KEARNY, N.J. – A Filipina widow, Malou Mananghaya, visits her husband’s grave at least three times a week, without fail.
“Alam natin na ‘pag namatay ka na wala na, hindi na babalik, di ba? Pero yung love, yung happy memories, nandididito yun eh. Hindi mo pwedeng kalimutan yun kaya I’m always here,” she said during one of her recent cemetery visits.
It was love at first sight for Malou and Michael Tristan Mananghaya when they first met in 2006.
“Sweet, very sweet yan, lalo na pag may sakit ako. Wala, para akong reyna. Pagka-birthday ko, I have breakfast in bed,” Malou said. “Yun ang nami-miss ko sa kanya. Saka dun ako na-inlove masyado. Very sweet.”
But tragedy came just a few months after their church wedding, Michael was killed in a freak accident.
In 2012, Michael, an electrician, was guiding a crane operator to lift a 40-foot industrial air conditioning unit at the Bronx – Lebanon Hospital when a chain broke. The massive refrigeration unit crashed, pinning him to the wall.
He was dead on arrival at the hospital’s emergency room.
Malou said that on that same morning, Michael said his goodbyes three times before he left for work.
“Ang hirap maka-move on, lalo na alam mong hindi siya nagkasakit — bigla bigla na lang. Pagmulat ng mata mo wala na asawa mo. Yun ang pinaka-masakit,” she said.
It has been nearly three years, since her husband’s tragic death. But Malou says the case against her husband’s employers is still in court.
“Talagang dapat may justice right away di ba? Pero until now wala pa rin eh, wala pa rin akong naririnig. Masakit para sa akin, saka sa pamilya ng asawa ko,” she said.
On Nov. 1, Malou says she will be spending hours at the North Arlington Cemetery in Kearney, New Jersey.
“Ang pinaka malaking natutunan ko dun,” Malou said, “Give your family more time, be happy, don’t waste time. Always give them love kasi hindi natin alam kung anong mangyayari kinabukasan, ngayon masaya kami, kinabukasan.”
On all souls day, Malou says as we remember the dead, we should honor and show our love to those who are still living.
You may contact Don Tagala at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.