By: Trix Clasara
It’s 1995 and I am 10 years old. My mom is pregnant with her first son after having three daughters before him, including me, the littlest one. In the middle of the night, my dad wakes us up and says we all need to drive to the hospital, and so we went.
My sisters and I are waiting on the public hospital couches… waiting and waiting, way past our bedtimes and they are not telling us anything. My mom is being sent from doctor to doctor, one room after the other and nothing is being said. The tension is palpable.
The very next day, we lay our brother to rest in his small coffin. He looked like my dad.
It’s 2015. I am now a married woman with a new baby girl in my arms. She is 3 months old. At around three o’clock in the morning, I hear my phone ring. It surprised me because with a new baby in the house, my phone has always been on silent mode – except this time.
I try to grab my phone, half awake, look down and see my mom is calling me. My heart stopped for a minute. I pick it up, say hello, and she says to me “Trix, I think Dads is dead already. I am not sure, can you please come over?”.
The very next day, we lay my dad, “Dads” as we fondly called him, to rest in his white coffin. He looked like he was at peace.
Now it’s 2018 and it’s 23 and 3 years later after my brother and my dad had passed away. The years in between are long, but the the emptiness is still very much felt. That’s the thing with death, I suppose. It is certain, it is sudden but its effects may last even a lifetime.
I did not know my brother very well, naturally, because he died at birth, but being a ten year old and experiencing all of it made a real impact in my life. My brother’s death changed a lot of the family dynamics in the house and it wasn’t a treat to watch at such a young age.
My dad dying the day after I was supposed to visit him at home but didn’t and instead opted to stay home, will forever leave a mark in my heart. It pains me every time I think about what I should have done more, what I should have told him, the time I should have spent with him before his passing.
I will not lie – I have my regrets and the truth is, you’ll never really realize it is too late until you lose that person. However, everyday, I make the choice to live – for myself, for my husband, for my children.
Even though my dad has passed on, I choose to keep him alive in the stories I tell my children, in passing traditions he has taught me and my sisters and in the way I handle my current relationships.
I utter the words “I Love You” fearlessly to the people I love because, when else will I say it to them? Now is the time. Now is the only time. This is what loss has taught me. When I remember my dad, I remember not just fun memories together, but also to cherish moments with my loved ones at present.
When I look back and think about our family road trips, the way he would pick me up from school or drive me to a friend’s house, or build new things in our backyard, or work on school projects together, I miss my dad terribly, yes. But at the same time, it reminds me to pour myself – body and soul, to my children so that they can also have the same great experiences I’ve had.
This is why journaling has become my favorite past time. Even as a kid I would write in special notebooks and keep diaries in secret places so no one can read them. Today, not only has it allowed me to remember my children’s milestones but it also helps me remember my loved ones who have passed away so that my children can learn about their lives too. The Memfy journalling app is a great tool that helps me keep my thoughts and stories private along with the freedom of writing whatever I please.
My pain is still fresh from my loss, but I know in time, the sadness will fade and the good and lovely memories will remain. After all, it is in loss that I can truly see the value of life and the meaning of it all, not just for myself but also for my children.
coping, death, faith, family, father, Love, memories, moments, mother, parents, sorrow,