On Part 4 of my series of posts, which I’m re-blogging in memory of my aunt, Tita Lola, I recall her final moments before transitioning.
Tita Lola was helplessly fighting for her life. She was facing death. It was my first time — and so far, only time — that I witnessed someone facing death.
Tita Lola died in my arms, and it was another gift that she gave me — one last opportunity for me to care for her during her final moments and show my love for her and my appreciation and gratitude for the love that she has given me.
“Ang kapatid ko!!!! Hindi ko man lang napagsilbihan ang kapatid ko…… [My sister!!!! I wasn’t even able to be of service to my sister….]”
Those words were uttered by my mother as soon as Tita Lola had succumbed to the end of her earthly life.
Really, Ma? Hindi mo napagsilbihan? Eh bakit ako — at hindi ikaw — ang andito sa tabi niya?!?!? Bakit hindi ikaw ang humawak nitong trash can para tulungan si Tita Lola sa pagsuka niya? [Really, Ma? You weren’t able to be of service to her? Then, why is it me — and not you — who is here beside her?!?!? Why are you not the one holding out this trash can to help Tita Lola as she is throwing up?]
Oh, I wanted so much to blurt out those angry thoughts to my mother! But I didn’t. I did share them later with my sister and a cousin when I narrated Tita Lola’s final moments.
Tita Lola’s ‘untimely’ and unexpected demise — especially what caused it, and that is, Tita Lola’s extreme disappointment resulting from one of my mother’s twisted and cunning ways of getting back at her children — would also form part of my surmounting resentments towards my mother, who, even at the time of my aunt’s passing, displayed once more one of her unbelievable theatrics.
What’s happening? Why is this happening? Oh, God! What am I supposed to do? You’ll be ok. I think. I hope. I don’t know. Oh, God, no. Please. Don’t. Please, God…..
She’s lying down helplessly on the hospital ICU bed. I’m closely standing by her left side. Her palm firmly presses against mine. I watch her in such excruciating pain. She’s struggling so hard even for the most minuscule amount of air, in the hope, hers and mine, that it’ll somehow find its way into her stiffening body.
Her eyes are glaring. She’s forcefully shaking her head, desperately gasping for air. As her head turns to my direction, she gives me a pained stare. She stares at me, but she’s not seeing me. She’s seeing beyond me. Through me. Like I’m not there. The look of fear.
Her grip is getting tighter and tighter. As though she wants to grab…
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