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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Beauty of Life... and Death



Yesterday, my aunt Lucy (light) celebrated her sixty –first surprise birthday party with us. She was so delighted to see us because she was just talking to my dad early morning and he didn't even mention about it...

Auntie Lucy's birthday cake 31 July 2011


We'd only see each other on such occasions...
baptisms...
birthdays...
weddings...
Christmas...
and

Me, Auntie Lucy and Auntie Praxy 31 July 2011

My cousins and I (my niece and my sister at the front row)


 Cousins at father's side



It was such a great feast....
on my father's side.





---------------------------------
...funerals...

Tuesday evening, I posted "Alejandro" (music video) on our group's wall and had a few laughs with a friend with the same name. I was hardly settling down when I  heard my mom calling me to rush to the hospital...

my cousin, Alejandro, just died...

My cousins and I stayed with my nephew and nieces til midnight...

St. Peter's 27 July 2011

I didn't see anybody with tears til yesterday...


Kuya Bobby 27 July 2011

My cousin, Bobby, sat beside me and recounted what happened Tuesday evening... 
The doctor, apparently knowing of Kuya Alex' condition, asked his immediate family if they opt to continue his life support system. After much thought, they said no... 
but nobody among them could unhook him from the oxygen source.

Kuya Bobby expressed to God how financially drained the kids were... they've exhausted all their means for his treatment and rehabilitation. 
They've been suffering along with him for three years after his stroke.

He prayed for God's will and went home...

An hour later, Kuya Alex died....

I looked at my Kuya Alex' face and saw how serene he looked. I didn't ask God too many questions that night. We saw no signs of struggle...

Contrary to most funerals I've attended in my mission area where they hire 'crying ladies' to mourn for the dead, all we had those nights that we were there at my cousin's funeral were a series of reunions...

My cousins from the US and Canada came as well as those living in Baguio.

My nephews with Kuya Billy 30 July 2011


We celebrated Mass and prayed together.
Reminisced good times...shared stories and looked at old photos...







My mom and my aunts 30 July 2011


Present were three generations...
our parents'...


My cousins 31 July 2011




Ours and the next...




my nieces 31 July 2011



31st July 2011 marked the celebration of life and death in my family...

We enjoyed every moment spent together... 

I thank God for gifting us enough time to love the people around us ...



15 comments:

  1. Very warm, very emotional and very beautiful.
    Sorry for your families lost, it is so wonderful that you have so much love and support in your family!!


    http://jpweddingphotograpy.blogspot.com/2011/08/photographing-alaska-and-grizzlies.html

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  2. Oh Melissa, I cannot begin to describe how this post made me feel. First I was happy about the birthday celebrations and then the next moment a bucket of cold water hit me in the face. Celebrating life and death in one week. I am praying to God that I will never be in a situation where I have to choose between life and death. Oh Melissa....

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  3. JIM has written already the words that sprang to my mind Melissa.
    You are blessed to have such strong family ties, and even if some you only see at weddings, birthdays etc, they're always in your heart.

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  4. Very touching!! You can see how close your whole family is. That is beautiful!!!

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  5. You have a beautiful, close-knit family Melissa. I’m sorry for the loss of your dear cousin Alejandro. Life and death are inseparable. One minute you’re celebrating your Aunt Lucy’s birthday and the next mourning your cousin’s death. ~ Love and blessings

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  6. life and death are two extremities of life. as we celebrate life we also prepare to think of life beyond death. we believe in GOD and pray for forgiveness. we sing in birthdays and long for soul in sacredness. we all go through these two phases of life.

    i see your family is deeply knitted to their roots of togetherness in happy moments and in sadness. loved to see such bonding.

    i pray for Alejandro. may his soul rest in peace with all GOD's blessings and our prayers.

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  7. May his soul rest in peace.I feel so good to see the strong family values u have Melissa..and it shows the strength of your character..Life and death are two mysteries..Sometimes they take people, and they don't say why,
    sometimes people leave and they never say goodbye,
    sometimes there are no second chances to say I love you, sometimes there are no next times, sometimes you lose someone and you feel like your heart has followed them to heaven and sometimes there is just nothing you can do to make the tears stop.
    Take care

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  8. Death is only the beginning of another journey and not the end. I know everyone must be feeling the emptiness in their hearts after your cousin's departure from this earthy realm but I am also sure they bade him goodbye in peace and as you say he left in peace. The up side to this was that you met so many of your own. Love you soul sis

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  9. Melissa, I am sorry for your loss and pray that his soul rests in peace. Life is a journey and we all travel at his will. God bless...

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  11. You made me cry and smile simultaneously,Dear one. At one phase there was happiness all around, laughter,joy ,celebration but who knows the very next moment.As life is a beginning of journey ,Death is the end but not forever after that It germinates again a new life with new phases and everything!!
    Feeling very sorry...
    May his soul rests in peace.

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  12. What a beautiful, heart-touching post, Melissa. The thing that really shines through in your words and your photos is how much love there is within your beautiful family. What a true blessing that is!

    In saying farewell to your beloved cousin, you were also able to celebrate his life. The people we love are always in our hearts <3 ❤

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  13. I have such mixed emotions about this post. I am sorry for your loss but I can see that it came at a time where there was acceptance for him to be at peace.

    I am saddened because of losses I have had over the last few years and it reminded me of those but I am also smiling and feeling the love from your family, the unity of it all.

    It's a rare and wonderful thing you have there x

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  14. Large and loving families are a source of so much joy aren't they Melissa. Every occasion, even death is a time of laughter and sharing of memories...

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  15. One of my favourite quotes is "The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other". Mario Puzo. I am so sorry for your loss, but am so happy for you that the strength of your family comes togerther to celebrate a life departing on it's next journey.

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