It’s Been 40 days since the Death of Amiel Alcantara

Dying is a wild night and a new road.
~Emily Dickinson

Remember Amiel Alcantara? Well, it has been 40 days since his sudden death?

One of the things so astonishing and costly about losing a loved one is that, while the sun continues to rise and set, newspapers continue to be delivered, traffic lights till change from red to green and back again,our whole life is turned around, turned upside down.

And life does go on but we can still continue to remember our loved ones on special days through candle lighting, rituals, customs, simple rites or ceremonies. Today, on the 40th day since his death, a marker was blessed on the spot where Amiel was struck by a van.

The marker reads:

The Ateneo de Manila Grade School Members
who was called to the Lord on February 24, 2009.
We Thank him for the gift that he had been to all of us,
for teaching us to love, and cherish life, and
for bringing us all together as a community in prayer ,
with a renewed promise to nurture and care for each other,
as we journey for persons for others.
Blessed on the 40th day of his entrance to glory

April 5, 2009
Palm Sunday

And so 40 days has passed. When my son died in May 27, 2000, I counted the days, then weeks, then months, then years. I still count. My life is divided in two time periods: before his death and after his death. I want to honor my son all the time through my work. Like the Alcantara family, they too want to honor Amiel’s memory. The marker is a reminder that Amiel Alcantara continues to live in the hearts of those he loved and who loved him.

The road to recovery is not a smooth ride.

It is, as Emily Dickinson says, “a new road” – for us as surely as for the one we have lost. It will take time to learn to walk that road.

The hardest work of a bereaved parent is learning to live without the physical presence of our dead child while simultaneously learning to live with his or her emotional and spiritual presence. We find that meaning in our life is derived from our relationship to those we love, including our dead child.

The legacy that Amiel (and our beloved ones) has left is a love that transcends time and space.