Bottled Up

Allow me to indulge in writing a tragic story.

Kuya Ernest died two weeks ago. His pacemaker failed, and actually kept failing him for the past year. He died in the States where his son and daughter from first wife are. His new family – my cousin and three kids – are all here in the Philippines. My cousin just gave birth to a baby boy – Mico. Marjorie, my goddaughter, is turning 4. Mico is 5 months old. He never got to see his dad.

My cousin filed for emergency VISA, but it got rejected twice. They were all packed; Kuya Ernest’ body was kept in a freezer so he can be preserved. His family is waiting for my cousin so she could make the decisions – cremated or not, States of Philippines, etc. It took a week before the embassy delivered the bad news ; thus, a week of body-kept-in-freezer situation. They will never see the body. They won’t be able to say goodbye.

This is the future that awaits them: she’s still under petition, awaiting 6-9 months. The moment she gets her green card, she would need to stay abroad so she could petition her kids – alone. It’s a tall order – having to stay there without the kids, without Kuya Ernest. He knows how much she hates it there. What for? But she would have to do it nonetheless, for the kids, else they will be black listed.

This is the most heartbreaking situation I have ever encountered.


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