It was 2011 when my grandfather died. I counted the months, 6 months after the birth of my baby brother. If I knew that it would be that fast, then I would have prepared myself better.

He was in the ICU. My dad received a call telling him that my grandfather’s condition had gone critical.

It was time for goodbyes. All siblings, the youngest included, weren’t aware of this. The most affected had been my grandmother. As soon as my dad arrived to their quarters, soon to be just my grandmother’s, he saw a sight that could have probably broken him.

I would have broken down too if I saw it myself. My grandmother is a very religious woman. She made us sit together to pray The Rosary no matter how many times we complained about it. I found it weird that my grandfather had been exempted from that, but he pushed me and my sisters to pray anyway. I guess it made my grandmother happy.
That being said, there was my grandmother, in front of my dad, already praying for my grandfather’s fleeting soul. 

I don’t remember who told me, but he or she mentioned that my grandfather had already appeared in my grandfather’s dream that night. 

And he died. It was October 1, 2011.

I didn’t mourn for his death then and there. Even when his body arrived at our home encased in a casket, I didn’t cry. I found that weird. But otherwise, I didn’t think wrongly about it.

My sisters were lucky enough to be able to shed tears. They cried away from each other, having had their own sets of reasons and memories to weep over. 

I envied my brother then, he had no idea what was going on. He was only 6 months old anyway.

From the prayers we made every night, to the day before I finally had to say goodbye my grandfather, I still never shed a tear. I’d look at his body almost every day and just look at him. I got a good laugh though after finding out that he couldn’t be laid down with his hands on his stomach. Apparently his belly was too big, and placing his hands there would make him look uncomfortable. WOuld probably deflate that par tof his belly too.

When the day of the burial arrived, I still hadn’t teared up. I was a bit happy, I mean, all of my dad’s siblings and their families had been there. We were together. If only for a short time and the worst circumstances, it made me feel calm.

It was then that we had to finally put my grandfather’s body in the hearse, bring it to the church for prayers, then the memorial park to be buried.

Before all this though, my grandmother had requested she look at her late husband before leaving. She’s always had trouble standing, so my dad and his sisters helped her to stand. It was then that I started feeling something crash over me.

My grandmother’s lips quivered. Her eyes started watering. She just looked at my grandfather’s body so intently, probably memorizing every detail.

That was when I realized that throughout the whole ordeal, I was the one who was in denial the most.

I was 17, in denial of death, writing all this at 23. 

Seeing my grandmother cry brought me to the reality that I really did lose someone. So I cried. Before even heading to the church, I finally did what I was questioning myself for not doing in the first place.

And after all that, I still look back at why I was in denial in the first place. Why I never just got sad and curled into a ball and decided to shut myself out.

Then I thought, there’s not a living person out there that would want me to do that. Let alone a dead person. 

No one should ever live thinking that someone’s death is the end of something within themselves. That’s the exact opposite of what our loved ones would want us to do. There are plenty more to get around. Spend time with them, count the moments, relive the memories, cherish the time.

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