Remembering Dayun

ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago - Visaya - The Freeman

After years of waiting for him to see the light of this world, twenty-three years had gone before we beheld his face and entire self. We saw his face after only a few arduous hours of labor and a few hours of intense joy. The great memories of nine months in my bosom. The waiting is over. But no more pulse, no hint of life.

Yes, Dayun was the boy who made us happy and fulfilled. He had already passed away inside my womb. Instead of a cesarean operation, I was adamant that I had to give birth naturally because I wanted to experience one of the most rewarding milestones as a mother.

Moving forward, the family's memories of him are all that remain, as we realized when we visited his tomb on November 2. He may have also had a lot of time and our undying devotion because he was the first son. Having a second child was no longer our goal because I was past the prime of childbearing and it would be detrimental to my health.

I just close my eyes sometimes and visualize him. I recall his sly grin. I even forget how much I miss him sometimes. Twenty three years have passed. Although it's not new, it's still there. On certain days, that period of my life does seem to be more of the past than it was a few years ago. And at this moment, my only thought is how much I want to give him a hug. Not a term for it. Even no feelings at times. Again, it's November. It feels like this time of year is returning so much quicker these days.

It's possible that we may mourn the expectations and dreams we had for our child, the unfulfilled potential, and the experiences we will never have together. We could feel as though we have lost our identity as parents and maybe even the chance to have grandchildren if we lose our lone child. These losses will always hurt us and remain a part of us. However, most parents eventually find a path forward and start to feel content and have a purpose in life once more.

Some individuals believe that grieving should be processed over a set period of time, like a year. However, this is untrue. Our initial deep and profound grief won't last forever. Strong mourning episodes frequently come and go over a period of at least 18 months. Our sadness may come in waves throughout time, lessening in strength and frequency. However, we’ll probably always feel a little depressed and lost.

Even years after our child's death, important events and milestones in the lives of other children can trigger grief. Significant days such as graduations, weddings, or the first day of a new school year are common triggers. At these times, we may find ourselves thinking about how old our child would be or what he or she would look like or be doing if still alive.

When a baby dies, it's like throwing a stone into a calm pool; the sorrowful ripples spread forth in all directions, impacting a great number of individuals. Dayun didn't remain long enough for us to raise him as the kind and responsible son we hoped he would be. However, his hours of presence have imparted priceless lessons about gratitude, acceptance, and submission to God's purpose. Dayun's life was brief, yet that instant seemed eternal because of the memories.

Dayun lives on in our hearts forever no matter what. We love you very much, Anak.

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