Mom + Husband + 3 boys

We Grieve Because We Love: Losing a Loved One While Living Abroad

Death may steal the life of our loved ones, but not their memories. We grieve because we love. This is the story of my mom’s sudden death 3 years ago. And honestly, it still hurts.

We just arrived home from a lakeside picnic. I was 5 months pregnant. I remembered Mighty, my husband, uttered just 3 words that made my eyes well with tears. He said, “Hon, si mommy.” (Hon, it’s mom!)

With a serious tone and straight-face I knew something was not going right. Trembling, I asked, “Patay na si mommy?” (Is mom dead?).

It Was A Sudden Death

(These stories were based on previous conversations with my mom and family in the Philippines.)

I knew mom was not feeling well a few weeks before her death. But there was no serious condition that we’re aware of. She was complaining of frequent dizziness and fatigue.

We would always ask her to go to the doctor to be checked. But she just shrugged it off.

Until one day, when she finally had the courage to get a doctor’s appointment, the recommendation was to confine her in a hospital because she might get a heart attack any moment.

Little did we know, her frequent dizziness was a symptom of heart failure. Her heart rate was too high and she’s catching her breath. She needed a heart operation immediately.

Because the hospital was at full capacity, she was sent home with medications to stabilize her heart rate until she can be scheduled for operation.

After two days of waiting, the hospital called. No time wasted, she packed her hospital bag and checked-in with my brother for the whole night. She was going to undergo coronary angioplasty in the morning.

She did not see the morning light.

I Couldn’t Go Home

Five months pregnant, I had weekly doctor visits for my medication. I was not able to go home to the Philippines.

The pain of losing a mom is unbearable. But it hurts more when you can’t see her for the last time, or at least visit her final resting place.

I grieved in silence.  Watching from afar.  I’ve never felt that level of loneliness since my father died.

All I knew was it hurt.  It hurt so bad.

Living overseas has its share of joys and pains.  And this was one of the pains I had to deal with, my absence during a difficult family time. Sending money alone would not lessen the burden, I wanted to be there but I can’t.

We Grieve Because We Love

Three years after my mom’s death, I still grieve.  Why?  I  grieve because I love.  I may not have bid mom my final goodbye and “I love you” in person, but nothing can take the love away.

Yes I feel guilty for not going home.  And I couldn’t imagine home without her. Every corner of our house will remind me of her presence.  That’s how I miss her terribly.

When I dream of my mom, she seems so real, so alive. And when I wake-up, I will stare at the ceiling, praying I can still see her for a minute. I want to bid farewell, hug her for the last time.

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Famous We Grieve Because We Love Quotes 

Comforting Scriptures on Dealing With Grief

Psalm 73:26

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 23:4

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

Matthew 5:4

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

John 16:22

“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

Luke 6:21

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

John 14:1-4

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”

2 Corinthians 5:8

We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

Romans 14:8

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

Psalms 62:1

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”

Hosea 13:14

“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.”

John 11:25-26

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

Revelation 21:4

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Lamentations 3:31-32

For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant loving kindness.”

Corinthians 5:1

“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

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16 thoughts on “We Grieve Because We Love: Losing a Loved One While Living Abroad

  1. Your story just brought tears to my eyes. It reminds me a lot about the pain I have had since I lost my mom. Thanks for sharing

  2. I’m really sorry for your loss! I understand your pain… My best friend lost her mother from covid 15 days ago and she couldn’t be in her funeral because she lives in an other country and every doctor she asked advised her not to cancel her vaccination in order to travel… Actually, she couldn’t talk to her on the phone for a couple of days, she couldn’t be with her, she couldn’t hold her hand and in the end she couldn’t be at her funeral either… That’s something that makes the pain huge… Be strong for your family, which is something i wish you do…

  3. I am so sorry for your loss! I know exactly what you went through. I lost my father (a completely unexpected death) almost 5 years ago and it still hurts. I hope you’ll feel better soon❤

  4. I feel so sorry for your loss. I know it’s hard, and it’s not easy to overcome this kind of grief. But I know one day your broken heart will heal and you will genuinely smile again while reminiscing her face and her love for you.

  5. Thank you for sharing! This year has been tough for me and husband as we lost loved ones back home while abroad and it’s a grieving process indeed!

  6. Thanks for sharing. I lost my grandmother in February, unexpectedly and grief is hard. It’s so hard to face it and it’s so hard to live with it. We grieve because we love!

  7. I am so sorry for your loss, and the difficulties you faced in not being able to travel. I lost my mom before I had kids and it was a really tough time. She sounds like she was a wonderful person, and it is great that you had a good relationship with her.

  8. I am truly sorry and can’t imagine how painful this can be for you. I know grief is hard, but with time, you will find some peace. Sending prayers your way!

  9. your post teared me up as this is exactly how I feel still about my dad’s loss over three years ago. While I was there for the final rites and support my mom and brother, I still miss him each day

  10. I am sorry for your loss, Charina. I know how painful and hard that is for you. Praying for your mom and May you find comfort in God’s loving embrace in this trying times.

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