I've heard this saying for so many times especially when a child dies before their parents. I've written about death in the past and reflected on it (see post here) and now I'm writing about it again because the recent death that I encountered was the death of one of closest friend's child.
The child somehow played a special role in my life as well. I was one of the secondary sponsors during my friend's wedding. I saw my friend pregnant with her (we renewed our PRC license then) but I already sensed that there was something wrong (my friend was already had edema). I was able to visit my friend when she gave birth to her firstborn (she was premature and was born at 1 kilogram only). The baby stayed for two more months in the hospital.
I was not able to go to the baptism because I was pregnant with Kib. I also missed the first birthday because my father was in the hospital during that time. I saw the kid during my son's first birthday celebration. I was at her 3rd birthday celebration and saw how 'likot' she can be on a walker (she still cannot walk properly then). I was updated with all of her developmental milestones. I was there during the planning of her 7th birthday. It was a joy for me to hear her say my name and say "I love you" to me and give me a hug. She's indeed special, an angel that brought joy to my friend's life.
|Kib and Alex' first picture together taken during Kib's first birthday celebration|
Her name is Alex. She's a special child with cerebral palsy and visual and hearing impairments. While she's special, she is not treated like she has an illness. She is treated like a normal child. Her parents are proud of her and gave her the best things in life. She was able to go to several places, eat at finest restaurants, have the best toys and books. Her parents didn't deprive her of the things a normal child can enjoy and experience.
|This is Alex, age 6|
December 12, 2016..a tragedy happened...Alex died on the eve of her 11th birthday. My friend and I prepared lootbags for her classmates in celebration of her 11th birthday. It's so painful to lose her on the eve of her birthday.
|Part of the lootbags to be given away for Alex' 11th birthday celebration at school|
It was a shock for everyone. After hearing the news, I cried at home. I calmed myself first before going to the funeral parlor to be with my friend. As soon as I saw my friend I gave her a hug and cried buckets again as she told me the story of what happened to the sudden death of Alex. I cried again when I saw my friend's husband arrive at the funeral parlor as they both look at the remains of Alex. I can feel the pain of the parents, losing their firstborn to an accident.
When I got home that night, I cried again. I so loved that child, that I treated her like my own daughter. We did a lot of bonding moments with my son. It's so painful to see her die at a young age.
I went back to the funeral parlor the next day and on the interment day. For three days I drove from Cainta to Novaliches for Alex. I sacrificed work hours for her. That's how special she is to me.
I was able to see resilience from my friend for the whole duration of the wake. She was still okay during the necrological mass and during the funeral march. She was still composed when the PVC cover was opened to put on some of Alex' favorite things at the cemetery. The grandparents were the ones who were crying the most then. But I saw my friend poured out her anguish and pain when the coffin is being lowered on the ground. I can feel her pain as a mother. I cried with my friend from a distance. I gave her the space she needed to hug her husband while Alex is being laid to her final resting place. She cried until all the tears from her eyes were gone. That's the first time I saw my friend's weak side.
That's it. We would no longer see Alex. So sad, so painful, gone too soon.
As of this writing, my friend and I chat on Facebook only for few minutes. We don't talk about Alex because I know it's very painful for her and for the whole family at the moment. I know that time will come that she will be ready to move forward and live a life without Alex.
Friend, I am always here for you. You can cry on my shoulders. I will also cry with you. You are always in my prayers.
|Love you friend :)|
For Alex, you will always be remembered. We love you so much. We know you're now in a happy place. Please look over your parents and younger sister. This song is for you my dear: