Dispatch from Crame No. 1,020: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Emotions-Filled Reflection on Loss of Loved Ones

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The remains of our beloved Marianne will be laid to rest this morning. An intense grief lurks within me over the loss of a loving, generous, and exceptionally brave sister-in-law whom I know was holding on to dear life, yearning to await my freedom.

By her deep faith (“May awa ang Diyos,” she would always say) and sheer grit, God’s boundless grace had kept Marianne afloat all these years amid a debilitating illness. This time, the good Lord could no longer indulge her, His Divine Mercy putting an end to her physical suffering.

Hindi na Niya napagbigyan ang nais ni Marianne na hintayin ang aking paglaya. One of the hardest part of being deprived of liberty, and undeservely at that, is having to endure a quiet mourning, in isolation, whenever a loved one or someone close to you dies. Each time, a puntured wound grows in my being.

Sa nakaraang apat na taon ng aking pagkapiit, ilan ilan na rin ang mga pumanaw na mga kakilala ko o malalapit sa akin. Hindi ko man lang sila nasilayan o nakita sa mga huling araw nila. Hindi ko sila nabisita sa kanilang burol. Sobrang hirap! Masakit!

Pain is accentuated when the loss occurs within the immediate family, such as Marianne’s recent death, and just a few weeks earlier, a 1st cousin, Manoy Pepe.

I’m the eldest in the family. With our father gone and our mother now bedridden, afflicted with dementia, for more than a year already, I now stand as head of the family, with a consuming desire and overarching moral duty to take good care of the family’s general well-being. No matter the challenges are under my situation. Hence, not being with them in moments of need and despair brings an untold emotional distress.

To my tormentors: I hope you realize the immensity of the injustice you’ve done to me and my family. Hindi ko alam kung anong klaseng puso o budhi meron kayo, kung meron man.

God forgive all of you…

Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 1,020, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/for_marianne

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