Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Still Carry Some Residual Guilt Over My Grandfather's Passing

3 years ago or so, my maternal grandfather died. And to this very day, I still have a hint of guilt feelings. Is his death my doing?

The Story:

I still remember those times when we travel from Pagadian to Cebu every  summer vacation. My grandparents were really happy to see us because we were their favorites, as what other people said. I remember my Lolo would buy my 100 points paper from school, 5 pesos each. During school year, I would dutifully collect and work hard for 100 points, coz I know that I will be getting money from my grandparents during our yearly summer vacation to Cebu.

When my grandmother died and their livelihood changed, I saw my Lolo struggled. Since landing a job abroad, I promised him that I will help him out.

I followed through my promise, I have been giving money to my mom to be given to my grandfather for his everyday meals and such. I found out later that my aunt has been using the money, and I was pissed beyond belief! That's supposed to be for my Lolo, not for her! I cut off the support as a sign that I wasn't happy, that I am not tolerating their behavior. I felt like I was deceived, betrayed even.

Months after, every time my mom goes to their old home just to check up on my grandfather, he would tell her to tell me to help him. I said yes and, according to my mom, he was happy. I imagined him with his usual smile of his, I was happy too that he was happy. 

But, before receiving the money, he suddenly died.

I cried so bad when I learned about his death the very next day. I blamed myself for it, maybe because I haven't given money to him and he got depressed that's why he died? For days, I was inconsolable. I cried and kept it to myself.  The memories of my Lolo haunted me till I ended up dreaming about him. In that dream, I saw him on his bed, very old and can't hardly get up to greet me, but he gathered up his strength just to sit up to give me a cupcake. After I woke up, I cried so bad I didn't end up going to work.

In the hopes that I'll get rid of the guilt-feeling I was having, I shouldered his burial expenses. Php 30+ later, I still felt guilty.

This is one of the many roles of being an OFW: we carry the feeling of guilt whenever something bad happen to our family member, especially when we know that they think that we are capable of helping because we are working abroad. Having accepted that we can't carry all the financial burden of our family, we still can't help but feel guilty, that somehow their death is our doing. 

"Will this end?", an OFW might ask. For this I'll reply, "I don't know..." 


  1. Just another one of those things beyond our control...

    1. Yah, but sometimes, I can't help but feel guilty. Oh well!

  2. Aaawww.. I hope the guilt will be over soon. I have emptied my and my husband's bank account for my parents several times thinking that it was my responsibility and that I was helping them. 5 years later the same thing over and over. I had stopped giving extras, just the usual monthly padala (plus hospital/birthday/Xmas/NY). When he died, I sent 50k, apparently it was all spent on his kabaong, so kinulang pa sila. I am not sure why, but I still feel guilty that I did not send more. Such a sad fate for an OFW.

    1. I know, right? Goes to show that no matter how much we give, sometimes, in our family back home's eyes, it would never be enough.

  3. Awww there are really things that are way beyond our control. I hope the guilt feeling will be over soon :) I just followed your blog few days ago and you have inspired me in so many ways, especially on handling finances. I'm work overseas too, and like you, I also intend to be back in Pinas for good, after saving some money. Thank you for following my blog as well :) Take care always and keep on blogging!

    1. Hey, Jacqueline

      Thanks. Yah, I checked your blog and there was "goals" and "money matters" there, so I followed you right back! I love hearing/reading about other people's view about money and what goals they have.

      Take care!


I'd love to hear from you. I read and appreciate all comments. :)