By Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila

August 1, 2009. My husband Jun and I have just returned from LaSalle Greenhills where we joined the public procession at the wake of Cory Aquino. It was both a solemn and a joyful experience, with groups of people in Cory’s signature yellow shirts spontaneously singing her favorite songs, with entire families lining up clutching bouquets of yellow flowers in one hand and an umbrella in their other hand, everyone wearing a yellow ribbon and reminiscing about their experiences during the “time of Cory”.

We greeted old friends and met new friends. Many remarked about the good planning that must have been done behind the scenes for the public viewing. The yellow-shirted marshals and military honor guards kept the thousands of people orderly with the lines slowly moving past where Cory lay in state. She seemed to be sleeping peacefully, amidst the lullaby of hundreds of voices reciting a never-ending litany of prayers for her.

I was reminded of the prayer-poem that my Mom sent me several years before she passed on (she left us last year 2008), words that she wanted read during her memorial. I believe that Cory would also say these words to us, to the Filipino people whom she loved and left behind…

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears,
Be happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love, you can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown,
But now it’s time I traveled on alone.
So grieve awhile for me if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for awhile that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away, for life goes on,
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near.
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile, and “Welcome Home.”

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