Iza Calzado: Coping with the loss of parents

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

They say that when you lose a loved one, you never get over it, so you just have to learn to live with it no matter how the pain and the longing grow more intense every passing day.

This Lenten Season is the best time for those in that situation to reflect on those who have gone ahead. Funfare interviewed two of them. One is Iza Calzado who has lost both parents, Lito Calzado and Maria Antonia “Mary Ann” Ussher. (Tomorrow: Ali Sotto who lost her son Mico in a tragic incident.)

How did you cope with the loss of, first, your mom and then your father, both to cancer?

“I lost my mom when I was 19 and I think I only survived it because of my dad, family, friends and God. I was also extremely lucky to have been blessed with so many new opportunities (I got my first Pantene ad just a month after her death, which I always considered as her way of guiding me from above) that kept me going and hopeful for better days.

“My father passed away when I was 29 and same as before, it is through the love and support of family and friends that I coped with it. Creating a new work environment also somehow made things better for me. Again I felt I was blessed with so many things to look forward to and that always makes it a bit easier.

“For both losses, the best way to deal with it is to let myself feel the pain when it’s there. I cry so hard when it hurts but I always remind myself that life goes on and I have to keep my head up.”

Is there any difference in the manner you grieve for them?

“I’m not quite sure but since they happened at different phases/stages in my life, I’d say there was probably a bit of difference. I had also gone through so many losses after my mom (I lost two stepmothers in-between) that when my dad died it was something like deja vu already but since it was the first time I lost a father the pain was of a new kind. Also because my dad was with me longer and we went through more things in life and I’m really a daddy’s girl, the impact was different. I’m pretty sure I cried hard and still cry hard sometimes from their passing.” 

What is it that you miss most about them?

“I miss my mom’s candor, her crazy antics and even her mood swings! I miss my Dad’s hugs, smile, stage-father ways (hehehehe!) and even our arguments. I think when you lose someone you miss everything about them, even the things you disliked about them!” 

Did their passing change the way you look at life? 

“My mom’s passing was definitely the game changer for me. Like I said, it was a big wake-up call. My life was pretty much a mess before I lost my mom. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from that messed-up, lost girl. Dad’s death also taught me some valuable lessons on how to live life and face the challenges that come my way.”

What souvenirs/mementoes about them do you treasure? What about their personal belongings? How soon did you give them away, if ever you did, and to whom?

“Their pictures are my favorite souvenirs. My mom had a few personal belongings that are still with me. I gave them away a little over a year after she passed on. My Dad’s stuff I can’t go through yet but I know I have to do it soon.” 

Anything (maybe small things) that remind you of them?

“This list will be endless. A lot of things remind me of them.”

What is the best lesson that your parents left you and that continues to guide you?

“From my mom, probably to make something of myself. My Dad’s best lesson for me was to face life with a positive attitude and to always follow my heart.” 

If you were face-to-face with them now, what’s the first thing that you would do or tell them?

“If I were given an opportunity to see my parents now, I would just hug them both so tight and cry like a baby and say thank you because even in their death, I could still sense their guidance and love.” 

What’s up?

â–ª Teen Saint Pedro The Musical, with Makisig Morales as St. Pedro Calungsod, will have a special Lenten performance tomorrow, March 27, at the Music Museum in Greenhills, San Juan City. Gate opens at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and inquiries, call Emer Guingon at 0917-4754367. 

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected]. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)









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