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Your goal-getter-girl who believes that compassion, empathy and kindness go a long way.

"Though you might be gone, and the world may not know Still I see you, Celestial" (Everglow, Coldplay)

Missing someone in heaven is a different kind of pain that you wish you wouldn't want to experience

"Though you might be gone, and the world may not know

Still I see you, Celestial" (Everglow, Coldplay)

I could relate to my favorite song from Coldplay. Death is inevitable. Missing someone in heaven is a different kind of pain that you wish you wouldn't want to experience. Losing a loved one through death is tragic. Losing loved ones through death at the early stages of life is tragic. Experiencing death in the family is devastating and numbing. I haven't even reached Twenty-five yet, but I've experienced four deaths in my immediate family and it changed everything for me and for everyone.

I was Five when both the first and second one happened. It was my mom and my brother. If I could explain what it felt back then, it was like playing with your friends and you've been told that you would not get to meet them anymore because of permanent relocation. For a child, it was really painful. I was five back then and I barely remember them now. I was Thirteen when the third one happened. It was my grandfather. His death had not been a surprise, we knew it was coming. He was under medications due to his illness and old age. It was painful to see my grandmother cry from time to time. I was Twenty when the most recent one happened. It was my grandmother. I was the last person she was with before she took her last and short breath. Her death was sudden and took us by default. I was a young adult and could fully grasp the harsh reality of life. The death of my grandmother changed everything for me and for everyone.

After a while, our quiet home just became more quiet. It was hard for us to witness and experience all these tragic deaths. It was hard for me to step up and be the next mother to my younger brother. I became a mother at Twenty to my younger brother. It was hard for my Father who experienced all these deaths. His wife died, his son died, his parents died. It was hard for my brother who wasn't able to meet his mother, who had a short connection with his twin brother, and lost the (grand)parents who raised him. These tragic deaths were the darkest days of our lives. Family holidays such as 'Mother's Day', 'Death Anniversaries', 'Birthdays', ‘Christmas’, and ‘New Years’ are difficult for us. We crave what a normal family has.

Here are a few things I do when I miss them.

1. I acknowledge my emotions and I let myself miss them. I sometimes cry my heart out when it gets really heavy. I talk to my loved ones who share the same grief. I miss them but I know they are proud of me from heaven.

2. I relived moments with them

The present me would not be the same if it weren't for them. I may not see them in the physical sense, but they will always be a part of me. I try to recall and relived my moments with them. I remember my mother would ask me to stop playing and should start fixing myself as she used to bring me to her hometown in Marikina. I remember my baby brother who used to be so tiny and looked unhealthy compared to the other twin. He had a brave heart and fought for three months. He died as an angel knowing he was loved by his family. I remember how my grandparents raised us. They were caring, loving and thoughtful. They would prepare our lunch and bring it to school. I know they loved me and my brother so much in this lifetime. I may remember fragments of them, but I treasure those precious memories I had with them.

3. I accept that they are gone, for good

I had accepted the fact that they're gone for good, and I cannot control and change death. I may not understand why it happened or why God allowed it to happen, but one thing is for sure, they are in a better place and cheering for us from heaven.

It's been years since those deaths happened. Yes, those deaths were unimaginable and painful, but I've learned and I've grown from those painful experiences. I turned those pains into power. It made me strong, it made me the person I am today. I became better so they can be proud from heaven, and I know they are proud of me from heaven. This is a story of death and life. Death happens and life also happens. Life goes on, and so must I.

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