In every human experience of rejoicing, excitement, hope, fear, despair, pain, loss, etc., there is always a space of silence where one may or may not be conscious of. I call this space a “You, me time” with God. Sometimes, we may falter this.

Very recently, I had a series of needed visits to sick kin, dear friends, and clients whereby I attended 8 funerals in two months! My heart went with each piece by piece. I went to comfort, cry and pray with and share hope but, I mourn when they go. Very recently, I had the opportunity to be in the funeral of an enrolled child in Basilan. Being new, I do not know much about the child except records, communication, and information form of this girl. When she was sick last January, they did not tell us, it was when she was gravely ill in April that they called the office. In response, I tried my best to seek, knock and go networking to facilitate for medical assistance, search and “negotiate” for anesthesiologist, surgeon, and hospitalization. When all were set, the child died!

This incident brought me to the thought of Jairus’ daughter, pondering on Luke 8:49 “the child is dead, do not bother the Teacher anymore”. This instead, brought me to prayer and dialogue with my Master. Why can’t this first child live, why were all our efforts in vain? Why did the child die? Yet, I believe it is true, he gives life and has the power to take it away…

To comfort a mother whose only daughter was in a coffin was a tough task, because all it requires of me is silence. “To laugh with those who laugh, weep with those who are weeping..” This is the mystery of being present, present with her, with the child’s father and an aunt in their humble house. We sat for a while with some of our staff for some quiet prayers with a few neighbors (usually few for poor people and unpopular). Then, we offered something to drink and snacks. The loss of this child for us is not just a number in the roster but the grief of a community who hoped that she can be a joy to her parents and a help for her sibling.

I understand that to mourn is to have a living memory of people who count on our presence, our support in their difficult times. Channel for help from government, from communities or from right our neighbors!  It is to continue the commitment we have to seek for the best for the vulnerable persons, whom God loves. that we can together build a secured and a healthy living conditions for the needy. Together we become channels of hope in life and continue journeying with others.

Nini Rebollos

Dominican Missionary,

Isabela, Basilan

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