After the Solemnities

March 17, 2024

The sky was a beautiful hue of blue that day, and the setting moon was still visible in the horizon. On this peaceful day, we laid to rest one of the most generous souls I know.

It's a very curious thing how certain experiences change our lives permanently. The world, as we see it, changes drastically before and after that event.

One of those events is experiencing death.

Witnessing death in the Harry Potter wizarding world results in one having the ability to see thestrals. It's a taboo, even in that magical world, and every witch and wizard that realizes that they can now see thestrals literally gains a different view of the world.

Being alive in this world for three decades now, I have been gaining this frame of mind that I am already familiar with how the world works. However, after this experience, I realized that I still have the emotional range of a teaspoon (quoting Hermione there *wink wink*). I have never really experienced the highest of high, (like falling deeply in love) and the lowest of low (like grieving for losing a close loved one) of the human emotion. Having had glimpses of these emotions made me guard myself more because I realized that these extremes in emotion would really hurl me out of control, and so I learned to tread along them very carefully.

In the emotional spectrum, the end became visible in my horizon. Experiencing a death close to our family tree just hits different. I was humbled to have experienced grief rooted from my personal memories of that person. My usual encounter with this feeling was second-hand only, driven by the emotions from other people. However, this time, I had ownership of that grief. It's my first time to experience grief on this level. I found myself crying in odd moments throughout the day. When specific memories come rushing in, I would find myself in tears. 

I had to drop everything and travel to the province. I was only there a few days, but I have never experienced a funeral like this before. Seeing that familiar sala area, now covered with flowers instead...  staying behind in the cemetery after the visitors have left... it was such a strange feeling to be in the midst of all of this. As I see familiar faces of my kin all emotional that day, I felt that energy pull towards each of them... that yup, these are my roots, and I'm part of this family.

It was an eye-opening experience for me, seeing the aftermath of the funeral. I have been to wakes and funerals of friends, and other relatives, but this was my first time to experience the energy after a funeral. Everyone around me had puffy eyes and that feeling of exhaustion. After all the busyness of the ceremonies, I felt that everyone was slowly returning back to their normal routines, as we face the reality that our beloved is already gone.

I realized that the process of accepting the loss happens after the burial. This is the moment when you try to go back to normal life but your heart is feeling that gaping hole of loss. I recognized that this is actually the most difficult part, returning back to "regular programming", but carrying this grief inside of you.

Through this experience, I got to see my dad in a different light. I have never seen him cry. However, that day, I heard his voice break in his eulogy. I saw him throw the first flower on the casket as it was lowered down the ground. I felt like time was in slow motion during that day. As I honored my ancestry that day, I felt some kind of comfort. I somehow felt less alone.

IU's song somehow became the song that encapsulated my emotions for this experience.

I'm also reading this book entitled Grief is Love by Marisa Renee Lee.

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