to the trials we meet
for with every pain,
With every doubt,
our faith intensifies.
With every temptation,
our resolve strengthens.
With every acknowledgment
of our weakness,
God lifts us up.
I did not ask for you in my life but I was glad you did come to take part in it. For the first time, I was happy. Really happy. And I knew you were too.
Then you got sick. And that’s when our nightmare began.
“Why did it have to be you of all people?” I kept asking God this question. I had no answer. Yet.
At the back of my mind, I knew no one deserved any sickness but I couldn’t help but feel that it shouldn’t be you. You were too young. Too good a person. You had a whole lifetime ahead of you. Why then should it be mercilessly cut short? Why couldn’t the sick be a criminal? Or the one contemplating suicide? Why take away life from someone who wanted to live it to the fullest, to make the most of it?
I wouldn’t glorify myself by saying I accepted your fate (?) with an open, gracious heart. I did not. I fought it. Hated it. Hated you. Well, at least the part of you who firmly believed that it happened to you for a reason. What could that reason be? To make you suffer? And for what? To torture me?
I hated God. I hated Him for giving you to me only to take you away too soon.
For the longest time, I was wallowing in feelings of bitterness. I was mad. At whatever or whoever really, I couldn’t figure out. Maybe I was mad at the whole world. And at you for being steadfast in your faith. Couldn’t you or your faith nurse you back to health? I was mad at myself. For being unreasonable. I knew that when I would think things over, really think things over, I’d become more understanding. But I was too mad and hurt to think, to let God soothe me. I was specifically mad at Him. His reason for letting you get sick eluded me.
All my pain, my anger, compounded when we lost our battle for your life. Too mad and in too much pain, I withdraw deeper into myself, further nursing my anger, my hurts. Gradually spiraling towards feelings of despair, I stopped believing in anything good.
But something you used to say came back to me. “If there is anything I couldn’t let myself lose, it is my hope.”
Then I remembered. And I couldn’t help but smile as I was reminded of your zest for life, of your boundless energy that was fiercer than ever even when your health was failing.
You were never afraid of death, were you? You lived your life courageously that rather than death claiming you, you embraced it, as calmly as you have embraced life and lived it to the fullest.
While I lived mine in waste.
I couldn’t go back, I knew. But I knew too that I could change my view of things. That even when I still mourned your loss, I could bear it not with anger or despair but with hope.
I still couldn’t understand the reason why you were taken from me too soon. Maybe it was to teach me to be in control of my attitude towards circumstances that were beyond my control. Or maybe it was to teach me something about faith, to bring me closer to God and let me improve my personal relationship with Him. Or maybe it was about teaching me how to truly love someone but to love him in a greater way by letting him go.
Or maybe I just shouldn’t think about the why.
“Let it go,” you said in your deathbed. Then, I didn’t know what you meant. I even thought that the pain might be taking its toll on you that instead of using the personal pronoun “me,” you used “it.”
But now I knew better. For it wasn’t just you that I had to let go of but also those burdensome feelings of anger and placing blame on whomever I could conveniently put the blame on. It might even mean letting go of my quest for the why that I so desperately sought.
Letting go had never been so sweet.
I would always remember you, you knew that, didn’t you? And whenever I would, I knew it would not be just with love but with hope as well.