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
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
“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.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“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.”
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
“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.”
“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.”
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.”
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.”
“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.”
“‘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.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“For the Lord will not reject forever, For if He causes grief, Then He will have compassion According to His abundant loving kindness.”
“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.”