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What is heartbreaking?
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One of the things I started to do this 2012 is to go back to paper—back to a paper planner (a Moleskine) instead of using iCal, and to read the books stocked in my bedroom.
Since I’m at National Bookstore at least once a week, I happened to spot this book written by Cathy Babao Guballa, Between Loss and Forever: Filipino Mothers on the Grief Journey.

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It’s a compilation of stories from moms who had lost a child due to accidents, illness, suicide and sometimes even murder.
I had to think about buying the book because of the scary subject, as though reading it might attract the subject matter to happen to me.

When I first gave birth to Ben, I remember feeling a high and a kind of love I had never felt before, stronger than one’s love for a husband, parent, any other person or object. But along with that deep love came a morbid fear of losing the child. I had postpartum depression for a few months. I wouldn’t sleep or leave the baby’s side. I felt that if I closed my eyes, the baby would die. In between catnaps I would wake up to check if the baby was still breathing.
In the first month alone, we had 9 trips to the pediatrician. I actually had three pediatricians. If I didn’t believe one or two doctors, a third once can convince me my baby’s OK.

Ten years later, I’m a mom to three boys and grateful that nobody’s been confined to the hospital in the last three years. From experience, I’ve learned not to panic at every fever like I used to.
Still I can’t help but think of my kids all the time and pray for their health and safety. My friends understand why I treat my kids the way I do. I don’t stress them for high grades (they get that on their own). I smother them in hugs and kisses and don’t hesitate to let them know they are loved. I rarely get mad. If ever I do, the kids sometimes laugh because they think I’m joking (which is sad).
I don’t deprive them of certain things because If I can buy myself a bag, I can get them what they want. Not all the time, but I do reward them for high grades or a trip to the dentist.
I don’t wait for special occasions because I know moms who have lost a child. I know it sounds morbid but I don’t want to regret anything.

That said, I finally started the book last Wednesday on the way to the Department of Tourism. Traffic was so bad, I was able to read half the book. When my son Ben saw me reading the book at home, he told me to stop because it was creeping him out.
The other half I finished last night, and I asked Jeroen to read a few pages about someone we know who lost a son.
Besides telling the stories of the moms and how they lost their child, the book also offers advice on how to deal with grief and recovery as the author herself lost her son due to complications from an open-heart surgery. It also tells you how to comfort someone who’s had a death in the family—what to do and what you shouldn’t say.
The next video shows some of the moms and kids mentioned in the book, available at National Bookstore.
To know more, visit the book’s blog or Facebook page.

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peng

crying at 1pm in the afternoon =(…god bless those kids..thanks for sharing this…

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Constant Reader

Cecile/Cathy: I’ve lost 3 children, all of whom were born prematurely. A daughter who lived for 3 days, and twins ( a boy and a girl) who survived for less than an hour. There are no words to describe the grief those experiences have caused me, and the struggle to return to a normal life afterward. I am grateful that I am blessed with 2 daughters, one who came before the loss of my 3 kids and one who came after. Every day I hold them close and just try to be the best parent that I can be. But… Read more »

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Feeling ko you were channeling my thoughts Miss C when you wrote this post. The paranoia, the fever episodes, the panic! Ibig sabihin hindi ako nagiisa! I thought I was crazy being so paranoid with things. I already read Ms Cathy’s Heaven’s Butterfly. It was a simple story with a very deep lesson. I cried over it. I dont know if I have the courage to read her new book. I just saw this morning sa burol sa gilid ng daan, the tarp said “Death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limits of our sight.”… Read more »

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Kate

This also happened to my almost 4-year old daughter then. I thought she was dead when all I could see was the whites of her eyes and she turned blue. My husband and I are both nurses and completely forgot that we are because this is our own child. On hospital codes we are always aware and top of everything. But when it is your own child, it is different. The call to 911 seemed like forever. I’m glad our daughter never had any febrile seizure since 2008.

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Cecile, thank you so much or writing about Between Loss and Forever. I appreciate this post very much. Knowing how popular your blog is and how well-read you are, I hope we can reach more mothers who need this book.  It’s a difficult read but will be worth it for those who have lost a child or those who are family and friends of someone who has lost a child. God bless!

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CVS Reply:

God bless you Cathy and all parents who have lost a child.

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I want to read this. But I don’t know if I am strong enough. My mother lost a baby, he was born before me. He was just a week old when he passed. 

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Cathy S. Babao Reply:

Hi Vera — It might be good for you and your mom to read this. One of the moms in the book also lost her baby after a week. Might be helpful or insightful for your mom to read her story.. Thanks!

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Hi Vera — It might be good for you and your mom to read this. One of the moms in the book also lost her baby after a week. Might be helpful or insightful for your mom to read her story.. Thanks!

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:'(

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I’ve known about Ms. Guballa’s project “Migi’s Corner” when a friend wrote about it a long time ago. I also read her column regularly in the Inquirer. I love how she writes and reading what she does to keep honoring her son’s memory. I know how it feels to lose a mom, but I imagine the pain is a thousand times greater for a parent to lose a child. Grief is indeed a journey – minsan lang parang ang haba-haba, ang tagal-tagal at parang hindi natatapos. [Reply]Cathy S. Babao Reply:January 8th, 2012 at 6:37 PMThank you, Mayo 🙂 [Reply]Mayo Reply:January… Read more »

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Thank you, Mayo 🙂

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Thank you for sharing Migi’s story, Ms. Guballa, and for a gentle lesson in grieving. God bless you. 🙂

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