remembering dad and a few good things

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing.

I remember him with his smile, sky blue eyes, nice skin, strong chin, beautiful voice, and presence. I wish things were different and we could go back and fix everything between us. I wish I could be there for him and kiss his cheeks once more. I wish I could say daddy again.

I cannot.

But I also know that he and I loved each other and we would not wish for another dad, another daughter. He showed his fatherhood and introduced us to not only life but also death, and walked through his lonely journey all by himself. Like his dad, like his mom, like his brothers. At least he was not alone.

Rest in peace dad. One day I will find you again. I promise.

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In the last few days I have been getting really tired of being annoyed by some people and my work being the most important thing in my life.

I had to have dinner with two colleagues I really dislike (!) and a third one I somehow like. I hated the idea of spending my time with the people I disliked but the night went okay, thanks to my third colleague. The two continued to annoy me during the dinner and it has come to a point that I do not want them to affect me this way anymore. I do not know why I cannot let go off their ridiculous ways, but this is what it is.  I will find additional ways to further distance myself from them. At least the benefit of this highly annoying dinner was that finally I have had it enough. It came to a point that cannot be ignored. And this is a good thing. A large part of our relationship is over.

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And I have been thinking for sometime that life has been going, I was getting older and closer to death each day, and all I was thinking about lately was how miserable, stressed, unappreciated, and financially insecure I was at work. 

One of the changes that has happened this past summer was that I did not want to dwell on small issues and rather use my time, effort, and skills for bigger issues, bigger fights, bigger good. The fact is this: I happen to find issues in anything in life (a professional curse) and dwell on them full force. The question I asked myself was whether I wanted to have a bigger professional life and deal with bigger issues taking similar time and energy, and having similar levels of irritation/stress. The answer is an easy yes. That is why I undertake a lot more this year in terms of leadership and committee work.

I have started to extend this to my personal life. This morning I was talking to my sister and I said since my social life is small, even the little social interactions, if a little annoying, annoys me big time. I said that I have decided to have a bigger life and then get annoyed if I must. Maybe I will learn one or more things. Maybe I will meet great people. Maybe I will find ways to enrich my own inner life. I know it will be better, no matter what.

As part of this, I am excited to say that I re-started my stretching/meditation classes tonite. Just like that I showed up there, purchased my plan, sat on the floor in a quiet, warm, and cozy room with others, breathed in and out, calming my mind and soothing my body. And I just felt that calming my mind was one of the most fantastic things I have ever done for myself lately.

🙂

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cemetery visit

There is a nice cemetery somewhere like 20 min away from home. I used to walk to visit it time to time before I moved to my current home – my then-flat was very close.

It is a perfect reflection of life; there is a combination of old and young tombstones; big and little ones; single and family ones.. There is nothing nice about death, but there is such a nice feeling of knowing that it is peaceful there. And that we are still alive and have a chance to make the best out of our lives. However miserable our lives may look, we still have it and all the opportunities it can offer us.

I used to be scared of cemeteries when I was younger. After all we always visited the graves of our loved ones; family mostly, and there are so many horror stories/movies we grew up with. I visited my dad’s grave last year; I was not scared but I was immensely saddened….  His name was on a tomb. So saddening… But it was peaceful, too. He lies in a beautiful grave yard, under the branches and leaves of beautiful trees, and away from the hassle, chaos, and noise of city centre. I still remember the voice of the trees; the soothing noise their leaves make when the wind goes through them…. Trees are so magical and there is nothing more soothing than having them at cemeteries.

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When I woke up this morning, I was excited to see the bright day out and decided to walk. I bought myself a nice cup of coffee and bagels at a cafe and then I walked to that cemetery. It changed a little bit since I have been there last time. There is now a couple of sections for the ashes. There are more seating space. I sat on one of them today for a few minutes. I asked “how do I make the best out of my life?”.

I did not have an immediate answer (from my subconsciousness, certainly not from the souls lying in the cemetery – I am not superstitious). But I sure am reminded about all the opportunities I have at life. My life.

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a year without dad

Today is the first anniversary of the death of my dad – May he rest in peace…

I have been dreading this day knowing that it would make me deeply remember my dad (for which I am grateful), my regrets of what I should have done or what I should not have done when he was alive (for which I came to realization that there is nothing to be done), and the sadness I experience  over his death (which is so vivid and continuous)…

I am very sorry that my dad and I did not spend more quality time together. That I could not be a good daughter for him. That I was not with him when he died.

Despite these, I also know that he loved me and looked after me all the time. He forgave me too, for things I should not have said or done. My father was a father alright.

Among all these turbulent emotions, I am glad for a couple of things, too. When my father died, one of the fears I had developed was to forget my dad. I am glad that this has not turned into reality. And lately I thought that when I died, he would guide me and welcome me to death. I know this is ridiculous but it so soothes me and makes me unafraid of death. I am still not interested in dying (when he died I developed fear of my own mortality), but when the time comes I hope I will remember this.

