DAY 1 OF LOLA'S PASSING

I'm floating. I feel like this isn't real, that it's just a bad dream because I felt I was going to have a fever last night, and I'm hallucinating already.

But it wasn't. The funeral parlor was the first thing that I had to go to upon waking up. What else did we need, what else should we do to prepare for her cremation? Should she really be cremated today or can we move it to tomorrow? It's just too soon, too soon. Won't we really hold a wake for her? Who should I call? Who would come? I have no contact at all with our other relatives here in Manila -- it's relatives from their side anyway, my Grandma's cousins or whatnot -- those are the only relatives that I know of.

Raymond's mom came over to see if I needed help with processing everything. She accompanied me and my uncle while going back and forth to the City Hall and Health Office to prepare for her interment. Parish said earliest schedule would be by Friday, but they need the Death Certificate to process it. It's only Tuesday. I still don't have it. I'll need to come back tomorrow.

I prepared the clothes she was going to wear. I was in close coordination with the real adults from the states who has the authority to make the decisions. Packed Lola's stuff, went back to the funeral parlor and waited. It's only been 16 hours since we found her in her room, not breathing anymore. 17 hours later, she's in a marble urn. So fast. Too fast. We didn't have time to grieve.

We put her urn on the altar in her room. Lit a candle. I closed my eyes and said a quick prayer with an apology. My uncle brought her flowers later. The altar looked better.

At 6pm, we called the parish and asked if an urn can be blessed. The lady said yes, just bring it after the mass. We brought her to the church, and after the mass, we approached the priest. He got mad at us and told us off for bringing her around like an object. "Saan po kayo nakakita ng patay na iginagala kung saan saan? Ilagay niyo lang po siya sa bahay. Sagrado po iyan."

We giggled at our stupidity and put her back in her room after she has been blessed. At least, we felt a bit better after that.

And now... I can't sleep. I feel tired. But I still can't believe everything that we did today. 24 hours have passed. Is she really gone?