Back After Almost A Year

And so I am back….after almost a year.

What happened? A lot.

2018 was a real game-changer for me, including my personal and professional life.

I started 2018 mourning, for my maternal grandmother and as a make-up instructor in a school, I have loved so much.

Little did I know that these two incidents were just a start of a year in grief.

For those who have lost a loved one, they say it is never easy. And it’s true.

Coming home suddenly feels different, it almost feels like a different house. And yet, everything seems so familiar, but something is missing and I can’t quite put a finger in it. And then it hits me, SOMEONE is missing.

I can only try to describe it, but it is just beyond words. And then, there is grieving for a career linked to my passion. I didn’t only say goodbye to the work, but also to my passion for make-up and to the people I worked with.

In my own little way, I set them aside. Ignoring and denying the feelings brought by them. I focused on my present and future. I decided to heal with my family over the loss and continued to honor the memory of my grandmother.

Meanwhile, I enjoyed my “vacation” and went to search for who I wanted to be in the next chapter of my life. I went to the beach with a friend to forget the heartaches and heartbreaks that came from losing colleagues and an ex-lover.

My trip to Calaguas Island with my good friend, Jane

For a time, it worked. I bounced back and got a new job by June 2018, in an industry I have always wanted to be in.

But of course, life isn’t always smooth sailing and I found myself right in the middle of another plot twist.

On the first week of my new job as an Account Manager for a PR company, my father got seriously sick.

It started one night when my mom noticed a slurring of his speech. She was alarmed and decided to rush him to the ER. He seemed fine since he just walked into the ER without assistance and his mind continued to be sharp.

Just to be sure, doctors ordered for a CT scan. After we received confirmation of a stroke, it was advised that he stays in a special unit for those who recently suffered a stroke. This happened on the eve of his 74th birthday.

Honestly, I was relieved we were able to bring him to the hospital as soon as we could. I am thankful that despite the circumstance, he was still ok. Little did I know, this would be the first night of many nights in the hospital and my father being confined in a hospital bed.

A couple of days have passed, with tests being administered to find out what happened to my father as doctors are suspicious to the primary cause of his embolic stroke. (According to healthline.com, embolic stroke occurs when a blood clot that forms elsewhere in the body breaks loose and travels to the brain via the bloodstream.)

And then they told me the diagnosis, pancreatic cancer. As soon as I heard this, I felt the floor which I am standing on, slowly crumbling. I didn’t know what to do. I called my sister, who was then living in New Zealand. Our doctor talked to her and insisted she comes home as soon as possible, as we may need to make certain decisions as a family. The prognosis wasn’t looking too good.

My father and I, taken eight days of being in the hospital. He was still in good spirits and optimistic that he would go home soon.

But after a couple of days, my father suffered another stroke. This was the second out of a total of four. By the fourth stroke, his speech and comprehension have been affected, and he could no longer stand or sit up on his own. His swallowing also suffered and an NGT (nasogastric tube) had to be inserted to make sure he was getting proper nutrition.

In all of these, we hid his real illness from him. A decision I later on regret.

He stayed for a month in the hospital and we were able to bring him home for another month.

The second week of August came and we had to bring him again to the hospital. This time, with the push of my friends, I spoke to him and told him his real condition. He was unconscious at the time but I knew he could hear me. Five days after, I saw him take his last breath.

Holding on, never thought I had to let him go.

This is the most painful thing I had to endure. And I continue to grieve up to this date.

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