Sometimes it’s amazing how experiences make you learn the lessons you never even thought of before. Sometimes it’s funny how something big has to happen, such as a loss, before you truly appreciate the things that you have always taken for granted. Sometimes you only see what’s in front of you when it hits you right in the face.
My father passed away just a few weeks ago. It was very unexpected, and as you will read in my previous article My Written Eulogy, I gave details of how I felt inside – all the mixed emotions, all the thoughts, and all the regrets. It really gave me quite a shock, but at the same time, the shock made me realize an important thing which I will try to discuss through the length of this article.
There’s a Filipino proverb that says “Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?” Literally it translates to “What do you need the grass for if the horse is dead?” You never really know what you got until it’s gone. If you love someone, you make them feel it while they are with you, not when they’re out of your life.
Like I once said, my father can be a stubborn, noisy, and irritating guy. But now that he’s gone, I miss everything about him. I miss him terribly that the memories of him kill me inside. Though I can say without a doubt that I made it so that my father knew that I loved him everyday, I also let him feel whenever I’m mad at him. Sadly I let him feel I was mad at him the last few hours of his life…
Sure, I had a lot of regrets. I had a lot of things I wish I could have done, but the fact remains that he’s gone for good, and no matter what I do it will never be able to reach him. So, I modified the proverb a bit, adding the following clause: “If the horse is dead, let the cows and sheep have the grass!”
What I’m trying to say is that I could mourn and wallow in sadness and regret every single day, but what good would it do to anyone? He’s not the only precious person in my life. I have my mother whom I have ignored for so long. I have relatives and friends who are dear to me. I also have my own life that I have to live. It’s not the end of everything, and there are things which I can still do right.
Yes, I’m cutting my losses and focusing my attention and energy to the things I can do something about. I can no longer make my father feel my love, but I have so many other people that I care about, and I will do my best to make all those people feel that I truly care about them.
I guess that’s one thing that we humans always forget. Sometimes, when we experience a loss or a failure we tend to dwell too much on it, failing to realize that we still have so much left on us if we only try to look around. Experiencing the pain of a loss or failure is not an excuse to stop trying and to stop caring. We must keep pushing forward to improve and be the best we can be.
Thank you papa for teaching me this important lesson.
In honor or Raul Fernando. My beloved father.
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