Rest in peace dad. I am sorry for a lot of things. You knew these and you still loved me. For that I am ashamed, awed, and grateful. You know I would not choose another dad, but you. I love you.

Till next time. 

 

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random thoughts

Three more days till my two weeks holidays time off 🙂 I cannot wait!

Honestly, I am done with work. I have things to do but enough is enough. I have been working very hard and made a good attempt to finish ongoing work. I will make one last push tomorrow and Wednesday, and then I will take Thursday off (even though it is not  apart of our holidays). I deserve this extra day 🙂

I have done the majority of my shopping by taking advantage of the sales, though I still would love to check trousers and get one or two if they are on sale. Other than that, I have no need for shopping and I feel good about this. Of course I have many socials to attend, especially this week, which kind of makes me bored already, but I will go through it. The exciting things will be to declutter my home, clean it up, and get some time for myself.

I have quite a reflection to do and the holidays have always been the best time for me to do so… This year has been full of ups and downs…. While on the average it was one year that I have had felt happy, it was also the one that brought me the most profound sadness; my dad has passed away this year.. May he rest in peace…. I did not know what sadness was prior to this and I had never appreciated life as much I have since my dad’s death…My dad has given me life and also taught me the best lesson ever by his death; that I must appreciate life while I have it…. How could I not feel this before, when he was alive? He has seen me mostly depressed and fed up with life; that feels so unfair to him… But I am sure he would love to see me now with this new zest towards life.

I am also older now and getting close to 50 🙂 hah haaa. I have never thought I would but here I am! With age comes change in the body as well as in the attitude towards anything really. I appreciate my family and I still care about my work, but I want to have a better and healthier life-style overall. I am losing weight slowly but steadily, which is good. My mood is overall better, which is awesome. I must continue to care for my back and keep doing my stretches and light weight training, which have been really good for me. I want to get better at sewing and start doing some serious projects, which I hope the holidays will be a good opportunity to do so. I am still keen about saving and paying down my mortgage, but I am not going to get too enthusiastic about it and would like to make it a priority to enjoy my life and care for people I love…

It looks like I have little new projects for the new year. This somehow bothers me (i.e. does not excite me that much) but I would like to think positive. Perhaps this is an opportunity to go with the flow. Who knows, maybe I will develop new interests and projects without thinking about them? After all my two current interest, blogging and sewing, were never planned and were just spontaneously born 🙂

death and forgiveness

Death does interesting stuff to your thinking.

At least, that is what the death of my dad did to me.

I am open about my pain more than I have ever imagined. I am human and I am okay to show it. I do not feel vulnerable or exploited or something like that. No. I feel completely human by talking and showing my grief and as a result, I get completely human responses; nicer, more positive, more emphatic…. I think I am lucky that I have good people around me – not one person said “stop this; you get to get over the death of your dad” or anything else that only an insensitive assh.le could say.

I am also forgiving. After all, what is not to forgive? No one in my life has hurt me physically or psychologically. Yes, there has been people influential on me and I cried, complained, got angry or heart-broken over people or their actions. Yes, I thought there was injustice or unfairness. Yes, I thought that I could do a lot better if I was given equity/equal opportunity. But no matter what, no one has ever hurt me in a way that I could not forgive. I have since then forgiven all and I am feeling good. Like an internal iceberg has melted and I am filled with warmth instead….

Death is a lonely journey. Thinking about someone going thru it is terrifying. It terrified my right before my dad passed away; I was worried about my dad going thru this unknown all alone. Was he scared? I kind of think he might have… I was not there to hold his hand, look at his eyes, and say “it is okay, dad”… It still breaks my heart. Nobody should face death alone. It would be better if our minds and hearts are filled with love and gratitude, rather than fear and loneliness, while approaching our last moments in life.

So when I think about the fact that we all will go thru death, no matter how much we would like to ignore it, I feel the same compassion and affection for all. I do not think anybody in my life really meant to hurt me. And I would not like any one to suffer or be scared during their transition to death. These make forgiveness so easy, so natural.

I cannot believe death can have such a healing effect, but that is what I have experienced.

Hope you can forgive and it has been easier for you than it was for me.

Hope you can forgive someone today.

 

joy journal, March 14, 2016

It has been a while that I have posted this journal… I am not particularly in a “joyful” mood, but then is this not the entire point of the joy journal?

1. I am grateful for the book that I have been reading, which had a chapter about “gratitude”. This has reminded and prompted me to write this post. Hoping to find many things to list now, even though I am still down after the recent death of my dad..

2. I am grateful for remembering my dad with affection and love. I am so sorry that he passed away but there is nothing much I can do about this. I rather make it a priority to remember him, cherish his memory, and make sure that he is remembered by others.

