“Happy” Mother’s Day

At 4:30 p.m., carrying a rose and a candle, I went to her grave and greeted her a Happy Mother’s Day . . . even though I didn’t know if she heard it.

I looked at the sunset, hoping she was there with me, crying as I thought of it.

I could clearly remember the morning she went to my room and embraced me, and when I asked her why, she told me she just wanted to. Now I realized maybe she actually wanted to tell me she was afraid—of dying, of not seeing the sunset, of not being able to celebrate Mother’s Day, of not seeing us for another year. I was in denial that she was slowly dying, hoping that her god would play favorites and spare her life.

I long for her tinola and menudo, her voice, her touch, her eyes. I could still remember how she looked at me when I told her I was in pain of seeing her strength deteriorating slowly. It has been a month since she passed away, but the pain of her fate still lingers inside me . . .

Why is death—a very natural event, a fate we’ve known since—difficult to accept?

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