The loss of my loved ones has always touched the fibers of my heart, but in different forms and intensities.
First I lost my father’s father José Rafael, product of a combination of diabetes and old age. He stayed in bed for about six months until he died. My grandmother and my father (with all of his brothers and sisters) took care of grandpa all that time. I was very young at the time (around 10 years) and possibly I did not understand in depth the meaning of that loss, maybe because the contact with my grandfather had been for a very short period of time.
Being a little older (then at the university abroad) my sister called me from Venezuela to notify me of the death of our mother’s father Víctor Toribio. I immediately remember the day I left my country when I said goodbye to him. His words then were: I will probably die before you come back and this could be the last time you will see me. God bless you!
It was a hard blow and it hurt me more because I could not come to the country to his funeral.
In 1985 my father (Luis Rafael) got lost in his plane (the story is on the blog) and appeared dead after two years. This was possibly the first truly strong blow in life for me, not only because of the circumstances surrounding my father’s disappearance and posterior search but because during his disappearance, I always thought he had been kidnapped and therefore alive.
My life changed radically with this fact.
I changed jobs, got divorced and I was separated from my children for very long periods of time, mainly because of the distance (they were in Zulia and I was in Margarita) and also because my economic situation began to drop.
In 2005, my mother’s mother Maria Jesusita left at age 95. She died quietly while she slept, without any trauma or anguish. I was at a political meeting in Caracas and my wife called me from Carúpano (Sucre) to tell me the news. I attended her funeral and was with my mother at the moment she said good bye to her mother.
In 2018, I lost my son Luis Alfredo (30 years old) in Miami due to a very strange form of cancer. It had been detected in the middle of the previous year (2017) when my son lost consciousness while playing with his son Joaquin. He was transferred to the clinic and after the tests, the cancer was detected. Once the chemotherapy treatment began and the evolution was positive. I went to visit him in February, 2018 and I was with him and his family for about a month and a half.
Cherished moments with him, Joaquin and my son’s wife. His sister Carla Sofia was also closed at that time.
In one of his visits to the doctor, his mother, sister, wife and me went with him. The doctor gave him a break for three months to recover from the chemotherapy and after that period, he would be re-evaluated to decide then which path to take: continue with the chemotherapy or operation to remove the tumors that might still exist.
That day the joy was great. We cried with gladness and hugged him.
I returned to Venezuela at the end of March and on May 23, they informed me from Miami that my son had felt bad and had been taken to the clinic as an emergency. Once in the clinic he felled in a coma and was placed in a machine to help him breathe. Once evaluated by the doctors, they found that he had suffered severe brain damage. they recommended to disconnect him from the equipment and proceeded accordingly.
Early that morning of May 24, my son died. I cried when I heard the news and I still cry.
I have not been able to recover from that loss.
With the help of some friends, I managed to go to my son’s funeral in Miami.
While we were at the funeral site, her mother and I hugged each other for the first time after many years. We both cried. The next day, he was buried at a local cemetery in Miami.
I gave him my blessing when his body was deposited in his last resting place…. And I cried
Rest in peace, son … Your mother, your sister, your son, all your family and I, will always carry you in our hearts.
I want to write a special note for Paul Perozo, Luis Alfredo’s mother’s current husband.
Paul was another father for my son and taught him values. Luis was very fond of him and for me, he is like a brother.