May 21, 2024

Dear Manang,
Why does loss come after several months and at an unguarded moment?
I lost siblings in 2021 and while recovering from the loss of a brother to prostate cancer, my sister had a heart attack after five months and the days of minding the affairs of her death kept me busy for another three months after my brother’s paperwork.
I had no time to grieve properly for either one who had no spouse and children in the city to do the legal family matters.
Suddenly, I felt abandoned and alone. I and a brother abroad are all that are left from a noisy and loud family of seven children.
I live in the same compound after all the years but even the children seem to have moved out to live their lives elsewhere.
I am single and my depression reared its ugly head from the incessant crying.
I sought psychiatric help and am going for regular therapy. I am glad that I recognized my own pain. But I want others to see the need to mind their mental health in this common situation. I am reminding others that such feeling overpowers anyone.
Caroline of Imelda, Baguio City

Dear Caroline,
Thanks for your letter and your reminder for everyone.
I have had the same mindset with the death of friends and an uncle. My depression comes in dreams and memories of the things we used to do.
My sadness is contained because my daily routine does include them while you are surrounded with all the good and bad memories of the past. You have done yourself the best favor by giving in to therapy with a counselor. Actually, just being able to express yourself eases your heavy heart; the more you express yourself and hear your own heartache is already a road to recovery. Perhaps others could also submit themselves to a psychiatrist and the Psychiatric Department of Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. I hope too that they at the hospital will be accommodating to the volunteer mentally distressed individuals.
God bless you,
Manang

Dear Manang,
I am a “houseband” who has been dependent on my wife for years because she is capable of earning more money than I.
Some people feel sorry for me because I take care of my two sons who have Down Syndrome instead of my wife who is an executive and a businesswoman.
We agreed to the set up because we are partners and so far we continue with this perfect plan.
I have a small business that I manage while giving full attention to my boys but I have never felt insecure about this arrangement and my wife is happy with our marriage and family life.
I have simplified our routine and I believe we are a happy family.
My friends are joking me about not having a lifestyle of drink and good time.
I actually feel saved because my health is perfect at 50 and my health activities include my sons who are fully functional.
Am I weird for being content with my family life?
Monch of Camp 6, Tuba, Benguet

Dear Monch,
I am so fortunate with these letters for this edition. There’s nothing I can say about the predicaments that are not even issues or concerns because you have your life in control and proper perspective. I am glad there are individuals like you who have focused on family and happiness in what God has given you and not even questioned why you are given the challenge. Keep on being a loving and happy partner to your wife but most of all, a good father and friend to your sons.
God bless you abundantly,
Manang