When people start disappearing little by little from the dining table, when you no longer hear their voices on the other end of the line, when their names no longer flash on your phone … It’s kind of surreal. It’s a kind of reality you wouldn’t really want to live in. It’s a truth you will never really accept.

As I sit quietly on the bed, in the dark, with Christmas less than 2 months away, I always go back days when I’d open my eyes and hear everyone else busy with preparations. You didn’t have to hear our excitement – it was in the air. I would go downstairs and see them all there. My Papa Loy, my Mama Felly, my Tito Panks, and my Mom.

If I only knew, that by 2015 they would be gone, I wish I clung to them longer – that particular Christmas my memory is so fond of, and the many Christmases I was blessed to spend with them afterwards.

FAMILY1

Me and Ma during one of my favorite New Years’

 

There are certain realities you try to escape. But, as I once said, you can only run away from them for so long. Losing the family you are closest to wounds you like nothing else. What you have to accept is, that you will never really recover from it.

 Me and my Cousin Chie, who I basically grew up with. We're not just Cousins. We're basically Sisters.

Me and my Cousin Chie, who I basically grew up with. We’re not just Cousins. We’re basically Sisters.

 

 Mama Felly always made us matching clothes for Christmases and New Years'. We were always TWINNING. Always.

Mama Felly always made us matching clothes for Christmases and New Years’. We were always TWINNING. Always.

 

You could never heal from missing the way they feel, smell, talk … You will never get past that.
You may not always get along, but no one will love you like your family does. Tell them how much you love them. Tell them for people like me who’s lost so much.

There’s something about the Holidays that makes these losses tougher on the ones left behind. And I’m surely not the only one.

 

 Months after this, Mama Felly passed away. Two months after that, Tito Panks followed.

Months after this, Mama Felly passed away. Two months after that, Tito Panks followed.

 

Life is short. Someday there will be more empty chairs, lesser incoming calls, lesser people to greet. I hope that sinks in, not to depress us – but to make us take it all in : seeing them right before our eyes, memorizing their voices, feeling the creases on their hands, locking yourself in their embrace for as long as you can.