It was about two hours past noon when my parents decided to check on my lola at her house that’s one jeep away from ours. I remember being sort of mad with my mom about some issue that was probably about my studies, or whatever. I was surfing the net when Bea, my sister, suddenly came downstairs from our bedroom. The irony of it was that she was beaming. She told us the news that shattered a small part of ourselves. My lola just died. And although a million things were going on inside my mind, I continued Facebook-ing. I grabbed my phone and read the same message from my mom. My lola was already dead, so we should get ready ‘cause my parents would fetch us anytime.
I remember not crying immediately upon hearing the news. None of my siblings did. Maybe we were still absorbing the fact. Denying it. Telling ourselves, we already knew this would happen. Thinking about what just happened and what else would come. Everyone was already waiting for it, but was hesitant to accept the fact. Personally, I was already anticipating her death. I even blogged about it here. The news was depressing. We just had to console each other and believe that she wonderfully lived her 86 years. Inay, my grandmother… The one I got my name from… She did have a great life.
The night of her death, we were at St. Peter, Quezon Ave and while waiting for her body, we listened to my tita Lucy as she told us about my lola’s last minutes on Earth. No one was crying. We had our straight faces on and our tsk-tsk expressions. We were grieving but no one was strong enough to shed tears at that moment.
I was there with my mom, four siblings, two cousins, and two aunts. We, the “kids,” were even joking around and were even taking each other’s photos in stupid poses. It wasn’t like someone has just died. It was like we hadn’t come to terms with the fact, yet.
A few hours have passed and my lola, in her coffin, had been taken to her room in St. Peter, at last. Everyone grew quiet. It was as if the concept that we were so dreaded to face had finally shot itself in our direction, so we couldn’t do anything anymore. When the staff from St. Peter has finally arranged her into place, no one seemed to want to look down at her coffin. For the record, on that night, I didn’t dare look at it. I wasn’t scared. I was just so sure I’d cry a river if I did. So I waited for a few more days.
I couldn’t remember now who looked at her first. Maybe it was my mom, or one of my aunts. What I remember the most was that my cousin, KC, was silently crying, and I couldn’t help it, I was sure I’d cry, too. I hate seeing someone cry. Makes me want to cry so bad as well. And the sorrow inside the room was hard to bear so I went outside. My brother and KC’s brother followed me. We just sat outside, grief-stricken but were unable to shed tears. I didn’t want to cry. I was thinking that I had to be strong for the others. I could cry by myself later.
So, that was what I did. The moment we got home, I washed my body instantly and then went to our room to lie down on my comfortable bed and cry my heart out. I couldn’t help thinking about me and my lola’s precious moments together. She was with me during my childhood. I remember her watching telenovelas, latin tv series, and prime time shows while I was busy playing with my toys. I remember her sitting on the front porch, fanning herself. I remember how she’d get mad at me whenever I do something unfavourable. And that my way of getting back at her was by stealing chocolate bars in her mini store. She seldom gets angry. She was always nice to people. I don’t remember anyone being mad at her. She was a woman with few words, big loving heart, and fervent spirit. And I probably inherited those traits from her. Heehee.
The night that she died, I remember I cried, and cried, and cried until I fell asleep.