Midnight of the 28th. Dad was not in good condition. He was having a difficulty in breathing so he'd need to get up, try to sit at the side of his and mom's bed to be able to breathe but he's too weak to get up himself. Agold (my younger sister) and I would need to help carry him to support himself and sit. He had a fever and he would throw up and spit blood. There were moments when my sister and I would take turns in helping dad to get up. It always felt terrible seeing Dad in that state. It was always disheartening.
I was also doing some layouts and editing some things that midnight in my room. So if ever I hear Dad calling, I would go and run to their room. But later, I thought Dad got to sleep so I let myself get hooked with more and more things on my computer. Watching makeup and hair tutorials...reading reviews and blogs.
Till later, the sun came up shining... and I was not yet asleep. I heard mom preparing to go to the hospital for Dad's regular dialysis session since it was a Tuesday. I went out my room and saw Dad on his wheel chair. His eyes were closed. I know he was asleep but he still looked very very tired. I'm sure he also wasn't able to sleep that same night. They went to the hospital and I went back to my computer to do more work...editing and talking to clients.
Then I fell asleep and woke up with a number of missed calls from some of my siblings. Waking up to that felt uneasy. But then I noticed I wasn't able to turn off my computer. I noticed the time was 7:19pm. I checked a few emails and still managed to reply to some clients. Then I went to mom and dad's room and they still weren't home. Dad's dialysis would usually take 4hrs. They should have been home by then since they left in the morning. I asked our kasambahay where they were and she told me that Dad needed to be admitted to the hospital. She said Agold went there too a few moments ago to bring clothes.
Then my Kuya Rere's number came up calling... I answered and it was Agold. I heard her say, "Ate, pumunta ka na dito sa ospital. Wala na si Daddy." I felt my heart skipped a beat for a moment and then I asked her again what she said. She repeated them but I thought I was not hearing and understanding it. I asked her again and again but she just was repeating and I remember myself shouting "No" for countless times. She texted me the hospital's room number. I was all panicking and shouting and running inside the house.
I changed and grabbed my bag and phone. Went out the house. Grabbed my rosary and prayed inside the jeepney. I was praying to God that what I just heard was just a misunderstanding. I was hoping that I was just deaf and the words my sister uttered weren't true. That jeepney ride felt like it was one of the longest rides of my life. (Though it was only a little over 5 minutes.)
Each step closer to the room number that Agold texted me, my heart was beating crazily. I opened the door, saw my Mom sitting with eyes so blank. Saw Agold lying beside Dad and whispering him... I immediately ran to Dad. His eyes were closed and I noticed that a tape was binding his head from the top round under his chin. ='( He has been declared out of life by 7:46pm after several minutes trying to revive him. I came there few minutes after 8pm.
I couldn't believe seeing that. I never expected seeing him that way, even when he's been sick for almost 3 years and some of our family friends keep on telling us that we should prepare ourselves to what might happen. That moment taught me that you can never prepare yourself to be ready for something like this to happen in your life. It felt like I was just in the scariest nightmare of my life. Hours after, we had to let go and dad needed to be brought out of the room to the morgue. Watching the nurses cover his lifeless body with sheets and carried by 6 people to the stretcher, taped with a paper on his chest area where his name is written, as well as the time he "expired" was one of the most painful moments I've been into.
Then after Dad was brought out, mom, on the same seat she was on for hours when I arrived there...started crying helplessly. That moment struck me. I realized that even how much pain I was feeling that moment, it can never compare to how much pain mom was going through. We all struggled to take care of Dad when he was sick, but mom was the one who always stayed beside him. She lived almost all her life with Dad as his partner and confidante. I wanted to hug mom, but I couldn't move myself. I felt so drained from convincing myself that Dad would still wake up. But he didn't.
We came to the morgue and Dad was there lying. All my fears from seeing a dead person vanished. This moment changed all my perspective about death. That was my Dad there and it still felt like a bad dream. Few moments later and my other siblings who came from Manila arrived too. We stayed there for more hours till the funeral service came to pick-up Dad. It was more disheartening.
We then went home to meet as a family. Some of us decided to go to the funeral chapel and check the logistics of where's and how's. We came to the place where he would be prepared. He was lying on a metal bed, with hard head lights placed on top of his head. He was only covered with a small sheet of rubber mat. I wanted to go further inside the room but the chemicals were stinging and the embalmers said it was unhealthy for us to be there. We left and went back home and it was again already almost morning. Others went to sleep but I still couldn't. I think I only rested for at least 2 hours but we immediately went back the funeral home to prepare the place and we waited for Dad to be brought there. Around 10am...Dad was brought. We all couldn't stop crying.
In moments like these, I realized that having a very strong support system is so important. I couldn't imagine going through all of these without the support of our relatives and friends. I never thought that I'd ever go to the grocery mall, shopping for food for a loved one's funeral. I never thought I'd ever go inside a morgue what more a funeral area. I never thought I could be awake for more than 50 hours. I never thought I'd ever do Excel works to do accounting for "abuloy". I never thought I'd ever realize how important it is for someone to wish for the person you love to rest in peace, especially when you were witness to how much sufferings and pain he has been through. All these things our family could not have survived without the love and support of all the people who came and stayed with us.
I know this post is very graphic and still pains me. I want to write all of these so I can finally face all the hurt and deal with it, and make peace with it. I've been so depressed the past 2 months and stopped being productive. I stopped blogging even when I only started. I declined clients, when I should have just been strong. I didn't go when friends asked me out. I didn't reply to texts, FB messages or answer calls. I just wanted to be alone. But then, those times gave me the opportunity to realize lots of things.
These past 2 weeks, I've finally decided to stop. I went back to watching hair and makeup tutorials, inspirational videos and accepting bookings to keep me up. My family and friends would all be beside me. We all have our moments of coping up. I know I have to be strong and get up my feet for my family and because I know this will make Dad proud...wherever he is.
This is my favorite photo that I have with Dad. One of those Sundays that when we'd go to church and attend a healing mass. I would always force him to smile though I know there are days that he just couldn't take the pain. Thank you Dad!
One of the last few photos we had as family. All 8 children with Mom and Dad. This was January 1, 2012...also mom's birthday! =')
"The Leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old. But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul. My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man. I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band... (as me and my siblings would always sing and dedicate to him). Dad, I know you are with God now. May you now rest in peace. We love you so much and you will forever be missed!"