due to the more stringent enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over the Philippine capital. Then, an unfortunate incident occurred.
My mother left this Earth for a better place during the early hours of August 15, 2021. Months before her death, she had been in constant pain due to cancer. While she managed to finish chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer in 2018, little did we know that it had spread to other organs – with her liver being the most affected.
The night before her death, she told me and my younger brother that she would not make it until morning and said goodbye to us. Her words indeed rang true as we discovered her the next morning on the floor, without the warmth of life. She was laying flat on her back, with a bag serving as a pillow. She looked for a flat surface to lie on as it was the least painful position for her to sleep.
Under ECQ rules, wakes were only limited to a maximum of two days and with strict social distancing guidelines to avoid super-spreader events. Even prolonged burial rites were under strict rules to prevent people from congregating for too long.
In spite of these, we were able to bury her on August 19 on a sunny day – just like how she wanted it.