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A Widow At 25, A Young Mom of 3 Toddlers Reflects, 'I Cannot Fail'
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Aila
  • Last December, my mom went to work one ordinary day, just like she did for more than 30 years of her life. But she never came back home because she was accidentally hit by a pickup truck while crossing the pedestrian lane. 

    Death makes you rethink your life. It is only now that this reality sinks in: We only truly have the NOW because we really do not know if we still have that one more day to do the things we have set out to do. 

    A widow at 25

    Aila with her three young daughters, Madison, Amarison, and Marhysson
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Aila
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    This truth became even more staggering when I met a very young widow in my business and life coaching class. Aila*, 25, is a mom of three young daughters. She lost the love of her life, Jilson, last September 2019.

    Aila received the news that her husband was killed (the family suspects foul play) at around 1 a.m. Her mind could not process what she was hearing, and she was in denial the whole time. “Nagkamali lang sila,” she recalled, thinking. “'Di ako naniniwala na asawa ko yun.”

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    As news of her husband's death spread among her family and friends' social feeds, it still did not sink in until her husband's body was brought home. That was when Aila felt her whole body stiffen in grief and unimaginable pain.

    “Yung mga tao sa paligid ko, they were expecting me to break down. To wail. But I did not. I could not. Akala nila wala ako pakialam,," Aila recalled. "Yung hindi nila alam, a part of me died when I saw my husband dead. But I needed to be strong for the three pairs of eyes that were looking at me,” she said. 

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    Those eyes belonged to her daughters: Madison, 5, Amarison, 3, and Marhysson, 1.

    “My mind was racing; my heart was broken. Paano nangyari to? Sino may kagagawan nito?” All these thoughts came to her after Aila retreated in her room alone.

    She and Jilson had a fight before he left the day before, and she could not believe there was no more chance for them to reconcile, kiss, and make up.

    Aila with her husband, Jilson, her stepson, and two daughters during happy times.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Aila
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    “Kung dati sinasabi nila, huwag palagpasin ang araw na magkagalit kayo ng asawa mo, iba na ngayon. Huwag niyo hahayaan na umalis sa bahay ang asawa nyo na may samaan kayo ng loob kasi hindi mo alam if makakabalik pa sila,” Alia stressed.

    How Aila mustered the strength she does not know, but her three daughters certainly had a lot to do with it. The whole process of laying her husband to his grave was like a blur. There was not much time to grieve because of all the things to do.

    After Aila buried her husband, she simply had no time to wallow in self-pity. She needed a solid plan on how to survive without her spouse.

    Survival mode

    Asked how she was able to cope with her loss, Aila shared the importance of training the mind, shifting her focus, and at the same time, taking care of her self. 

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    “I have mindset coaches that help me process the emotions that I feel, both personally and in my business. I do meditation and journaling," the mompreneur shared.

    "I also love to pamper myself with massages, manicures, and pedicures. I think it's what most mothers neglect. Still, I feel na this is very important kasi 'di natin mabibigay ang best natin if we ourselves are not coming from a good place,” Aila added.

    With an indomitable mindset, Aila also put herself to work, putting up a company, Eunoia, which provides custom-themed party souvenirs such as bath and body products and home products. This passion project now lets her provide for the financial needs of her children.

    Daddy's girls. 
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Aila
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    While she may not celebrate Valentine’s Day like other couples, Aila beams with happiness that is coming from a place within her heart and not influenced by other sources.

    “I still am in the process of forgiveness. I have already forgiven my husband. I have already forgiven myself, but there is still a part of me that seeks justice. So every day is a struggle towards that path," Aila admitted.

    “What I realized is the strength that you need is within you,” she said with so much conviction.“Grieve when you need to grieve. But you always have to take that one step forward. Kahit small step lang. In my case, what keeps me going are the three wonderful souls that rely on me. I cannot fail.”

    *Surname is purposely left out upon the family's request.

    Exprienced a death in the family? Click here to know how to talk to your kids about it. 

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