In pain, feeling nauseated and having butterflies in my stomach, that was how I am feeling while writing this blog. In front of me is my Dad’s casket. Too many crazy things running in my mind and too many why’s that I am praying will have answers.
In every child’s eyes their dad is the best in the world, and that includes me. I came from a poor family but my Dad did his best to raise us, sent me to college and continued to support the family (with the extensions) until his last breath. He knew every single person in our barangay as well as the neighboring barangays. He is loved by our relatives, even the ones who do not see him frequently. It is no surprise that that during fiesta, my parents’ house is always of full of guests.
My father was diagnosed with prostate enlargement and advised to undergo turp (Transurethral resection of the prostate) procedure. I was angry at him for allowing himself to be in this condition when he could have prevented it, or he should tried at least. Last December 2017, he was advised to take medicine to normalize his prostate and dissolve the kidney stone, and have follow-up checkups. The kidney stone was dissolved but his prostate continued to enlarge.
My Dad was your typical old folk who is afraid to visit a doctor (for fear to know his health condition) and my mom urged him to go back to the doctor but he was just too hardheaded for her. Then peeing became difficult. Then, he unknowingly peed on the bed due to his medical condition. He had urinary catheterization before and after the operation. Catheterization allows the patient’s urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection.
A day after the procedure, he was discharged from the hospital. While at home, he began to stammer and was not eating his meal. My younger brother asked for help to put an IV on him. Not long after, he lost himself, he removed his IV and catheter. He was brought back to the hospital and had CT Scan. He had a stroke. He was transferred to another hospital near our house but after a few days, he became weak and deteriorated to comatose.
Everything went too fast and the hardest decision was made. Just like what we see in movies or telanovelas. The doctor informed my mom and my siblings that my Dad won’t make it. It is best to take him home rather than connect him to a ventilator machine to help him breath. My mom didn’t like him to suffer anymore knowing that the chance of recovery was nil. They took him home.
As an OFW, miles away from home, this is a difficult situation and no one wants to be in my shoes, if we can help it. After I talked to my family, I went straight to my boss got his approval for my Emergency Leave. God blessed me with his favor, everything went well and I was able to book ticket and obtained exit re-entry in a couple of hours, which is a feat in itself.
I was at the boarding gate waiting for my flight when I received the saddest message. My father was not able to wait for me, he passed away. At that moment, I prayed hard that if this is His will, I will accept wholeheartedly and be glad that my Dad is at peace with God in heaven. I will be forever thankful to him and my Mom for what I have and for what I have become.
Facing the Inevitable
Health is wealth, we should take care of our body and not abuse it. But death is a natural event that we cannot stop and there is nothing we can do when Mr. D wields its scythe.
During my Dad’s wake, I had a realization that nothing can prepare us for our own or family member’s death or sickness. It is a reality that needs acceptance and faith.
We may not be able to prepare for its coming, but we can at least lighten the load and cost that goes with the death of our love ones. These are things that we need to attend to even before THAT day comes. Our family members would thank and love us more for doing so.
1. Continue SSS Contribution
It is not mandatory for an OFW to continue monthly/yearly contributions to SSS. This is a discretion of the member but take note that if you will not complete the required contributions you and your dependents will not get the retirement benefits/pension.
The deceased member’s dependent/s is/are entitled as well for funeral and death benefits.
I advised that on your next vacation visit the SSS branch near you to know the requirements, benefits and how to continue the payments of your contributions.
2. Pay Philhealth Yearly
Being an active Philhealth member, you and your dependents are entitled for certain discounts for hospitalizations. It is such a great help to lessen the exorbitant hospital bills.
Senior Citizens are automatic Philhealth members. Thanks to Philippine Government.
Don’t forget to visit as well the closest Philhealth branch on your next vacation. It is helpful to know the benefits as a member. Or check their website.
3. Invest in Retirement Plan
Aside from end of service benefits as an OFW and pension from SSS, why not take into consideration investing in retirement plan. Visit your preferred bank and be informed about their retirement investment plan offered by the bank.
4. Invest in Educational Plan for your Children
Parents are now ones are reluctant to invest in educational plan because of the downfall of the well-known insurance company. Nowadays, banks are now offering educational plan by investing in stock markets, bonds or mutual funds. I visited BPI and I found it helpful and interesting.
5. Acquiring Memorial Plan and Lot
It is a taboo to talk about your own death. Yes, it is weird to shop and choose your own memorial plan and memorial lot.
But it is also cool to arrange these things while you are alive. You can select your own casket and memorial lot where you want to lay your remains. When your time, comes, your family will not be worried about these. I’ve learned that not only sickness is costly, even death too.
We, OFWs are away from home and have our own family but don’t forget to reach out with our old folks.
Life is too short to spend arguing fighting and nurturing hurt feelings from the past.
Count your blessings, value your loved ones and move on with your head held high. – Live Life Happy
Please read as well SHOULD OFWs CONTINUE PAYING SSS: A Case Study.