It’s never easy coping with the loss of a loved one, especially when it's the sudden passing of someone closest to your heart—and this feeling is something that Adamson University Lady Falcons' spiker Jema Galanza knows all too well.
Galanza's sister, whom she also considers her best friend and life coach, passed away in 2015 due to a heart attack. It was a loss that broke her spirit and nearly threatened her student-athlete dreams, but the Queen Falcon was able to rise above it all and was able to channel her grief into something beautiful by using it as a motivation to become a better individual after the tragedy. Here, she shares with Chalk how she was able to cope despite the heart-wrenching experience:
Make it a motivation to work harder. Galanza shares, "'Pag na-do-down ako, siya 'yung iniisip ko. Para sasabihin ko sa isip ko na, ‘Ate, para sa’yo ‘to, siguro kung nabubuhay ka, nanonood ka sakin ngayon.” Instead of letting grief consume her, she made her sister's passing an inspiration to become braver and better not just on the court, but in all aspects of her life.
A loss isn’t just actually a loss. It may symbolize the end of something, but it may also be the start of something new. The loss of her sister may have caused Galanza immense pain, but it also led her to a new version of herself—someone who’s much stronger and more independent than ever.
Explore and find other sources of strength. “Kailangan ko lang ituloy and kailangan kong palakasin pa 'yung sarili ko. Kailangan pang mag-explore pa para malaman kung ano pa 'yung ugali mo at weaknesses mo para maging lakas mo siya. Para hanggang sa pagtanda mo, kaya mo na siyang i-handle,” Galanza says.
While the Lady Falcons have fallen last in the most recent UAAP season, Galanza is proof that life goes on and there are better things to come despite loss. All you have to do is #DaretoDream.
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Banner photograph courtesy of UAAP Magazine.