A year after Julia Buencamino’s death, her mother Shamaine said that the pain of losing her has not completely gone away.
The talented actress shared with the Philippine Daily Inquirer that Julia ‘planned’ her death and even wrote ‘eat!’ in her schedule that day then ate several sticks of barbeque.
“I read about it, I wanted to find out what happened,” she said.
Shamaine, who has no idea about what her daughter was going through, had to search online and found out they could do a psychological autopsy on Julia. She then brought Julia’s things to Dr.Violeta “Bolet” Bautista, who thought Julia has been bipolar, a form of borderline personality disorder.
“I really thought she would survive, but they couldn’t do anything. In the movies, you see all these histrionics. But everything becomes so calm, it’s almost like you go a little deaf. I wanted to be near her. I kept saying goodbye, go to God that I loved her and I was sorry. She was still warm.”
Shamaine went through Julia’s things when she was gone and found out more about her daughter in her diary.
“’My friend’s sadness was from her anger toward her parents, mine is from self-loathing.’ That’s how we knew,” Shamaine said about the things Julia wrote.
Sometimes Shamaine wishes she was the type of mother who goes through her children’s things so she could have found out about Julia’s condition earlier.
“I keep asking, why didn’t she tell me, why didn’t I notice? I took such pride in the fact that I trusted my kids and didn’t go through their things. I encouraged them to write; Julia always had diaries—with warnings written on them, so I always thought they shouldn’t be looked into.”
She also felt bad that Julia has been silently suffering for so long. Some of her notes were written when she was just 12 years old.
Now that Julia is gone, Shamaine opened Julia Buencamino Bench Project. It is a wooden bench with Julia’s artwork and it is a reminder “for people to be kind to each other… Maybe kids won’t sit there to talk about it, but it’s a reminder that somebody they know might be fragile, and might need help. That somebody died because of this.”
Benches have been installed in Julia’s school and soon in other schools too.