December 16, 2003

The bed's too big without you

That line in the subject heading--"the bed's too big without you"--comes from a Police song (written by Sting, as with 98% of their songs). It came to mind yesterday evening after returning home from Funeraria Paz where my grandmother lies in state.

To those who don't know, my grandmother (mother of my father) died on December 13, 2003 at about 11:30 in the evening; she was 93.She was brought to the hospital after complaining of difficulty in breathing; upon reaching the hospital, the doctors discovered that they could hardly hear her heart and that she had barely a pulse; she was also quicky turning cyanotic, i.e., blood was not being distributed to the other parts of her body.Immediately I knew that I would lose my grandmother that night. But since my father and mother were also there and both were hypertensive, I knew that thoughts such as those would have to be placed in the backburner.I prayed continuously (and for those I bugged for intercessory prayers--pasensya na)healing but mostly for comfort for my grandmother and for strength and grace for my parents (particularly my father, because he was feeling the burden of being the eldest male child present at that time). After two arrests, about 40 minutes of CPR (which my father ordered stopped eventually after he decided on a "do not resuscitate" order), we left my grandmother to God's grace and His will.About 5 minutes after my grandmother was brought to the ICU, she flatlined.

Of course, those of us who were there were in anguish but, to a person, each one of us thought practically the same thing: how do we tell my grandfather, who is bedridden after a serious stroke? I am told that he cried when my grandmother was being brought to the hospital and supposedly said, after it was explained to him by my aunt that she had to be hospitalized, "she's old, its her time;she's about to die." How do you get around to telling him that the woman he married, who loved him, who looked after him and who was his constant companion--in sickness and health was gone, forever?

My brother and I have been asking my father and my uncle to tell my grandfather. They decided to wait until their eldest brother (who lives in Bukidnon) arrives. My older uncle will arrive today (at about 1 pm) and all three sons will tell my lolo about my lola. Although I do think that he knows already and is just waiting for someone to tell him.

Anyway, the line in the subject heading came to my mind because of something my lolo said Sunday morning, after my lola had passed away. He was being his usual fussy self (my lolo was very OC about his appearance when he was still active; he remains so even when he's not mobile) with the attendant and was complaining that he was feeling cold. As it was 6 o'clock of a December morning, the attendant told him that he couldn't be feeling cold because he was wearing a sweater and was covered in blankets;  then my lolo said, "i'm feeling cold because there's no one beside me." That killed me, what my lolo said: I'm feeling the cold because the bed's too big without you.

And then, I thought: that's what people who love feel (and I don't mean only romantic love) at the moment of loss. Whether it be a loved one or a particularly good friend.Love's fire provides us with a heat and warmth that is diminished with each passing;also, love's fire is somehow diminished if there is not enough heat or warmth generated because there are less people who love.We generate warmth (not only heat) when we love and when we cease to love, then that warmth somehow is lost or diminished. The empty space created by the loss of one we love results in less warmth, which can only be compensated by more love.

That may be what God feels whenever we fail or refuse or don't love. When we sin When we turn away from Him.God must feel the cold each time we turn our back on Him. Heaven becomes a little emptier without us.The bed's too big without you and I feel the cold.Heaven's a little emptier without you--come back to me.

As we wind up Advent and approach Christmas, lets fill up the empty spaces in Heaven and warm up the Earth with our love. Be it friend, spouse, significant other, brother or sister, family member, fellow human being--Heaven's a little emptier each time we don't love.