Life Story: Dealing with Loss

Note: It’s best to play the song while reading. 🙂

October 2003
4:00 AM

Twelve-year old me woke up to see my father, with bloodshot eyes, clutching his Nokia phone. As it is in our family, we learned to speak without words. I did not like where this was going. I got up as he handed over the phone.

I see a text from a doctor in the Philippines, and then my mother’s name. Then the words “…passed away.” Are you kidding me?! With a confused expression, I looked up at him as he tried so hard to avoid my gaze. Was this real? It can’t be true. No. No, it can’t be!

I squinted my eyes and read it again. And again. And again. No. This isn’t true.

I ran out of our flat apartment in Bahrain towards the stairs to the rooftop. It’s not true! It’s not real! I heard myself screaming in my head as my legs carried me from one floor to another. No! I do not, will not, accept this! I felt rage. I felt hatred.

I felt… my life crumbling before my eyes.

Tears started to stream down my face as I reached the highest floor where the rooftop was. I sprung myself unto one of the walls. With blurry eyes, I looked at the streets below and the skies above.

Lights. Cars. Houses. Buildings. Stars. Sky. Are any of these things real?

There was no sound except for my baffled cries to the air.

“How could you do this to me?! It’s been two years since I last saw you!” She left for the Philippines, leaving me in Bahrain, to have her kidney operation.  “You said you were going to get better!” I spoke in between sobs. “You said you’re going to come back for me!”

“You said…”, my voice got weaker with every word. “Who’s going to help me with prom? Who will teach me about boys?” I knew she had kidney cancer for years by now, but I was a kid. I believed it was something that would just go away.

“What about my debut? My graduation? My wedding?” I sniffed, seeing my hopes for the future flash before my eyes… without her.

Suddenly it all turned to darkness.

“Why are you doing this to me…?”

I buried my head in my arms. “Mama…”

I don’t know how long I was in that position, but when I looked up I saw something.
Out of the dark blue, purplish early morning sky, two things stood out.
From my right side, there was a lone white cloud going towards me. On the left, a white bird was flying towards the cloud.

The bird flew right through the cloud as it went on its way.

I breathed a sigh of relief.
Out of nowhere, I felt comfort.
It was as if something or someone was telling me, Everything is going to be okay.

I felt at peace.

“You taught me the courage of stars
before you left.
How light carries on endlessly,
even after death.

With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.

I couldn’t help but ask
For you to say it all again.
I tried to write it down
But I could never find a pen.

I’d give anything to hear
You say it one more time,
That the universe was made
Just to be seen by my eyes.”

April 2012
4:00 PM

“Hi Ma,” I said, sitting on the grass by her place in the Garden of Peace. I just graduated from college, and I wanted to share so many things with her. I managed a weak smile. “I’m sorry…”

Throughout my teenage years, I convinced myself that she wasn’t really gone. That day in 2003, I went to school as usual. I told myself that she was just in another country. I avoided people who talked to me about my loss. I hated the word “Condolence” even if I knew they meant it in a comforting way. Some of my friends never even knew I lost her.

I had to go back to the Philippines soon after, and she wasn’t there. I had to face the reality of it, but I did not do so for quite some time. I blocked out my memories of her for so many years. My own sister would ask me something about her, and I would genuinely respond “I don’t know.”

As I got older, I learned more about what happened. She was supposed to have a kidney transplant. However, she chose not to do it because the kidney that was needed should come from one of her children. Realizing her sacrifice, I slowly remembered her.

I remembered how she taught me to read and write, how she spanked me when I said a curse word for the first time. I remembered how I hugged her from behind while she washed our clothes. I remembered how she held my hand as we searched the streets in the middle of the night when one of my teenage sisters ran away.

She had a gentle soul, a quiet presence. She did her best to care for all of her 9 children while her husband worked overseas.

She also took care of herself and always looked presentable. I remembered her red lipstick, and the scent of powder she put on before going to bed.

She loved to sew. She taught me how to sew clothes for my barbie dolls. When I was younger, we would stay in our bedroom as she made curtains and pillows until I fell asleep in her arms at night.

She also loved to sing. She always sang “When I was a little girl, I asked my mother what shall I be…”

She treasured every moment, keeping pictures in scrapbooks.

She loved her family and valued her friends. She would always take the time to visit her loved ones, no matter how far they were. To this day, anyone who speaks of her has only fond memories to tell.

She believed in God, and she spent years of her life serving Him.

Only when she was getting older and sicker did she think for herself. She decided to join my father in Bahrain, and I was the only one young enough at the time that she could bring along.

The memories started to come back to me as I began to accept what happened.

I looked at the tombstone with her name written on it. “I forgive you for leaving me, Mama.” I said softly. “I hope you forgive me too.”

I stood up and looked at the trees around the serene garden. “I know you’re still looking after me.”

“I will make you proud.”

“With shortness of breath, I’ll explain the infinite

How rare and beautiful it truly is that we exist.”

Hi everyone! I got kinda emotional writing this one, can you tell? 🙂 It’s quite a long post, but there’s just so much to share.
Well, it’s All Saints’ Day season and people here in Philippines are visiting their loved ones who have passed away. Times like these, the feeling of missing my mother is magnified. I just wanted to write down a little bit about how I went through the experience of losing her.
The part about the cloud and bird is actually true. I’m not sure if I was hallucinating or what, though I’d like to believe it was a sign from the heavens.
If you are going through a loss in your life, please hold on tight and keep moving forward. Things will get better, I promise.
If you have similar stories, please do write about them (only if you want to). I’d love to read about it.


