Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grief, Greed, and Giving

Pain. I don't like pain. Who does anyway? If I can escape pain in any way possible, I would.

But as much as we try to avoid it, we actually need pain. Pain prevents us from spiritual hypothermia, that which makes us like zombies with no dream, no life, and no direction.

At one point in my life, I think God has thought I was suffering from spiritual hypothermia that He needed to do something major major to wake me up and shake me off my being a zombie.

It was the morning of December 10, 2007. I can still remember vividly the sight of my Tita Lyn lying on the road with her lower extremities smashed into bits. (Morbid as it may seem, but that was exactly how she looked.) She was crossing the street that morning, on her way to work, when a rushing bus counterflowed and hit her. She struggled for her life, but as the witnesses had accounted, the bus driver continued to go back and forth her already crushed body, causing her immediate death.

Tita Lyn and I lived in the same house and shared the same room for 13 years. She was practically the sibling I never had. She was more like my older sister and was my super best friend. She was my constant kakampi and ka-inuman. I was even closer to her than to my mom.

So seeing her die, and in a very devastating way at that, really crushed and destroyed the life in me. When she was still alive, we agreed that we'd grow old together since we were both okay being single and, at that time, really had no plans of marrying. I was ok. I was satisfied. But when she died, she took with her not only that plan but also our travel dreams, our Sunday movie dates, and our buy-one/get-one (she does the buying, and I do the taking) shopping sprees. She left me behind. She left me alone.

I was the worst person after her death. I didn't know such kind of pain existed. And I didn't know I was going to experience it. This pain went on for a year or so. I wore black to signify my GRIEF. I didn't attend Mass. I didn't pray. I was angry at God for taking away Tita Lyn, my security blanket. I was angry that I was left behind with unfulfilled dreams, ended habits, and no one to grow old with. I was just angry and in pain.

During the wake, my inang (grandmother), who was a devout Catholic, said that, yes, she was mourning but she had no anger in her. She readily forgave the bus driver and remained faithful to God. She believed that Tita Lyn was, first and foremost, God's child and not hers alone. My Tita was only lent to her by God to take care of and to love, and at that time, God wanted Tita Lyn back because it was His turn to take care of His child. It was very hard for me to accept that. I wanted Tita for myself. I wanted my older sister back. I don't want to be left alone. It was GREED that overpowered me. And because of that greed, I remained the angry person I was long after she died.

In March 2009, I attended a crossroads retreat. During the retreat, the most explicit message from God came to me in the form of the priest's homily. The priest told the crowd that he had just gone from a tragic vehicular accident, but forgiveness abounded the moment. There, I claimed that it was God's way of telling me not to be enslaved by grief and greed anymore but to let go and move on. It was time to let go of my Tita and of the secure future that we planned together. It was time to finally GIVE her to God and to empty my hands of my security blanket. It was time to GIVE God those unfulfilled dreams and plans that I kept holding onto so He can give me new dreams and plans. It was so painful to finally GIVE her to God because that meant that I have to start anew. But God still saw me through the new life He wanted for me.

Soon after, I started to open myself to other people. I joined different groups and made new friends. I began going to church again. Yes, there was still a little pain, and my eyes would still well up when memories of her suddenly some rushing in. But I realized that I had nowhere to go but to God. Running away from Him was no use because He will just continue to embrace me. Why then should I continue to run away?

Grief, greed, and giving - all these caused me so much pain with Tita Lyn's death, but the pain just woke me up to realize that I can still have my own dreams and my own plans. I can have my own path to follow and my own life to live. And though the future is not crystal clear, no need to worry because God has that covered.

*Grief, greed, and giving are the sources of inner pain, as talked about by Bro. Arun during the FEAST ALABANG last Sunday. FEAST ALABANG (formerly called the SOUTH FEAST) is a weekly gathering of the Light of Jesus Community (LOJ). It happens every Sunday at the Feast Alabang Center, 2nd floor Festival Mall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, at 11am and at 3pm. It is led by Feast Builder/Main Preacher Arun Gogna. LOJ is a Catholic charismatic community led by Bo Sanchez.

Photo source:

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment