JONATHAN VITUG, 21 DECEMBER 1970 TO 06 JUNE 2014: A MOTHER’S REFLECTION (PART 2)

My mother and Jonathan, circa 1987

14 JUNE 2014

i still can’t process in my brain that Jonathan, my second son, is gone.  I don’t understand why he decided to leap from the 31st floor of a condotel in Makati.  He has been trying to find work after TravelBook let him go.  The quota the owners set for his group couldn’t be met.  He was on the way to New Zealand whe he got the offer from Travel Book and so instead of boarding his connecting flight to New Zealand from Singapore, he decided to return home.  “Mama, I’ll give my best shot,” he told me and we were all happy he was back.

A few weeks there, I noticed how upset he was.  He tried to convince his bosses that the policies laid down by the accounting department are hindrances to their sales efforts.  He worked for over seven years at the top travel websites in the Philippines and they did things differently.  He told me his efforts proved futile to change accounting policies and so the sales target was not met and he was fired lasts April 16.  That was the very first time he was fired.  I tried to encourage him because I knew he was so resilient and he always managed to bounce back.

He sent business application formsand went to interviews but the interviewers always asked how come he only stayed in Expedia over a year and five-to-six months at TravelBook.  He was qualified and yet he had to endure what he perceived was the judgement of the interviewers.

He was no longer able to sleep.  He feared that at 43 years of age, he was too old to be hired.  His Papa and I tried to encourage him and he kept trying.  His journal, which wwe found after his death, revealed that he gave himself a month to find work.  On May 31, he looked at a new establishment in Malate that was 50 storeys high.  He backed out and tried again.  On that first week of June, he went to interviews and seemed happier and like his old self.  June 6 came and he even had dinner with Jim and me.  He looked so relaxed and so neat with his new haircut.  I went up earlier than Jim and he did because I wanted to pray for him.  I asked God to guide him and show me what to say to him through my bible cutting.  The verses I read indicated he will be called to a new job in June and he will not have to go to New Zealand.  I was satisfied with my bible cutting but I decided to let him rest as I will talk to him the next day.

When the phone rang at 11:30 PM, Jim answered the phone and I heard him ask if our son was okay. He sobbed as he asked what happened and we couldn’t control our sobbing that were heard by all our neighbors.  Our daughter Jackie heard the commotion and accompanied us.  She was so strong and composed as she looked at the pictures of her kuya.  He fell face down so his handsome face was no longer recognizable.  The bones holding up his beautiful aquiline nose were smashed and he was no longer Jonathan.  She prevented me from looking and I was not brave enough to insist.

My son left instructions for immediate cremation.  After the autopsies, we asked Fr. Aether Festin to say mass and bless his remains at Veronica funeral home.  His faithful friends from elementary to high school as well as my ASMIC friends and relatives were there supporting usand doing the best to comfort us despite their own grief.  After the cremation, we took his ashes home and offered novena prayers.  On the ninth day, we laid his ashes in the vault at Christ the King Columbary.  The priest who presided at Mass was so understanding and comforting.  we were somehow given hope that our merciful Father, through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, had pity on his soul and brought him to purgatory for cleansing and he will enter paradise after a while.

The officemates, friends, and associateds whose lives Jon touched spoke of what a hard-working employee he was.  His subordinates at Expedia and Shangri-La and St. Giles gave souch wonderful eulogies which reveal to all the kindness, the retentive memory for events, his consdierateness and his concern for people.  His closest friends Gerardo and Teofilo spoke of his fun-loving nature.  My son was a good man who had so many dreams that didn’t come true.  In the end, he felt he couldn’t face the world anymore.

Forgive me, Jon.  I wasn’t persistent enough to convince you to stay with us.  I would have offered my life for you.  I love you so.  Until we meet again, I will keep on loving you.

Jonathan in his college days in La Salle

One thought on “JONATHAN VITUG, 21 DECEMBER 1970 TO 06 JUNE 2014: A MOTHER’S REFLECTION (PART 2)

  1. JV, I’m a regular of your blog. Usually, I love reading your comments and pageant predictions every now and then. You might not know me, but I’m pretty sure or paths have crossed somehow in pageant forums. I’m really sorry to read about your loss, he’s such a young and good looking man.
    I work in behavioral health( psychiatry), and I am well familiar with symptoms associated with depression that sometimes we take it for granted thinking these symptoms would just go away. Case of a dear colleague of mine who’s son jumped from George Washington bridge here in NYC a few years ago. Working in this field for so long, she question herself why she didn’t see it coming… What I am trying to say is, even professional people like us, there isn’t any guarantee that we could predict whether a person really meant what he/she’s saying when they say they want to hurt themselves. It has become a trend among patients we regularly see from the ER to either say “I hear voices” or ‘I want to hurt myself” to automatically be admitted to our unit for their “personal” need and not necessarily what they feel at that moment.
    I wish for you and your family to find strength in God, I know it is difficult…but only TIME will heal. Nobody will live forever, we all have experiences of loss at one time or the other..You see, my line of thinking is….look back 5 to 10 years ago when you had a major, major disappointment, trauma, surgery, death, and etc. Then fast forward it to the present…most of those memories are either gone or semi-forgotten already. The TIME factor will help us move on with life.

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