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  • Writer's pictureAnna Maria De Guid

On Our Beloved Aunt

Updated: Jun 14

When my cousin Raymond called to tell me that Aunt Lulu passed away, I was quite taken aback that the news did not bring tears.

She has been having so much pain the last final weeks of her life that my prayer was for God to please take away her pain. (Three months before, another aunt Tita Onie passed away from gall bladder cancer. She described her excruciating pain as being cut up inside with a sharp knife. Every time I think of her words, I stop any chance at imagining what she went through.)

Shortly after we arrived at the wake, Raymond shared with us a beautiful experience with Aunt Lulu. He began by saying that he didn't believe in these things, thinking that I might consider it imaginary. (Not me! I've heard too many stories of the afterlife to make me a staunch believer. Well, that's also the foundation of my faith!)

It was 3am and Raymond couldn't sleep, tossing around in his bed. Then, he felt a kiss on his forehead. When he opened his eyes, he saw Aunt Lulu who said, "Matulog ka na." ("Sleep now." Those were often her words to him.) Though there's a doubt hovering in his heart that it could have been a hallucination because he was half awake, he could not conceal his joy. And I was so very happy for him.

On the evening of Aunt Lulu's wake, people were asked to share their stories. I was not

prepared, and I wish I had given earlier thought to this. But then, I strongly felt though that I needed to share those that surfaced to mind: that she and Aunt Lorna matched me to my hubby, that it was because of her that I learned about her branch of the Halili family (She had very beautiful words for each aunt, uncle, and cousin.); that it takes only a call to reach out to our loved ones. My huge regret was not having prepared for this sharing. I could have related so much more.

Though she never married, she had deep insights on relationships. Though she never had children, she always had sage parenting advise. Though tough with business numbers, the numbers fell apart when relationships were at stake. Though a co-owner of a fast food restaurant chain, she never paraded that information around. Her close companions were humility, honesty, kindness, and generosity.

During the lunch reception, friends at our table came up with the idea of going to Yaamava Casino after the meal. Slots, poker, and wheel were Aunt Lulu's favorite hobbies. They said it would be part of celebrating her life. And so they did.

Late that evening, Tess exuberantly shared that for the very first time, she won at the slots ... big time! She said that she asked Aunt Lulu to direct her to slot machines that would give her a payout, and she did! There was not a hue of doubt in her that Aunt Lulu assisted her.

Before the day ended as I lay down, tears came. Unexpectedly the dam broke. But it was with gladness, joy, and thanksgiving to God for having had her in my life.

As I move forward to a new month, another year, and maybe the many more years that God will let me travel this path, I pray I meet Aunt Lulu down the road. I still have questions for her about the best Vegas hotel.


My name's Anna Maria, and I publish a new video on YouTube's Touched by Grace Today and a new post on my blog every week! Check out for my other articles! If you've been #tbgtoday, feel free to share your story of grace here.

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