Happy 17th Birthday In Heaven, My Keith!

It's that time of the year again. Keith would have been 17 today.

It has become my tradition to look back at his old photos a few days before his birthday or his angelversary. This is not to say that these are the only times that I do this. At random times, I catch myself looking at his photos (and kissing his beloved toy Meowmeow). The truth is, I miss Keith everyday. I always wish that he's still with us so I could watch him grow into an amazing young man. However, the Almighty had other plans for him, and I do understand that now. I can finally say that with confidence because I know that I have gone a very long way since that painful reality in 2012. 

And while I was browsing through his photos, I came across an open letter that I wrote in 2014 (two years after he left us). 


Dear Keith,

When God took you away from us more than two years ago, I was so devastated. That was the most painful thing that ever happened to me. I questioned God and my faith. I kept asking myself: if there was a God, why would He allow a child who was so good-hearted, talented and beautiful to die at 11? I knew I wouldn’t get an answer. People would tell me that God had a purpose and that things happen for a reason. Yeah I got it, but I wanted to know what His purpose was- straight away. I was being impatient. I was bitter. I would get jealous looking at 11 year olds. I would get jealous at mothers telling their children off for doing something silly. I would rather you be here doing silly things, than not have you at all. I became selfish. I kept telling myself I didn’t deserve to lose you. There are people in the world far worse than I am. I have not done anything wrong, and even if I did and if this was my punishment, it was too much. And even if our family is dysfunctional, we didn’t deserve to lose you.

Your passing may not have done a great deal of damage to me physically or even emotionally (meaning I didn’t go crazy or didn’t hurt myself), but it certainly had some bad effects on me. For the first year since you left, I suffered with anxiety disorder – self diagnosed of course. I didn’t tell anyone because I knew I could deal with it on my own. I had panic attacks so often that I think it affected my memory somehow (don’t ask me how and how is it relevant). I would burst into tears at random times, in random places. I had sleepless nights, asking why, why, why? This went on for a whole year.

The second year was a little bit easier. Although I would say I haven’t completely moved on from your passing, I was learning how to live my “new normal”. Letting go of you was the hardest thing to do, but I knew I had no choice but to accept the fact that you were no longer with us and that I will never see you again. Somehow, acceptance helped me get through that very painful journey.

I remember one of my religious friends telling me that everything will become better after two years. I didn’t take that seriously, until I was faced with yet another life changing situation just a few months before your second angelversary.

Two years on and here I am, about to begin another chapter in my life. It now dawned on me that God indeed had a reason for taking you and that things happen for a reason. I have since become a firm believer of this.

God took you away from me to prepare me for something that He knew would have potentially ruined my life, if it were not for you. I think I know myself too well to be able to say this now. He knew that after losing you, I could withstand life’s challenges no matter how difficult they may seem. And this is also probably the reason why I didn’t get any answers when I wanted them so badly.

So basically, this is just to say thank you and thank God for preparing me for all this. You have given me all the strength that I needed to face this challenge. Because of you, our family and my friends, I found the inner strength that I thought I never had. I have learned how to maintain beauty and grace in times of adversity. I have learned to put on a good fight without having to sacrifice my integrity and my dignity. Most importantly, I became the bigger and better person that I have always wanted to be.

Thank you Keith. As you have always believed, “Kaya ko po, Ako Pa”. I am proud to say that I did it! Thank you for being my inspiration and for teaching me how to be strong. It always makes me cry whenever I relive that moment when Mama told me she knew you were suffering a lot from pain but never showed them. You never complained. They never saw you frown or grimace. They never heard you cry. All they saw was that lovely smile on your face - that of courage and strength.

I am sure you have been looking down on me all this time. I just hope that I have done you proud.

As I take on another journey in life, I take comfort in your belief that I can do everything. You will always be in my heart. Mommy Tintin loves you so much and I miss you every single day.


That was three years ago. Although I am in a better place now, it remains painful at times especially on days like today.

I know there is nothing more I can do because Keith is no longer with us, but I am not giving up on my dream to do something big in his memory- one day. For now, I will continue to do the little things to honour the 11 year old boy who showed nothing but courage, strength and positivity.

On Keith's 5th death anniversary, I made a firm commitment to give blood on or before his angelversary and birthday. So, a couple days ago, I gave blood for the second time this year. I pray that I remain healthy so I can fulfil my commitment to give blood in Keith's memory for the rest of my life. 

When I woke up this morning, I went to my "Keith's corner" in the house, lit a candle, played his favourite song "Lighters" and said a little prayer. I promised myself not to cry anymore because I know that Keith is now in a better place but I couldn't help it. I guess tears will never run out for Keith. 

After that, I called home and spoke to my family. They are celebrating Keith's birthday as usual. And then I had a heart to heart talk with one of his good friends. It always makes me feel better knowing that I haven't lost connection with Keith's friends, and I am very grateful for this.

I always wish Keith never left us, but with what's going on in this world right now, I guess it is better that he is spared from all the uncertainties. But still...

I will forever miss this wonderful kid. My love for him will never end.



Popular posts from this blog

2018, Thank You For The Roller Coaster Ride!

The Southern Clifftop Track and Whitireia Walkways in Porirua

Afternoon Tea in London: My Experiences in 2022