"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief... and unspeakable love.” - Washington Irving

Sunday, April 25, 2010

He Sends Us Rainbows

April 14, 2010, while discussing on how we should gradually move on in life, Jhon and I received a truly wonderful sign - better yet, a gift - from above... from our darling Marcus. During times when we feel extra down and low, he shows himself to us in the most magnificent way.

Right before our eyes just outside our window appeared the most beautiful rainbow. I have never seen such an extraordinary sight! The gift of a rainbow little Marcus gave us was so vivid and enormous that it did not look real. In my 35 years I honestly have never seen a rainbow so big, I had to move my head from side to side to appreciate its entirety. It literally covered the whole skies. The beautiful display was so overwhelming that we knew undoubtedly this gift materialized just for us. It was staring us in the face, we could almost touch it. Indeed the heavens opened up to us that day. Our baby Marcus visited us.

I hurriedly gave Jhon the camera and he lovingly took shots of the beautiful wonder right outside our balcony. Sadly, the camera could not do justice to the true beauty of this rainbow. The sheer size and surreal colors of it. We were in awe.

Truthfully, I barely saw any rainbows in my life. Looking back now, the last memory I have of a real rainbow was when I was small. The reason why I feel so blessed having been given this special gift by our little angel.

We are doing our best to move on. We cope the best way we can. And every step of the way, Marcus is there with us guiding us, lighting our way.

Since we are privileged with an unobstructed view of the Makati skyline, our darling baby boy found a way to communicate with us each day. Every day we see him in the skies, when the hue is baby blue and the clouds are shaped like cotton. Every morning when I open the curtains I see him, saying good morning. Every bright morning I hear him say to me, I love you Mama. And when the skies are gray, I feel he knows we miss him so.

We see Marcus in the skies. We see our son sleeping in the clouds, resting soundly with God.

And when we are down or in need of guidance he gives us the gift of a beautiful rainbow.

A few weeks ago, March 21, 2010, 4 days after his Send-off to Heaven, he gave us his first present, our first rainbow.

Ever so faintly, he said hello to us, telling us he is safe and happy in the arms of Jesus. As if he was responding to the loving gesture we gave him on his 40th day.

I felt he was agreeing with me too, because when this rainbow appeared before us I was discussing with Jhon how I plan to continue his memory. I believe that this whole experience we went through must have a bigger purpose from God, and we have to act on it. I told Jhon how I wanted to honor Marcus' short yet meaningful life. How we could help others who sadly go through what we went through. This topic I will elaborate at a later time, but I believe that when I had this epiphany, Marcus said "Yes Mama, please help others too, the parents and their babies."

I agree with what Jhon said about the Silver Cord. This invisible connection that binds the parent with their child even after death. One of our silver cords with Marcus are the skies. All we need to do is look out and look up, there he will be.

Sometimes when I feel resentful towards certain people and reminded with the dreaded situation where we were not given enough time and the chance to preserve our short and very precious moments with our son, I find solace in the fact that Marcus still blesses us with other forms of his memory. And every time he does, we make sure we capture every bit of it.

Thank you my baby for always watching over Mama and Papa. Thank you God for the gift of the skies.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Silver Cord

As I near the end of my book The Grieving Garden, I came across a section of the book which talks about "Continuing the connection." Here, parents discuss different ways wherein they continue to connect with their child.

I couldn't help but think to myself, "what a timely way to start reading that particular section." Just a couple of days ago, my son visited me in my dreams for the first time. He showed himself the age he would be right now, roughly two and half months. The dream went on like this:

Jet and I were laying down in bed, having just woken up. Marcus was brought in by his nanny and placed him sandwiched between Jet and I. He was smiling, moving about actively. His eyes gazed upon mine just like his Mama would. How handsome. Then I placed him on his Mama's chest where he would try and lift his head. I said to myself, "Wow you're so strong, at your age you're trying to lift your head already." I reached out for his tiny hands, where he clenched and held on to my finger with the tightest and strongest of grips. Marcus not only took on his Mama's good looks but her strength as well.

He was so happy, we were so happy. The dream was short but sweet. My son is doing great, he's happy, strong, and healthy. I couldn't ask for more. He reassured me that he never left us. His eyes told me that he's watching us all the time. That dream gave me the much needed comfort, especially from the deep grief I experienced the day before, where I just let go and cried because I missed him terribly.

I believe that the bond between my son and I will never be severed. I know he will always be there to remind me that he loves us and is guiding us always. We have an ongoing relationship, where the author's of The Grieving Garden described as an "etherial tie, that links parent to child in life and beyond death, the Silver Cord."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Cherished Pregnancy Weight

Tonight after dinner while waiting for the car to arrive, my niece Cielo went up to me and said with a smiling face, "You still look pregnant," pertaining to my still somewhat rounded belly.

I was not offended or hurt in any way. To be honest it was quite flattering to me. Weird? Masochistic? Not at all.