3. I am grateful for sleeping well and waking up on time this morning. Looks like I was not affected by the daylight saving adjustments done yesterday. I was not late and not sleepy or cranky; surprisingly well done.

4. I am grateful for deciding to take the bus even though it was snowing nice and easy. The bus was late but this did not defer me from waiting for it. I almost decided to return to home to check my emails to see whether my work place was closed because of the snow (visibility was really poor), but I waited anyhow and the bus showed up. All is well.

5. I am grateful for the coffee one of my friends and colleagues bought me this morning. It was delicious and a nice change from my usual coffee. This did not mean that I did not brew my coffee; I have and it was great to have it 🙂

6. I am grateful for working with a team member before noon and submitting two reports for review. It always feel good when things are done. Now we are waiting for feedback, which is fine. Feeling satisfied about work.

7. I am grateful for wanting to work today and taking care of many stuff. It has been a really fruitful day and before I realized, it was past 5pm. Lovely! I love it when I lose myself in work.

8. I am grateful for walking back home from the office, despite the snow on the road. It is difficult and takes more time to walk on snow, but I keep telling myself it is a great exercise.

9. I am grateful for taking it easy this evening. I have eaten lightly today. I do not have appetite nowadays, which is very unusual. yesterday I had felt like maybe I was getting down with a bug or something and lots of lemon juice and hot soup were my medicine. I am feeling better today but the appetite is still nowhere to be found. That is okay. I continue to have soup with lemon juice, which I believe is good for my immune system.

10. I am grateful for all the food I have in my fridge, freezer, and the pantry. I am feeling abundant and very grateful for their presence.

11. I am grateful for my computer, internet connection, books, notebooks, and pens that make my life easy and enjoyable. These are probably my most important material possessions, other than the pictures and gifts from loved ones.

12. I am grateful for one of my bosses giving me a hug today and asking how I was doing. This was the first time she has seen me since my father passed away and I really like her sensitivity and kindness. It is good to have kind and nice people around us, especially when we are most vulnerable and sad.

13. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note these. I am feeling better than 10 min ago, thanks to remembering and finding all these things (and more) that I have experienced today.

 

made a decision

I had made this decision many times before but I guess lately I had become okay with the status quo because of the stability of my job here.

My decision is to leave here and move somewhere else.

I am tired of rowing against the current, which is ignorant and insensitive to the efforts I put in.

This current would be my job environment.

I have a great job but I also time to time talk about the stress it creates on me and its challenges. I also rant about lack of diversity and not being from here (thus being stereotyped or discriminated) time to time.

Hence, 2 + 2 and I decided it is not right to continue a life somewhere that does not excite me.

More importantly, it is not right to not put an effort to enrich and make my life better.

It is not right to live and work somewhere where people still think less of me because I am not from here. Even though I do so well. But who cares about the quality and quantity of the work I do while I am (according to them) less worthy?

F. that.

Of course I have triggers. My dad’s death two weeks ago (sometimes, I cannot believe in this…) and how he would like me to be happy. How I resented about focusing so much of work and neglecting my family and myself. And an event here today about work which told me once more how superficial a lot of things here are and no matter what I am capable of or proposing, it would not go thru and make a positive difference in people’s life. So what is all of these struggle, boredom, hard-work, and efforts are for?

Time for me to care about myself and make myself a priority. Not the job. Not this place and this job, no matter how much I love working.

Gotta start looking for jobs somewhere.

I am kind of thinking that it would be better for me if I just give a resignation notice. I believe I can give a notice upto a year before. I am crazy (or fed up) enough to do this, yet I should not do this before I find another job. After all, I have a good salary here…

Boy, I so hope that I will not chicken out and over turn this decision once more. I must put the effort to move somewhere else, hopefully a much better, warmer, diverse, and reasonable place.

Wish me luck

 

 

broken

poem

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cannot cry hard enough, dad

my tears are done running

I since then been grieving

 

cannot dream anymore, dad

my inner child is hidden

now that I am regret-ridden

 

worse; cannot fly high, dad

I never will

one of my wings is broken

now that you are gone

 

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fear of forgetting my dad

After a 10 days off from work due to the death of my daddy, I am back to work as of today.

I have been feeling the stress of the accumulated work in the last few days, which drove me crazy; am I supposed to care that much about work? Even so, can I just not take it easy? Reduce my work load or make better use of my time? But most importantly, why is my focus changing from my dad to daily life?

They say life continues, even while you are grieving or right after you have had a significant loss; you somehow need to eat, answer to the phone, go to bathroom, respond to emergencies at work/family, maybe have one laughter or two spontaneously while talking to family or friends. These make sense to me. But stressing myself over work and overly starting to think about it are annoying me. I must be thinking about my dad. Otherwise I feel like I will forget him (this is a fear I developed after the death of my dad; I know it is impossible to forget my dad; can a dad be forgotten? Yet, like any fear, it is quite powerful).

