Renewal: The Positive Resolution my Grief Journey. Finding meaning in Luijoe’s Death How I started The Compassionate Friends: A Powerpoint presentation for the Purpose Drive Life Seminar Closing Activity, December 18, 2005.
Finding meaning in Luijoe’s Death
How I started The Compassionate Friends: A Powerpoint presentation
for the Purpose Drive Life Seminar Closing Activity, December 18, 2005
Luijoe: How could Jesus be alive again?
Me: He rose from the dead and on the third day went to heaven.
Luijoe:If I die mama, will I be alive again ?
Me: When we die, Lui, we will live forever, through eternal life in heaven.
Luijoe: When I die, I will be alive again!
Me: Yes, baby, you will live forever, but not on Earth . I won’t see you anymore but you will have eternal life with God .
That night while we had our usual prayers before bedtime, he got his prayer book.
Luijoe: who is that man (pointing to the man beside Mother Mary)
Me: That’s St. John the Apostle
Luijoe: What is he doing?
Me: Jesus told John to take care and comfort his mother when he dies.
Taken from Luijoe’s prayer book
Luijoe was so touched with St. John’s compassion that he asked about him every night just before our trip to Cebu. We also read Footprints together and promised that we would play footprints in the beach.
Taken from Luijoe’s prayer book
Playing footprints in the sand was the last fun activity Luijoe and I did at the beach on a brilliant day of May 27, 2000 . That was the last time I saw him alive.
an hour before he died. He died around 2:30 pm. This was the last time I saw Luijoe alive.
Luijoe, my beautiful and prayerful son died of accidental drowning at the swimming pool of a beach resort in Cebu. My world fell apart. I felt like the earth just swallowed me up into a deep hole. No words can describe the excruciating pain I felt that day . “It’s not the natural order of things to lose a child,”“Your children are supposed to outlive you.”
Why had I not seen our conversation as a sign that something devastating was about to happen? Distraught and heart-broken, I became bitter and questioned God.
I created a memorial website http://angel-luijoe.net soon after his burial so as to unleash my grief into something creative. In the website, I offered grief support and resources to bereaved parents.
Sometime October 2005, Daisy Mendoza , co-parent council member of Ateneo handed out the “Purpose Driven Life Seminar” brochure during our board meeting. The seminar revealed itself to me:
A thought entered my mind: Starting The Compassionate Friends in the Philippines would ensure continuity of grief support to bereaved families for many years to come.
Everything was happening so fast. We met for the first time on December 9 to plan on our First Chapter meeting our special events and activities.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” 1 Peter 4:10
S: Luijoe is a spiritual gift sent to our family in the form of an angel, a messenger of God. I needed to discover the meaning of the pre-death signs before Luijoe’s death and his death itself. Aside from validating the good news of “Eternal Life”, “St. John” symbolized compassion and in turn, I felt I needed to pass this comfort to newly bereaved family members.
H: Passion to help others . My father influenced me early in life to be of service to the community. I just had to search a particular service suited for me.
A: Abilities and interest are in the field of Research , Business management, Web design and Information Technology.
P: Basically, an introvert , not much of a speaker but an organizer. The other co-founders of my ministry compensate for my shortcomings.
E: Being comforted during my grieving journey.“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us”
The Compassionate Friends Philippines
In memory of my angel, Jose Luis “Luijoe” Dado. As long as I live and love, the pain and grief will always be there. But that pain has now transformed into a positive resolution.
“We are healed to help others. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are saved to serve, not to sit around and wait for heaven”