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  • ‘I Will Bring Him Home In A Box’: Bereaved Mom Mourns Son’s Tragic Death While Vacationing Together

    Atty. John Laylo was on vacation with his mom when their Uber was shot in a random act of violence
    by Ronna Capili Bonifacio .
‘I Will Bring Him Home In A Box’: Bereaved Mom Mourns Son’s Tragic Death While Vacationing Together
  • Filipino lawyer Atty. John Albert Laylo, 35 years old, was a victim of a random act of violence in Philadelphia. He and his mother Leah Bustamante Laylo were riding an Uber on their way to the airport to catch a flight to Chicago when their vehicle was shot.

    Leah Laylo posted an album of their last few moments together on Facebook on June 20. She wrote:

    “I thank God for the 35 years of his life. I’m beyond grateful for having a good, smart, generous, loving, caring son. These are the adjectives I can think of right now. I’m lost for words!

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that he was pronounced dead at 10:33 AM on June 19, Sunday, at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. He suffered from a gunshot in the back of the head.

    His mother on the other hand, is recovering from three shrapnel wounds.

    “I can’t feel the physical pain due to the shrapnel. What I feel is the pain that you left me, us your family!” she writes in her post.


    Atty. Laylo’s achievements

    CNN Philippines reports that Atty. John Laylo was the legislative staff officer of Sen. Manuel Roxas II from 2007 to 2009 and then associate partner at DB Law Partnership from 2015 to 2016. 

    From 2016 to 2018 he was a supervising legislative lawyer in the Philippines Senate. He was also a former staff of Senator and political prisoner Leila de Lima for two years before he left to pursue his Masters, she reveals in a Tweet.

    During the recent 2022 general elections, Atty. Laylo was appointed as the official counsel of outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo in the board of canvassers for Makati City.

    Thank you for everything, anak

    “My son had a lot of dreams, a lot of plans, hopes and everything! He’s gone now,” writes Leah.

    Her photo album includes their recent vacation photos which show Atty. Laylo and his mom touring different US states including New York, Pennsylvania, and the capital, Washington D.C.

    “My last happy moments with my son Jal, who passed away this morning at 10:33 AM EST time,” she begins the caption.

    “You really love to travel huh that you chose to die here in the US!”

    RELATED: 'Kung Malungkot Ka, Maging Malungkot Ka': Moms Who Lost A Child Share How They Cope

    Leah shares that during their vacation, her son made sure they would always have fun. “Before he left he made sure we had fun! But never did I imagine or dream that its almost the end of our vacation will be like this.

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    “We travelled together and we are supposed to go home together! I will bring him home soon in a box!

    The bereaved mother ends her post by thanking her son. “Anak, thank you so much for everything! You know we love you so much and I did what I can to protect you in that incident but I know you understand why I need to protect myself as well. I have a purpose,” then she writes about her pain.

    “Jan as we call him, mahal na mahal ka namin! No more pain no more sufferings. I know Papa Jesus is embracing you already and you’re surrounded with angels now.”

    RELATED: This Couple Is Turning Their Grief Into Gratitude After the Death of Their Baby

    A few reminders for coping with sudden death of a child

    “For parents who have lost a child, it makes no sense for life to end at such a young age—particularly when the death is sudden and without warning, says Very Well Family.

    Here are a few things you can remember during these painful times:

    1. Stick together.

    Filipinos understand the power of family, especially during difficult times such as loss. Lean on each other for help as you grieve together.

    “Being together can help you remember that you are not alone in your grief,” says Very Well Family. “Use the strength of your family’s sense of belonging to help you manage your sorrow.”

    People grieve differently and families can find comfort in each other. Allow each other private time to grieve as well.


    2. Accept help.

    There may be a number of everyday things that will fall through the cracks during this time and extended family and friends may offer help. Allow yourself to accept help.

    Some loved ones may say “Just let me know how I can help,” because they may not know exactly what you need but are willing to. Don’t be afraid to say yes to the offer and spell out exactly what you need.

    Very Well Family also says to ask for help whenever you need it. “Don’t try to do everything on y our own of without help. Give yourself the break you need.”

    RELATED: Working Parents Who Lost Their Son Plead: 'Don't Miss Out on Things That Matter'

    3. Get support.

    There are support groups you can join or connecting with other parents who may understand what you are going through. 

    Consider also seeking professional help to help you come to terms with loss. 

    “If death is sudden, grief is not necessarily greater than it would have been with an anticipated death, says Therese Rando to Very Well Family, a psychologist and the clinical director of The Institute for the Study and Treament of Loss.“But it may be harder to cope with because it is so disruptive.”

    Professional help can help you find coping solutions to help you manage your feelings of grief.

    4. Create a new family tradition.

    This is something you can do together as a family as you go through the first year without your loved one, and not an immediate action step right after your loss.


    “Remember that your lost child is still a part of [the family], says the site. “Create a family tradition that will help you remember the good memories you had together.

    Very Well Family adds, “Other grieving parents have performed random acts of kindness in memory of their child, donated to a cause close to their child’s heart, developed a scholarship fund in their child’s name, or planted a tree or shrub in their memory.

    You can get creative and do something that’s good for your family.

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