“Test of faith…manifestation of great love…life’s irony…my realizations as we undergo this trial. Just sharing.”
I sent this message to a friend at exactly 3:02 pm, November 16 of last year the day my sister-in-law, Sheila May Samson-Mediavillo, suffered from a cardiac arrest and was declared clinically dead. This message has stayed in my phone ever since.
One year. So fast…
Today, we gathered to commemorate the first death anniversary of Joseph’s beloved wife.
Have we all moved on? Has my brother moved on?
As I looked at the faces of She’s own family, siblings, and close friends, I could not be so sure what they were undergoing. We can always wear a facade making it impossible for someone to know what we truly feel.
Smiles, giggles, laughter, guffaw…the invitees exchanged these before and after saying the rosary and offering prayers for the eternal repose of She’s soul. So private that despite the unavailability of a priest to say the mass at three o’ clock this afternoon, we expressed our love to She by simply being there.
My family, sister Nano, and three nieces were joined by Nonoy (Joseph’s nickname in the family) at the table during the early dinner. I waited if my sister would start a conversation about Sheila. She didn’t. I also did not dare.
What question does a sister ask to a brother whom I am sure has continued longing for his wife’s embrace, his wife’s kisses, and his wife’s endearments?
I have no idea.
That fatal day when I rushed to the emergency room of the University of Perpetual Help Hospital, I could only offer my shoulders to Joseph to cry on. He became so powerless seeing someone so alive in the morning and later on be lying on her deathbed. Everything was so sudden…he was not ready to see her go.
“She’s my life. I do not know what to do without her…” dialogs which I thought could only be heard in movies and soap operas. I cried as my brother cried. It crushed my heart seeing my brother be in so much pain, yet I could not do anything to ease his own suffering.
Each day, as She was in the ICU, we continued hanging on. We all prayed for miracles. None came. The more it tested our faith. We know, the Lord has always His reasons for everything.
As I looked back to those trying times, I could not help but be emotional. This is my part which I hate, but this is always a good reminder for me that I am still existing and susceptible to human frailties.
I miss She, but it’s nothing compared to how my brother and their daughter feel. Her living us left a void in each one of us, but I know she didn’t like us to feel this way. Being a fun-loving person, She would want us to continue whatever we have been doing and enjoy LIFE.
These are my thoughts tonight.
And as I end this article, I silently offer a prayer not only for She but for all of us who were touched and taught how to love unconditionally by her.