Who are we without the people who have raised us?

It is in sadness and guilt that I write today’s blog. I found out this morning that my grandpa had passed away.

Before we moved to Canada my grandparents raised me. They lived with my parents and my siblings during the years my parents both worked full time. And while we had moved to Canada I maintained a close relationship with them, visiting them every other year, talking on the phone and even writing letters.

It has only been the last five years, the years of my growth, that I have not kept in touch with my grandpa. I had grown ‘busy’ trying to develop a career and building a life that I thought I had to live. He had stayed here with my aunt’s family and yes I knew this time was coming near. I took him for granted and distanced for the sole purpose of avoiding this huge feeling of loss right now – as I had when I lost my grandmas. But now instead of just feeling loss I’m feeling guilt, sadness and a sense of confusion. Who have I become?

The Filipino culture is so entrenched with the concept of family. I used to go to my cousin’s cousin’s birthdays, new years etc. Living in Vancouver has made celebrating every possible occasion difficult due to the expenses. How can I go out and celebrate everything when I need to constantly work to afford the lifestyle I want? And how can I develop my career if I have to consider so many other schedules into my work week?

I hope to change all this, to find my Filipino core and re-start spending more time with my family. For now, I’m left feeling so sad and so so guilty.

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