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By Icoy San Pedro

DRIFTING in and out of what seems like a permanently-sleepy present must be what limbo is like, I told myself again and again. It felt like our only goal for the last two weeks and a few days after our father’s death had been to constantly to take a one step forward at a time and not remain rooted to one spot; and “Just keep swimming”, as Dory liked to say in the movie.

In the time since, our tiny family of three had become more purposeful in our chores. It was as if we should lose ourselves in all that we have been doing, lest an idle moment presented itself, and created a space where we can again ponder on the memory that papa is gone forever. 

As for myself, the constant are-you-alright queries also appeared pesky and provoking at times, but after a few deep breaths, I have already taken the hint. They’re just looking out for me and making sure I was well into grips with our loss, healing and in step everyone else as well. 

I have just realized that this, our family’s present timeline, where we have lost our eldest brother last April and then our father last month, absolutely qualifies as a we-don’t-deserve-this kind of double-whammy. Yes, it had hit me quite late, two loved ones in just a span of nine months but, where does one file a complaint? 

Definitely not a grin but just bear it type, this hand that we have been dealt. Absolutely nothing we could do but just take the blow. I guess, starting with the first phone call informing us of his demise and until the final day of Papa’s wake, all in the clan may have already been in agreement that we can’t be like deer in the headlights. As I’ve likewise written about before, we’ve all got to just move on, because life does indeed go on. After all, when he was still alive, he had been telling us brothers so many times, that in the event of his passing, we do just that.

Last Saturday, we were again at his house, this time to help in sorting out the rest of his clothing. We’ve decided to give some to the charity of his favorite nuns who were based nearby, then some for throwing away and the rest, to be handed to those who needed them. 

During that afternoon, only a lone great grandson was in the house with us.  For a brief moment during his play time, I caught him throw a brief glance in the direction of his grandpa’s urn, enough to just let out the tiniest hint of a smile. As if to say in his mind, no worries, we are all going to be alright. Or whatever else goes on in that three-year-old mind of his.


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