Mourning is a very personal thing. And I learned it this year.

At the start of the year, I had a very positive outlook for the rest of the year. After five years of being away from home, I was finally going back. By the end of January, I already booked my flight. I was just waiting for the perfect time to tell me grandma, the main reason why I was going home. But few days after I booked the flight, she died.

When I got the call, I felt numb. I didn’t cry. I thought to myself, “Why aren’t you sad? Weren’t you supposed to cry?”. After I hanged up the phone, that’s when I felt the pain starting. I forced the tears out and cried myself out. I was mourning for the loss of my grandma, my bestfriend, the best person in the whole wide world. But I had to calm myself down enough to call my aunt who was with my grandma. We talked and I had to stop myself from sobbing or else we would both be crying mess over the phone. I had the job of calling both my parents and deliver them the news. I first calles my dad and told him the news. I probably started crying when I told him, I don’t remember. My mom was hard to contact at that time and we only were able to talk when she finally learned the news from someone else. I also called the daughter of my grandma’s bestfriend so she can tell her mom. My aunt in the US was the last one I called. I facetimed her and just started crying. I told her about the news and she also started tearing up. We consoled each other, more so her than me. We both lost a grandmother and a loving person in our lives.

I immediately booked off flight to go back home. I e-mailed my work about what had happened and my manager was nice enough to cancel the rest of my scheduled shifts and gave me two weeks off. I remember crying myself to sleep and waking up in tears. I was packing my clothes with a heavy heart. In the flight home, my aunt sent me a photo of my grandma’s wake and that sent me into another fit of tears. When I saw her inside the coffin, that’s when the worst came out. That’s when I realized I couldn’t hug her anymore nor talk to her nor kiss her.

For a few months after she passed away, I would cry myself on many nights to sleep. I couldn’t bring myself to wear bright colours, especially red. My dreams of her were my favourites because I get to hug her and kiss her. On random times when I remember something about her, it would bring me down to tears. I could be driving and I hear a specific song playing, it would send my tears flowing. I was numb for a few months and had to force myself to be happy. I had a lot of “I wish…” going on. But those won’t happen anymore.

My Nanay, as I fondly called her, had always been my inspiration in life. I’ve always wanted to make her proud. Everytime I do something good, she would tell me, “Nak, I’m proud of you”. Now, she can’t say those words anymore but it does still keep me going. It reminds me that my Nanay is always behind me 100% of the time even though everyone else wasn’t.

I can’t say at this point that I’m done mourning for her death. There will still be times when I cry for her, when I ache for her. But during those times that I yearn for her, I just look at her photo to remind myself that I’ve always had a wonderful person nurture and cherish me with all her heart.

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