A Death Anniversary Letter To My Colin; My Fallen Angel
The letter to fulfill my promise to a dying loved one
Colin was my English fiance who joined to live with me in my apartment. We lived together for three years, one year of which was spent in and out of the hospital for cancer, until his last breath. He died October 31, 2008 in my care. His divorce to his ex-wife could have been completed and we could have married in England in 2008, as planned, if death did not grab him from me. The day before he died he asked me to promise three things. I did not want to hear; I did not make the promise, I thought that the promise could wait but he died before the promise was confirmed.
On October 31, 2010, I had to write a letter to Colin on his second death anniversary, otherwise I cannot move on. I had been grieving for two years, in fact I had wished a lot of times during this period to die too; I had been suicidal and had been "paralyzed" being unable to stand up for about a week; such grief! Now that I had written this letter I feel better and ready to move on.
Here's the letter;
To My Fallen Angel; Colin
Colin, can you see the date? Yes, it's been two years since you left me, since you went to heaven. I should have written this letter one year ago but no; I was not ready yet. But you are my Colin and I am your Jenny, I know that you understand, as always.
If only you did not die, like you promised me that you won't, that you will never leave me; if only you were stronger and healthier enough to live another five years more like what we expected since we prayed hard together and also because we did everything like summoning fourteen cancer specialist doctors and administering the best cancer medicines and spending two million pesos just so your life could be extended and hopefully for you to survive...if only...
But Colin, you promised me in September that we will go to Malaysia, to the Caribbean and to where the sun is bright along the beaches so that you can breath the healthy air and we can be laughing together once more...remember?
I knew that you didn't want to die, you did not lie when you said you won't die. Remember we took turns praying with supplications to my God that day? We prayed together too (even if you were not a believer but you were willing to believe in my God if only you can live five years more...just five years more, maybe God will allow). Maybe God will allow us to at least enjoy our new found happiness for just a little longer.You asked God for five years more but I asked an extension for another ten years more so that by that time I will be ready to die with you too hence we won't be separated even by death.
We could have died together, nobody would have been left behind in deep sorrow like I had been. We made the 'covenant' between us "Till death do us part." But you went ahead too early and in the midst of a bliss that had just started for us. What a waste of happiness. What could be the meaning of life without you? Life could never be the same now that you're gone.
I remember those days when you fetched me in school every 5:00 o'clock after work; it was my last class. You used to kiss my cheeks in front of my students and colleagues. I was so embarrassed the first time you did it but sensing my dilemma you quickly diverted their attention to your tricky statements and jokes in which everybody burst into laughter and to my relief. Then you dragged me away from them towards the waiting cab as you said to them, "My Jenny is very beautiful but she talks too much; everybody laughed again. I knew you were joking but I still answered "If I won't talk too much then I will lost my job." which everybody agreed on; that's what teachers do; talk.
Then we go to Rosalinos to hang out till 10:00 p.m. You drink beer with your comrades while I have my sumptuous dinner of bulalo, a native beef stew style, you rarely eat and I got used to it; you wanted me to cook for you and that was what you liked to eat.Your friends surround us in that long table which was always reserved for us. I remember your English buddy doctor, Dr. Tom, the owner of Rosalinos, by the way he died too just this year...sad, really sad; the Oxford University Dean, Jack, I had just met him in Rosalinos a couple of weeks back, he had just arrived from his tour in Rusia, he hugged me for a condolence, the English businessman Bill BILL, the blonde U.S. retired navy Gary, just to name a few; we had good times together with them; I was the only woman in that group and a Filipina among English men for that matter . I flt like I was the center of the universe because everybody had something to say to me or ask me. They all burst into laughter every time I answer their questions or my answer often trigger arguments among themselves; but I was feeling secured and safe because you were with me and rescue me when the guys were trying to give me hard time in their interrogations especially sexually-oriented questions that put me into a halt. Your amiable nature, your humor and sarcasm are the most talked about among peers even to these days; after you been long gone.
You see this picture? That's Bob, your sister, Betty's husband. We were just like that before; every day was a celebration when we were together until you were discovered to have cancer in the brain.
Happy moments, happy times but we also had drama; such as when your prostitute ex-wife would come to ask money from you when you had nothing to give because she already had taken all but that she wanted more and more. This really angered me but I still gave her money from my own pocket just so she leaves; then drive you both away from my house. But you always come back in the evening, very contrite.
Just seeing you again melts my heart so we hug and kiss and feel our belonging-ness to each other. We both prefer joy by being with each other than the bitterness imposed by undeserving people who just wanted to separate us. We had a very strong relationship, we stood the test of time, intrigues, people, situations and conditions.
Then one day we decided to end all these. We ran away to the farthest South of the country, leaving my prestigious job and position in College, and my family behind; and you, leaving your entangled life behind. We sailed three days to the South with the intention to build a nest, a paradise just for you and me.
See this ship? This is the one we sailed on when we went to Mindanao; with the intention to leave Luzon for good and to build our paradise there.
We were very happy sailing that day. We fled to freedom, the freedom we both cherished; to share our lives together and to be with each other for the rest of our lives. We went to Iligan City, to Suarez, hopping from one hotel to another and sometimes staying in my rich friends houses, to Odette's, to Becky's mansions. You were even surprised with how rich my friends were, they were actually my ex-colleagues when I was still in the DECS, Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
We wee just two months in our escapade when one day your head ached like it never did. Then the suspicions of five doctors of a worse scenario in which they recommended that we go to Cebu City where the Cebu Doctors Hospital is located. It's one of the hi-tech hospital in the country.
And then deadly truth dawned. And the ordeal of doctors, medicines, chemos, radiations...and the beginning of the end.
We were just beginning to enjoy our freedom together and even when you were diagnosed of cancer you were still trying to show happiness with me. You had just got out of the one month ordeal in the hospital when we went to Waterfront; the castle hotel in Cebu City; such beautiful place. We went to Tiboli, the classy Italian restaurant where you taught me to drink red wine. I was very anxious but you tried to divert me from the truth of your coming death. You still made me laugh; our joyful company was contagious that the waitresses and waiters joined us in laughter. We met new friends there and we made that place our new hangout just like Rosalinos.
Together, we drew people to us, our happiness was contagious; we were experts in planning and solving problems. Until cancer grabbed that life away from me. I am just as good as I also have cancer; I died with you.
But I remember, the day before you died, Betty was there, we were on your deathbed; your left hand on mine your right on hers. You were mumbling something in which only I, can understand. You wanted me to promise you that I must continue to live; let Jenny live, let Senotiza live! With or without Colin. You also plead to Betty to take care of me. I screamed and Betty was terrified. She and the doctor were more worried about me than about you. I cannot make the promise. To live without you was just impossible. I had burnt all bridges for you and we were just beginning to gather bricks for our castle and how come you would leave me! No! I wanted to die! Die with you.
But Colin! I had passed the crises; It's been two years and I finally made the promise before you. Before your ash that I still carry with me to this day.