Monday, March 22, 2010


Dear Joe,

Hi. Just call me Lizbeth. I'm an advertising graduate from one of the leading universities in Manila. I have spent the better part of my 23 years actively trying to find out what this life of mine is all about and why it's always such a mess.

I'd rather not talk about my childhood and just begin my story in the summer of 1991. I met Carl that year. He was two years my senior, sweet, witty and funny. Carl courted me but I had to turn him down because of my studies and my parents. We became friends instead. We went out on dates. I told him my dreams, my heartaches, my frustrations, everything. The relationship was purely platonic.

Year '92 came and I fell in love with a college professor. Actually, it wasn't really love, it was more of an obsession. At that time, my heart was telling me to go ahead and be a mistress. On the other hand, my intellect told me to stop my foolishness. I almost quit school because of this. The worst part of it, I tried to hurt myself, thrice.

In desperation I told my friend, I'll give my heart to the first guy who will say: "I love you." Carl scolded me when he learned about it. Joe, he stood by me during those trying times. Before I knew it, I started treating him differently. Carl and I began to have a serious relationship. We went steady June 24, 1993.

He paid a great deal of attention to me and he understood my limitations. I forgot the college professor and learned to love Carl. Joe, only a couple of friends knew about the relationship. I did not tell my parents about it. I knew they wouldn't understand. But Carl introduced me to his parents and they accepted me and treated me as their own daughter.

In January 1994, a few months before my college graduation, he proposed marriage. I should have been happy but I felt the opposite. I felt I just could not be the equal partner since he seemed more mature and more loving than I was. I felt inferior and even though I loved him, I felt that I did not deserve his love. I suggested a breakup for me to think, and he consented.

I went through a stage of being by myself, spending six months not dating anyone at all. I refused to go out with friends. But as fate would have it, we reconciled the same year. Carl made the first move because I was too proud to ask for a reconciliation. Joe, I realized I love him more than anything else. I had never been so happy in my life, Joe.

In February 1995, we went to Tagaytay. Of course my parents were not aware of this. Carl and I spent the night together but nothing happened. It's not because there was no sexual attraction, the electricity was there. But he said we'd do it after the church wedding.

Right there, I knew he was the man for me. Joe, we talked about marriage and the plan was to have it either in December 1996 or early part of 1997. I was ready to introduce him to my parents, to my friends but something tragic happened.

Our plan can not happen anymore. Joe, Carl met a car accident while on his way to Pangasinan to meet a distant relative. Joe, he died. When his parents broke the news, my whole body went numb. I couldn't feel anything. I couldn't speak and not a sound came from my mouth. I just couldn't accept it that he's dead. When I saw his remains, a steady stream of tears started and I could not stop no matter how hard I tried. I needed someone to be there for me, someone to hold on to. But he was gone now, never to be back again.

Joe, the pain was indescribable. I felt like tearing myself into pieces. I was so angry at myself because I allowed him to leave. I was so angry at the damn owner of the car who rammed Carl's. I felt like hell.

I thought of telling these things to my friends but I hesitated. I did not know where and how to start. They might not understand because they thought that Carl was just a friend. It was my fault. I should have not kept our relationship in the dark. I wanted to shout: "He's more than a friend, he's my fiance." God! It was too late.

Joe, I don't know why I'm sharing these things with you. Perhaps, I just need to let this out. It's been almost two years and yet I'm still in pain. I still love him. I want to see him once more, to touch his face. In fact, I'm willing to do anything just to bring him back to life. At times, I feel like killing myself. Living is painful and unbearable without him. But I would always remember that our favorite song says, "The time spent together is not that important for what matters most is the love that we feel for each other." Carl would always sing Kenny Rankin's song, Joe.

How can I get over this? I've tried seeing other guys but I always go home frustrated because Carl is much better. I can't help but compare him to other guys. When he died a part of me died as well. How can I go on living? To tell you frankly, I think I died with him. I'm just like a zombie with no sense of direction.

Joe, his second death anniversary is fast approaching and I'm thinking of ending my life, too. I feel I should lie beside him. Living doesn't make sense anymore. Please pray for me.

Thank you,
Lizbeth B.

Dear Lizbeth,

Getting over the loss of a loved one doesn't happen overnight. I know of some who still live in the shadows of their unhappy memories. They never took notice that years have already passed and they are still brooding over yesterday and hoping for the things that could have been. We can see in their eyes that they are still mourning, silently crying, and probably, still wishing that a miracle would happen.

Lizbeth, you have allowed a part of yourself to die with Carl. But life should go on even if it means living alone. Be strong and never give up, for if you do, Carl's hopes will cease where your life ends and you will never be able to open your eyes to see another day and experience the miracle you have been hoping for.

No, Lizbeth, Carl will never come to his earthly life again. It is the miracle of acceptance that will change your life and bring new meaning to it. For wherever Carl is, I know he wants you to be happy not because he's gone but because you know with your heart that he loved you until the last breath of his life.

Carl never lived long enough to feel you and keep you in his arms but let us always remember that it's not how much time we spend with someone that matters. We can spend so little time yet share so much love... that is more important. For moments shared with unselfish love will give us the confidence to look back not with regret but with a smile in our hearts and give us the courage to go on with life and experience its miracles.



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