Ready to Start Anew

Ready to start anew
Edna ready to start anew

It took Edna 17 years, and ICM’s Recover program to finally find healing. Now, she’s ready to start anew.

Edna participated in a six-week program offered for Typhoon Odette victims back in 2021. Together with other victims, she learned not only to process the emotional and psychological trauma, but also to equip herself with the knowledge to mitigate risks in future calamities, address health crises, and develop entrepreneurial skills to recover from financial losses.

What’s left of Edna’s home after Typhoon Odette

But what was just a six-week session of knowing and learning, became a journey of personal rediscovery and healing—which finally caused her to come to terms with deep grief and loss she bore for years. “It opened wounds,” she said, referring to the tragic and massive landslide in St. Bernard, Guinsaugon, Leyte, which claimed her entire village including her parents and all six siblings. The calamity happened the day before her trip back home. She was excited about that trip, eager to reunite and reconcile with her family, after she ran away to Manila to start a life and a family. What was supposed to be a tearful reunion became a mournful return, marked by unnerving periods of hopelessness and grief.

Aerial of the landslide that claimed her family and her community

“The trauma healing sessions were very beneficial for me,” she said. As the lessons gradually unlocked her deep-seated pain and grief, these also steadily released her from the bondage of hurt and anger. Prior to the lessons, she always visited where her home was, marked by a cross she herself planted. Despite the massive search and retrieval efforts, none of her family’s remains were ever found. With neither closure nor healing, she had held on to this thought that her family were alive somewhere, and that they would be back.

Each weekly lesson drew her closer to her healing. Tired of burying her pain with household chores, wishful thinking, and indignation, she opened herself to co-participants and shared her journey of pain and grief.

Edna with her eldest son, Tristan

“I am now free,” she declared. Amidst the harrowing loss, she knows it was never God’s intention, but a consequence of people’s decisions. She finally released and tossed out her pent-up emotions–grief, hurt, and bitterness, and took in her heart the firm resolve to move forward and live free.

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