It’s 1:27 a.m and i’m sitting here with my coffee, literally on the verge of crying because I cannot comprehend how outrageous this week has been.
I want to laugh and cry at the same time, scream to the universe “WHY?”– but nothing comes out except for a dry heave and a heavy feeling in my heart. I’m not sure how to act, what to feel. I don’t know what’s appropriate.
Just three days ago, I got to sit on the same couch and interview Anne Curtis, one of the most prominent (if not currently the most prominent) celebrity in the Philippines. I was on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it. I told myself i’d cherish this victory.
Then yesterday happened. It was just another day until I got the text from my mom that my grandmother had passed away. My initial reaction was completely blasé, indifferent, even. But within just a few minutes of truly internalizing that reality, the walls crumbled. I cried so hard, I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t care that I was in public. I didn’t care that I had to grab my things from work and go.
I drove to my favourite spot and sat in the stone cold silence, feeling the wind on my skin. I closed my eyes and felt at that moment that my grandma was now infinite; she was in the air that I was breathing. She’ll forever be with me.
I sent my soliloquy off to the Heavens. I spoke to her while sitting under the tree. I told her I loved her and I recounted my first memories of her. I thanked her. I spoke of our time together, and finally, I said goodbye.
I showed up to work today feeling a lot better. I felt stronger, calmer. Then the clock striked twelve and I fell apart again, knowing full well that around this time yesterday, someone I loved so much had left this world forever.
I only cried for a few minutes before regaining my composure and getting back to work. My work schedule has been nothing but catastrophic. My day job is busy; My freelance job and volunteer commitments are just as busy. I’d gone for 3 days with just 11 hours of sleep the past week, but the truth is that my mental and physical exhaustion cannot compare to the emotional weight of knowing that i’ll never get to see her again.
You see, she was one of the biggest reasons why I would gladly show up to work with just a few hours of sleep. She was, and is, my biggest inspiration.
Something about seeing my grandma malnourished and lying weak in bed on August 2018 stirred something in me. This woman, my hero, was wilting away and lying on her deathbed. This woman who had brought so much life into our family gatherings was lying there, helpless.
I made a promise to myself that her hard work wouldn’t be wasted– I was going to carry on her legacy. I came back from the Philippines with a desperate hunger to prove myself and to live fiercely on her behalf, and that’s when miracles started happening. I found the courage to ask if I could do my first celebrity interview and even though it wasn’t guaranteed, I talked my way backstage until I got to do the interview.
It took seeing my grandma on her deathbed to realize that I had to grab life by the horns, because even the brightest stars will eventually dim.
And so I kept on pushing. I was jobless and broke, but I kept networking until I found another opportunity to prove myself– this time to handle a project with a team of seven people. I’d never been a leader before, but I remembered how my grandma would command attention and I reminded myself that her blood was coursing through my veins, so I led fearlessly.
I kept pushing. I went to public speaking workshops, I paid off $10,000 of debt in two months, I got featured in a Narcity blog post (lol), and I even kept getting approached with job offers. It’s amazing how the little spark of encouragement she’d planted in me throughout the years had turned into a full-fledged fire.
You were proud of me even before I achieved anything. You loved me unequivocally. You believed in me, told me I was capable, and now i’m flying. I finally have the courage to soar and I have you to thank for it, Nay.
This week I reached the first biggest milestone of my writing career, but this week, I had to say goodbye to you.
Maybe, just maybe, we both stood at the peak together. I reached my little peak on Earth as your soul reached the peak of your body, on its way to Heaven.