(Post earlier) I just came home from the eulogy service for the last night of Tito Elie Aguila, father of Ej, Joy, John and James. What can I say?
It’s like a community event. Complete drama – with program head and team, with videos, string quartet, reco-type sharings, etc. Every detail showed love for Tito Elie. Every person paid their last respect because on how he touched their lives, one way or another. All sharings were manifestations that he led a good life. A life filled with God. And love. And family.
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The other week, it was the wake and cremation services of Tito Roderico Serra, Arvin’s dad. Filled with people who loved Tito Roderico and his family, sharing their fondest memories with him, and how they experienced God through and with him.
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In less than a week, the community grieved for two deaths of the fathers of our dearest brothers, Arvin and EJ. Different ways of dying, but same grace given by God. All difficult, many times hard to understand, but knowing that their beloved are going back to their real fathers, our Heavenly Father, eases the pain and makes the loss more bearable. The support, the love, the consolation given by each person who visited, who extended their condolences, make the family stronger and grow more in faith.
I’ve been there. And done that. And at times, still experiencing the loss of Mom. I believe that no one would really be able to move on from losing a loved one, especially a parent. But through God’s grace, you’re able to cope up. And through His love and mercy that you’re able to believe and have faith that your beloved departed is already resting in his arms; forgiven from his/her sins; and definitely one day, we’ll be able to meet again.
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Life after life. This is what I am taking home from the funerals i’ve attended this past week. Death is just an end of our temporal stay here on earth. Death is just a physical separation from our bodies and from our loved ones. Death is something that everyone will have to go through; it’s just a matter of who goes first. But death is also the start of something greater, something more beautiful. For the departed, it is a start of eternal life with the Lord. For the ones left behind, a new start of life, of new opportunities to try, of new hope that one day we”ll meet them again. There are adjustments to be made, but remembering that our beloved is where he/she is ourght to be, the best place a person can go, with the One who created us… then, there’s really a reason to celebrate!
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Tonight, the Aguila siblings just proved that death shouldn’t be only about grieving to what was lost… but more on celebrating the life of our dearly departed, on how he purposely lived his life, how he dedicated his life to God and His service and how we could follow his footsteps in pleasing God with our lives. Remembering our happy moments with him, the lessons he taught and the legacies he has left behind. Death should be a happy farewell… for our beloved will be able to be at peace and live eternal life with God.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the grace of seeing death as a continuation of a greater life with you. Thank you for allowing us to witness how You can transform something tragic, something difficult, something painful , into a celebration – of life, of love, of faith and Your grace. May you continue to grant us that understanding of all Your plans, knowing that You only have the best ones for us. And I pray for the families of Arvin and EJ who were left behind by their fathers, that they may be consoled in this time of grief, and that their lives may also experience the same grace my family received, that helped us to move on in faith when Mom died. You are a great and wonderful God. And your love will always be enough for us. We continue to trust in You, oh Jesus. In your name, we pray, AMEN.