Mariel’s First

At around 5:20 am exactly a year ago, Mariel was called home to God’s garden leaving behind me and our daughter Sam to try to make out the Lord’s plan for her…for us. We were at such a loss then because she was the one that held our family together. Her self-effacing ways made everything in our home run routinely easy and almost boringly simple. Until of course this fateful day in September, which will now forever be etched in our hearts.

I started this blog really to try to “communicate” with her. Because there is so much more I had not told her well enough. Like, how much I loved her and how much I had truly appreciated her loving ways. (You know these very important things are oftentimes the first casualties of our obsession with the daily grind). Now therefore, all I want to do for the rest of my life is to remind others to “pay more attention” to love. And in the process even make a few more people “discover” what an exceptionally beautiful person Mariel was.

May I please ask you to say a little prayer for Mariel Gina Francia Bello today. She was one who wanted neither fame nor great riches. All she cared about was to be with family and do every little part of each day properly and boringly well. And that is why she was truly special.

We love you Mommy.

4 thoughts on “Mariel’s First

  1. Dearest Bong,

    I’m sorry this message is late – I have had flu and felt unwell this weekend.

    I know this first anniversary will be a particularly painful and sad time for you and for Sam. Quite often on such special days grief can feel even more intense that it does during normal day by day life. It can make people panic, feeling that things are getting worse and that no healing or progression has taken place. it can make people feel afraid for the future and how they will cope. I will pray for your inner peace, and for Sam’s too. In someways, however, it is right that the pain is so immense and intense at these times, because it is equal to the love you felt for the person who has died. So if you can, if you feel strong enough, embrace that pain and let it inform you of how very great the love that you and Mariel had for each other was and still is. Sam too, for the unconditional love of a child for her mother is huge. I hope you can find comfort in each other and know that after the pain has peaked it will return to a more managable grief. This doesn’t mean you are forgetting, or letting go, or moving on without Mariel – it means that you are doing what she would want you to do: that is continuing to live your lives and enjoy them as much as possible, until you meet again.

    Fondest regards and hugs for you both, from Jan.

  2. regina espinosa

    hi there,

    i was a classmate of mariel in elementary and i was so shocked having heard of her death today because of forwarded emails from laura sibayan to marelou asares to vnas antonio. and it was a year ago when she passed away. haven’t seen her after grade 6, but i have fond memories of her because she was really nice, we were seatmates most of the time due to our surnames.

    i condole with you and i wish you and your daughter inner peace.


  3. Dear Bong,

    The first anniversary is so tough, so unrelenting in memories, and so indescribable. A few days have passed now, and I’m hoping you and Sam are doing okay. My thoughts are with you.


  4. Dear Linda,

    I’m sure you knew this very well. Yes, the weeks leading to it were probably the hardest of all. Because indeed Mariel and Owen too are both so beautiful to be ever easily forgotten.

    Our family, friends and loved ones had come together on the day to remember Mariel and we offered our love and prayers. And you were there with us too in our thoughts as we remember all who have been a great part of our journey.

    Thank you for always being there for us. We would not have made it this far without the soothing words of caring and encouragement. I also continue to pray that Owen and you find the peace that you and your family so very much deserve. I’m sure in God’s time you will, as we look forward so much to the time we are again reunited with our lost loved ones.

    Always take care and as Robert says “spirits up”.

    All the best,


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