last sunday i attended the funeral of my uncle, my mom's kuya. i had gone to the wake a couple of days earlier, being the lone baguio representative. my parents arrived for the burial.
i am close to my uncle's family. they're a big bunch, like us. but they're all married. the age of the kids range from 0 to 25(?) years. everybody loves to eat. and tell stories while they're at it. and they have always made me feel welcome.
i felt their loss. it was the usual rowdy crowd but i could feel it drifting in the background. i could sense it in the tiny silences that invaded the noise every once in a while. i could see it in each and every person passing by the casket who raised a hand to touch the surface. i could feel it in their hugs and kisses.
but i held my tears in check. and mingled as well as i could.
during the funeral the entire family was gathered around the casket saying their goodbyes. i stood and watched them sprinkle holy water. and i stood and watched as my aunt wiped the surface, watched her stand on tiptoe to kiss it, and watched her just slump over the glass in silent tears.
that did me in. last year they had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. now here she was saying goodbye. my tears finally gave way.
thoughts kept zipping in and out of my head. i could only imagine how she must feel, losing her constant companion of 50 years. yet i felt a certain envy. they had loved for 50 years and it still wasn't enough. my thoughts inevitably turned to my parents, who have been together for 46 years. to my sister, who was steady with her boyfriend for 17 years before they even got married. to me.
i stood there watching my aunt mourn the loss of her husband. i kept thinking i want that kind of love. she bravely faced all of us, said farewells, and moved on. i want that kind of strength.
i mourned the loss of my uncle, and mourned for those he left behind.
i left feeling melancholy. and awfully lonely. i think somehow, in a small way, i mourned for me.