I love clinging to whatever memory, physical or otherwise, that reminds me of my Marcus. Because when I was pregnant, it was one of the happiest moments in my life. If still looking pregnant or remaining overweight for a while is something I have to live with to remember my baby, then so be it.

Most women after they give birth race to lose their baby weight... not me.

I embrace every bit of postpartum manifestation I'm experiencing. Sweating, skin breakouts/acne, mood swings... you name it I'm all for it. These things I am experiencing because I had Marcus. That to me is perfection.

The main reason why I still wear my maternity clothes. That time when I was carrying Marcus was genuine euphoria.

Interestingly enough, I am still recovering from my C-section and am not yet allowed to do strenuous activities. No exercise, no extreme dieting. It is as if my body is telling me not to rush into anything. My body, my own time.

I can assure however, that I have no plans of letting go of myself. I am just not built to be sloppy - not that I'm lousy-looking now. Two months after giving birth, I don't look half bad. In time I will lose the weight, I know that for a fact. For now, I am relishing the trail bits of my pregnancy. I will soak up every bit of my Marcus experience.

Inevitably my stomach will get smaller. My pre-maternity clothes are starting to fit. Though I'm not just about to wear my Spanx yet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Facing Another Day Without My Love

Today is my oldest sister, Ate Mache's birthday. It's her big 4-0, so we want to make sure we will be there for her birthday dinner tonight.

Jhon reminded me about tonight's event when we got up this morning. I honestly forgot about it. My initial thoughts when I wake up every morning is my love, Marcus. Today I woke up singing to the song Fly by Celine Dion in my head.

"Fly little wing..."
Before getting up I told Jhon how I missed our Marcus so very much. I imagined him laying in between us in bed. Or maybe sleeping soundly on his Papa Jhon's chest.

Jhon visualized us dressing him up nicely for tonight's dinner. "Imagine when we bring him in, the attention will veer away from the birthday girl and everybody will start crowding our baby boy," he said smiling, his eyes starting to tear.

It is still very hard for us to go on each day without our son. Yesterday, when Jhon proudly uttered how Marcus is undoubtedly my junior, I exhibited a wide and genuinely happy smile -- one that does not happen very often these days. I immediately responded, "Of course!"

For a split second, my mind thought that I was still pregnant and Marcus was still yet to be born. It was bliss.

My smile disappeared as fast as it came when reality struck.

Today is my sister's birthday. Jhon and I are again faced with another day where we need to put on a smiling face.

The bittersweet reality of celebrating another year of blessing of one's life while, at the same time, silently grieving the great loss of another.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Identity

"Identity: also called sameness, is whatever makes an entity definable and recognizable."
The sound of "Papa and Mama" brought immeasurable happiness to our hearts. Just the thought of our son calling us by such is incomparable to any other name that one could be identified.

It feels like just yesterday when I found out I was going to be a father. I still consider myself as one and I will always be, even though our Marcus could not be with us here on earth. There will always be an emptiness in my heart, and an eternal sadness that Jet and I would be carrying with us for the rest of lives.

How do people who do not know us nor who do not know our son Marcus identify us? It's been a little over two months and yet I'm still unsure of how to deal with people. As I read my book The Grieving Garden, I come to realize some issues that parents who lost their child have to deal with, these are the same issues Jet and I go through everyday.

The one that struck me the most is the fact that, we who have lost a child have no word in which to identify us. As one parent said,

"There is no word for a person who has lost a child. There should be, because I feel that in many ways it is the most central thing about who I am."

This is exactly how we feel. We are not the type to solicit pity or are in need of preferential treatment, but how do we tell people? If these people are going to be an integral part of our lives, then they deserve to know that we are parents who have a lost a child. I can lose my head pretty quickly if people have the inability to react, respond, or take in what it means to be a parent who is grieving the loss of child.

Why is it that there are no words to describe parents like us? One could be called a "widow or widower" if they lost their husband or wife. A child could be called an "orphan," after losing his or her parents. Does this mean our society does not put importance when it comes to this issue? I feel like like we are exposed and vulnerable every time we have to say "our son died." At the same time, I feel a protective instinct inside me not to expose my Marcus to those dreaded words.

It's very difficult to approach a friend or an acquaintance, and be confronted by the question "how are you guys?" It's hard enough to answer the question when a dear friend or family member asks, but it's even more difficult when I'm unsure if the person I'm facing knows our story. I often run this scenario in my head, and sad to say I have no answer. This is precisely why we choose to stay home, where we are protected and not have the need to divulge information.

We are fortunate still to be surrounded by family and friends who understand, but the fact remains, most people won't understand. Our lives will never be the same, but we can cling to the hope that one day we will see our Marcus in heaven. This is who Jet and I are now, we are parents and we are proud to be but we are also parents who lost our Baby Marcus, but we will forever be "Papa and Mama."

Friday, April 02, 2010


Sung by Celine Dion

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light