46 thoughts on “Life Story: Dealing with Loss

  1. Beautifully written. Your emotions are alive and heartfelt.
    Thanks for the advice to keep tight and everything will be alright.
    Lost my mom just this September and I wrote her a letter, thru my blog, in an attempt to express my sorrow and grief…

    I’m still at loss, and posts like this somewhat encourage me that there a people out there who can truly empathize with me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Andrei. Your loss is fairly recent, and I can only imagine what you are going through.

      I hope that you find solace in something healthy for you. Actually, this blogging is quite therapeutic. 🙂


  2. Beautifully written. I think this is a piece that anyone who has lost a parent or guardian can understand. Thank you so much for sharing ❤ Your suggestion to listen to the song while reading was spot-on.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi, Liz. Even if it was an ant that died, it would still make me tear up because of how good your writing style is. Raw and emotional.
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope that I’ll never be able to relate to this – losing someone I can’t imagine my life without. For what it’s worth, just know that she is proud of you and is in a better place now. I know it hurts, but it will get better. You’ll be OK again. God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome. We don’t really move on from the loss of a beloved, do we? They always take a part of our happiness that we can never get back; although we can always find it somewhere else but it’s just never the same. Anyway, I’m still working on my blog and haven’t finished customizing it yet. But I hope you can read my first post and let me know what you think. Nice to meet you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve been to your blog a while ago, actually. I followed you for future posts. ❤

          I changed my theme just now, so it's like I'm also beginning again. Haha! It would be nice to see how we would grow together in the blogosphere. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so sorry for your loss Liz. You are a strong woman and I know that even if she is long gone, she will never be forgotten, in your heart, in your memories, she will always be a part of you, and you, a part of her.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Ragazza. Sorry, what name do you prefer to be called?

    What you said is definitely true. The people who pass away will always be left in the memories they left behind.


  6. Wow.
    I was led here by the daily prompt about music. You have chosen a really beautiful piece and it definitely sets the scene for your writing.
    I like the idea of having music playing when reading and this piece really helps to convey how you are feeling at the time of writing.
    This is encouraging for people going through similar situations too so, well done.


    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had to turn off the music while reading this blog because yours reminded me of mine, and the heavy somber music seemed to suffocate me. Sorry about that. Hahaha… I lost her when I was 12 also. The most painful part of her loss was no one wanted to tell me the truth about her true disease, which was cancer by the way. Even my mom never had the guts to tell me. I’ve always thought she would live through that, but her death came to me as a shock, due to my ignorance.
    Thank you for this article. I actually met a person who had also been through the same loss I had.
    Keep up the good posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Inro. Sorry about the emotional music. It’s just so beautiful and sets the mood for the story.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with loss as well. Sometimes, adults protect children from the truth… but I don’t know if that really helps. And I think death will always shock loved ones. There’s no easy way to deal with it at all in my opinion.


  8. WOW! This is powerful stuff.

    My husband lost his father when my husband was less than 2 years old. The loss of a parent creates so many deep wounds. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Becky. I hope to see you around here. I try to spread positive vibes through my posts. We are all warriors in this life.

      Nice to meet you. I look forward to knowing you more! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Liz, I am very sorry to hear of your loss. Your every word brings out the pain you went through. You are a warrior indeed! All the very best. I am sure your mother is proud of the girl you have been and become. 🙂


  10. Hi Liz C. So nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing your memories very moving. Glad you want to follow my poetry adventures. Hope your life is good now. I am very interested in all things Paranormal! UFO’s! Conspiracy theories! Observing this crazy violent and unstable society! Writing is a passion that has kept me sane and alive! Also kind of you to like my poem “Hidden!” Peace and Best Wishes. #TheFoureyedPoet.


  11. Nothing prepares anyone for loss but with time It gets easier. When i lost my Mother 6 years ago , I thought i would not make to a year. She was my life , i was lost and till now at times it hard but its better. Not a day goes by without me thinkinh of her and when you have those days I cry like i just lost her at the thought of her. But when you have a strong support system , surround yourself with people who love you , it will get better. If you are a Christian God gives you strength it is not easy but you find yourself strong you will be surprised .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hellen! Yes, I am a Christian… and one of the biggest reasons is I have personally felt that Someone has been comforting me through the hardest times and telling me to not give up no matter how loud the bad thoughts could be. I don’t think I would be here right now without that still voice in my heart.

      Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with this as well. I really appreciate it. Your tips are very good. Having a support system is indeed vital to dealing with these things. ❤ Stay strong, and welcome to the Daily Warriors blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey Liz! You have conveyed the emotions so beautifully. I can feel what you have felt as I have witnessed a few losses this year. But I am sure that even if time heals us, the void is never really gone.
    Let’s stay strong coz we are daily warriors 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lochan… One of my friends’ dad passed away today. It’s really difficult to comfort someone who’s going through these things. But I guess, we need to learn that everything in this world is only temporary. Even us.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey Liz I agree we need to learn to live with this temporary world. But the biggest motivation in moving ahead in life is that there are so many other people dependent on us for strength.
        My condolences to your friend, hope the family finds the necessary strength to overcome this tragedy.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Such a beautiful way to share what happened to your mother, Liz. You honored her memory very well in this post. Thanks for sharing the link!


    Liked by 1 person

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