“Every night, I laid awake with your memories flooding through my eyes with the hope to be with you when sleep arrived.”
― Anmol Rawat, A Little Chorus of Love
Twice a year, The Ruth Foundation invites the relatives of hospice patients who have recently passed away (usually within the last 6 months or so) to share their experiences and feeling about losing a loved one. Called “BalikTanaw”, the activity aims to allow surviving relatives to look back and reminisce about those trying times in their lives, and how they have managed to overcome trials and difficulties. The memories are not always negative though – sometimes, there are reasons to celebrate the life of a person who has brought so much joy in this world. These are the lessons that make one’s existence colorful, dramatic, and unique.
Pain and sorrow enable us to realize what is joy and happiness. Life is full of contrasts – duality exists for us to appreciate light in the dark, or a chirp in the silence, or beauty in the face of monstrousness. After passing through horrible moments, one way of cleansing the soul is to rinse it of its hurts and scars through communication. This would allow others to also be thankful for what they have, knowing that there are blessings within us that we have been too blind to see.
Realization opens people up to the meaning of existence. The horrors of facing death become badges of wisdom and courage that can be utilized in the future. It is when a loved one passes away that we become more introspective; we also get to see the big picture. As most sharers point out, when there is nothing to hold on to, you hold on to God, who takes care of everything. Trials will pass, and storms will die a natural death.
In order to accept the new life after someone goes away, one has to prepare spiritually. This could be the positive thing that losing a loved one does. Coming face to face with mortality, one becomes more philosophical. The haze goes away. Things get cleared up, and past sins are forgiven. It is an opportunity for a fresh start – a clean slate.
We at The Ruth Foundation are very thankful for the opportunity to serve and touch lives. Our journey does not end when someone passes away. We continue to move forward – armed with the lessons and memories of those who have allowed us to care for them. We may have lost some – but we gain some more. And that gives us happiness beyond what the eyes can see.