We don’t say thank you’s because it is not proper. The old people believe that when you say that, it’s as if you’re relieved of the person’s passing and that you’re not grieving. And so to those who sent texted me or posted messages on the site, in behalf of the family, we humbly accept your condolences.

I was there with her last hour as she was struggling for breath. We know it won’t take that long as her vital signs were fading. And so each one of us, her children and grandchildren, went to her side to say our goodbyes and thank you’s.

“Lola, si Jovan po ito,” I whispered in her ear. “Salamat.”

She passed away at 9:40 in the evening. And what was more haunting than the sounds that those machines generated was the silence after when the people from the ICU took them out.

Everyone in the family left the room but me. I told my lola that I would not leave her side until she gets to the house and she’s OK. I was there when they wrapped her remains in a blanket, placed it in a stretcher and took her to the morgue. I was there when the funeral people took her body from the morgue, brought it to their place and placed her in her coffin.

My brother Carlo was there with me, and we made sure that her last wishes are executed properly – that she’s wearing the things she chose herself – the dress, the veil, the rosary and even the stockings.

We were with her when they brought her to the house.

It was the only way we could repay her for all the kindness and care she gave us. And although we’re sad to see her go, that she’d never see her apo sa tuhod from me and Charo, we know that she’s in a better place now where she can finally walk and be with her creator.

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