How to Stay Afloat

It’s definitely been a difficult year for me–Power struggle with my parents, two friends lost to suicide, and now a comatose grandpa. And in these situations, most people would ask “Why me?” I do not deny that I’ve been pondering that same question. I cannot wrap my head  around them. Sometimes, bad things happen and what can you do about it? As a practicing Catholic, the obvious answer would be to pray. And I have prayed, but what can I do next?

While I believe that events play out the way they do for a reason and good can come from dark, seemingly-hopeless moments, my belief doesn’t make it any easier to accept. I still have questions and nothing seems to answer them right now. My grandpa fell and fractured his skull; he’s on life-support in a hospital in Viet Nam and I am unable to visit him with the rest of my family. He is still young and youthful, strong and healthy. By a freak accident, he fell. It was bad timing.

We were going to see him next summer for my Grandma’s 70th birthday. I don’t know If that is possible anymore. I try to hold steadfast to my Faith and to keep picking myself up, hoping against all odds that he will wake up before my family arrives to pull the plug. They and the doctors have already given up on him but I don’t want to. It may be foolish and physically impossible for him to recover, but I am open to the prospect of miracles happening. And, God, do I need one now.

In this uncertainty, I have come to question a lot of things. Yet, despite all of the challenges that I’ve encountered, I still believe in a God and my Faith. I’ve always managed to pull through by some act of grace. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, even though we may not emerge where we want to be, even though we do not understand. Life goes on and we must live it. I do not mean to rule out the possibility of losing a bit of ourselves when someone we love passes on, but I know we can come back stronger than we were initially. It just hurts is all and I am no good with good-byes (even if it is a temporal good-bye).

I’m probably rambling as I often do when I’m thinking externally–back to the question: What do I do now, if worse comes to worse? If he does not wake up? What do we do when something great is about to end? We cherish it, we keep busy and moving, and we open ourselves to the possibility of reencountering that great thing again–though it may come in a different form in the future. It doesn’t matter if you are religious or not. Whatever your take on life, we must live with hope that things will get better and we must live for ourselves and for others. And living requires more than just movement and breath; it requires that we take action in our relationships and love as best we can. Gradually, we can come to accept the hurdle and look back to see that we have overcome it, with blessings.


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