Grief Education

Letting out Anger

galit.jpgI am angry at this person. If I was working on my recovery program, I wouldn’t get angry. If I was a good Christian, I wouldn’t feel [tag]angry[/tag]…. If I am really using the daily affirmations about how happy I am, I wouldn’t be angry. Those are the old messages that seduces us into not feeling again. Anger is a part of life. We need not dwell in it but we can’t afford to ignore it. So why am I angry, you ask?

Without going into sordid details, it’s about my TV interviews and our grief journey. This person hasn’t even seen any of my TV interviews . This person just overheard it from someone. Who knows how that person related the interview? Yes , this person has no gender because this person could be anyone. Look, I don’t even want to appear on TV. I am a shy person. But after going through the Purpose Driven Life, I have learned that…

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The Grief Interview with Cheche Lazaro

Update on Cheche Lazaro: (May 8, 2009) Cheche Lazaro and the Wire Tapping Case filed by GSIS

cheche lazaroTo be interviewd by Cheche Lazaro in “Straight Talk” is an honor. Her interview style is excellent. You know, I usually get a pre-interview by production assistants days before a show. This is normal procedure since hosts are usually busy. It surprised me that no one from ANC (ABS-CBN News Channel) called me up. Hmm, I thought that maybe Cheche can handle it herself. The only call I received was from the production assistant of the executive producer. He was so touched after reading Luijoe’s memorial website and wanted to borrow Luijoe’s photos for a clear graphic shot. They went all the way to the house just to get the photo albums.

Before the live interview, I caught up with Cheche at the dressing room and we had a little chat as the makeup artists retouched our shiny faces. I am amazed at her preparation for this episode. She printed out research materials on grief and highlighted sentences in my story of the Fallen Cradle. She told me that this is a fairly new topic rarely discussed on TV. I know. I told her that grief education is quite new in our country and we’re just taking off with the introduction of grief pyschologists and grief support groups.

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Compassionate Medical Professionals Wanted

Here is another case of stupid toilet humor that occured in Silliman University Medical Center Foundation, Inc. (SUMCFI).

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A grieving mother who has infertility problems lost her second baby by [tag]miscarriage[/tag] last May 9 and lodged a complaint that she was subjected to indignities by a hospital staff who commented that the dead fetus which was to be her second child was to be urinated upon (because the hospital ran out of formalin and or distilled water.)

Read complete news story From the Negros Chronicle in here and here.

Olga Lucia Uy emailed her story to me 3 days ago. Maia, her baby was only 5 to 6 weeks old at the time of her death.

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Successful Book Launch of “Fallen Cradle”

book launch fallen cradle“[tag]Fallen Cradle[/tag]” is a book of 22 stories by parents who have a lost a child. It was formally launched today at Powerbooks Greenbelt Makati. What can I say? The Book launch was a huge success. The initial 150 books set for the launch ran out. Anvil Publishing rushed to get more stock from the warehouse. My story on Luijoe, My Angel is on page 29. A lot of people say he’s such a handsome boy. I know. We chose that picture because he exudes so much charm.

The first few sentences of my story goes this way:

““If I die, Mama, will I be alive again?” Luijoe asked. My six-year-old was lying on the bed, flipping through the prayer books piled on his tummy.

It was Holy Week, a month before that fateful day of May 27, 2000, the day he drowned in a beach resort in Cebu.

I turned my body to face his and stroked his cheek. How could I explain the mysteries of death to a little boy? ““When we die, Lui, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven,” I said the lines I’d memorized from the teachings of our Catholic Church.

Of course you have to buy the book to read the rest of the story.

This book paved the way to the positive resolution of my [tag]grief[/tag] journey. During the second blueprint in November 2005, Agnes Prieto invited me to be part of the book. I have never written my loss much less how Luijoe died. Writing Luijoe’s story turned out to be very difficult, often bringing tears as I recalled the painful events. These events were buried deep in my heart and I had to reach out to my innermost feelings. My sister, Myrna L. de Vera helped me a lot with the writing style (Thanks dear sister) and the editing work. Writing Luijoe’s story culimnated into the renewal phase of my grief journey. I submitted the final edit of my story on November 27, 2005. On the same day and inspired by my transformation, I wrote The Compassionate Friends International Council if I could start a Philippines Chapter. That was how The Compassionate Friends Philippines started. Reaching out to other bereaved parents is a living tribute to my son . Luijoe is never entirely gone.

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I’ve only attended two book launch events in my lifetime so I can’t really compare if today’s event was a tremendous success. I just said it was a hit because they ran out of copies. Agnes Prieto prepared a touching rose and cradle ceremony with a powerpoint presentation of each child represented in the book. A short anecdote taken from each story and our child’s photo flashed on the screen. The parents picked a single white rose from the table and placed it on the vase by the baby’s cradle. The toys surrounding the cradle belongs to Luijoe. Yes, all these years I’ve kept them in a sealed box. Butch , my dear hubby was a substitute for the absentee parent contributors.

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Grief support in the Philippines

Grief is not exclusive for those who have lost a child , a parent or sibling. In life we experience so many losses such as loss of job, money, health , a love affair and other things. The grief process is universal to us all. We go through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

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As a bereaved mother, I reach out to other grief support groups and counsellors in the Philippines. There were no support groups or grief therapists in the year 2000. I tried to start the Compassionate Friends that year but the USA group appeared lukewarm to my email. On hindsight, I was not ready to be an effective organizer considering that my pain was still so fresh and new.

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