When my grandmother died 3 years ago, I wasn’t there. I was helpless. They knew I’d panic! I was at work when I received the call. They tried to send me messages, but I was so busy to check my cellphone at that time. They didn’t want to call me, coz they know I will get hysterical. But there’s no other way… It was my cousin… My cellphone was on silent, and they had to go through the operator. The operator got her connected to my extension….
Cousin : Nabasa mo na ba text messages namin sayo?
Me : (bigla akong kinabog) Hindi pa… bakit?
Cousin : Basahin mo muna… (alam ko di nya alam kung paano sasabihin sa telepono)
Me : …………………………………….. (wala na akong nasabi pagkatapos nun)
I kept the phone down. And cried…. My boss saw me. He asked me why? But I was speechless. No words were coming from my mouth. I suddenly thought of my promise. I could hardly breathe, my Filipina colleague decided to check my cellphone, there…. they came to know. Boss asked me if I want to go home and rest… I said no. I’d better stay and keep my mind occupied.
After a while, I called home. “She” wasn’t home still. I was decided to go “home”, but then I thought and do what? Grieve more? I had to be practical. There’s no one else to shoulder the expenses. And I didn’t want them to depend on the “abuloy”. Instead of going home and spend money for my ticket, I’ll just send it home… for “her”, for the last time.
When I look back… I always wish “not to receive such calls even text messages”. I always tell my family, if it’s not so important, don’t call me like something bad happened. It just leads me to paranoia that maybe somebody died again.
That’s why I always do the courtesy to call them. Unless it’s my birthday….