It is not like I do not think about my dad. I do; at nights especially. Looking at his photo sometimes brings tears to my eyes. Sometime, I sob quite violently. Sometimes during the day, like today, I just remember him and remember those times that I could help him better, that I could spend more time with him. These regrets drill my heart. It is painful, horribly painful. I notice that as time goes on I get more regrets than before. It is like I will get more and more of these and one day I will just collapse.

But as a wise fellow blogger, NinaSusan, said yesterday, these feelings/regrets are normal and the important thing is that my dad and I knew we loved each other… This gives me some sense of peace, something to hold my mind onto.

My father was proud of my work and of me for being such a hard-worker. There is quite a meaning in my work, so my dad would like me keep going, too. It also makes me feel better and functional. But the root cause of my fear of forgetting my dad is the priority I give to my work. It was like this in the past for decades and it is highly likely to be so in the future, too.

I am determined not to forget my dad. Whether it is thru putting his photo in my office or dedicating time to continue my letter to him. This baseless fear will eventually go. I will not forget my dad…..

 

 

The delicious part of my life

Yesterday, I wrote about an advice my dad had given me a couple of years ago, about “enjoying the delicious part of life”. I have also mentioned about my intention to read books to help myself see/develop a better route for my future life and self.

Well, I have one book like that, which kind of captured me at its first chapter. It says “we can choose to choose”. We can decide to make choices so that we can look for new ways or alternatives to enrich our life experience and, hopefully, progress into a life we want.

I have a couple of wishes and changes to have, but I would like to come up with more. In order to realize what more I could have, I decided to first note those that I have made my life better than before. I noted them below.

This has been a truly therapeutic exercise for me…. I was not aware until now that I have had actually taken steps to improve my life and my experience, and the way I work or relax, especially in the last few years….. I am happy to see that I actually make changes and improve… And the way I see, my dad would be proud of me for doing all of these and he would see that I actually have a good life. Yes, I am alone and away from family and that I miss mostly, yet almost all other aspects of my life are going well..

Daddy; know that your daughter is doing really well.

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A. Job: I have the best and the most suitable for my self. It is meaningful and usually enjoyable. It is also challenging and sometimes quite stressful because of the pressure (who does not?) we have in terms of constantly having success indicators, deadlines, and output. Yes, I have spent many years at school and got trained in many different places. But I am one of the few lucky or good enough to have a position like mine. So, I must cherish my success. I know I can do better and I will do better, too, as my abilities are increasing each year.

would I change it?: No, not right now. I may develop other interest later in my life, but this is the job I was born for.

things to improve: Better time management and sharper focus to take care of things hopefully on time. I seriously need that to improve my success rate and to reduce my stress levels. I also decided that I do not need to undertake more than I comfortably can.

B. City I live in: A small and safe city where things are simple and easy. In terms of cultural activities, it is a limited place, but at least it is very easy to live here.

would I change it?: If I must change it, I would rather go back home. So, unless something drastic happens (like losing my job), I am not planning to look for jobs somewhere else. If I like, I can visit other cities time to time. I am staying for now and that is good to know.

C. My home: I bought my home 2.5 years ago. A 90 years old town house that was newly renovated, yet 1 week after I moved in, the roof started to leak from two different places. Talking about remorse…It was a cold slap on my face that created anxiety and depression. After a long search for a repair company, I got it fixed after 10 months. So far, no problem with the roof, which is awesome. yet, I have a crack on one of my inner walls, which I was told was a foundation problem. We are waiting for a drastic opening of the crack to start repairing it. It still gives me the depressive moods. Other than these, I am very happy with my home and the way it feels.

would I change it?: Not planning for now.

unexpected benefits of the house problems: Since the house repairs have created anxiety, I last year realized that unless I have changed by current financial situation, I could end up having a huge problem in the future. This was an additional anxiety. This is why I started to have a budget and I am saving way better and more than I ever thought about. My savings are around $10k/year. When I think about this, I kind of feeling like my house actually helps me to save money to take care of it, without sacrificing my quality of life or the life style I have. Hence it is weird but also very satisfying to say that I am very grateful for the initial house troubles that now have made me more abundant and financially sound.

D. My neighborhood: I am happy with it as it is close to everywhere I need to go. I can walk to my office, there are two grocery stores within 10 min of walk, there are 3 convenience stores and many restaurants, it is close to downtown. There are also two bus stops that enable me to go to the shopping centres and the workplace. So convenient in so many different ways.

would I change it?: No

E. My finances: I am doing good and I am grateful, thanks to my job, my budget, and my un-interest for material possession. It is true and hurts time to time that I do not have enough accumulation for my retirement. But I am doing my best to do so; my RRSP contributions are maximized, I have a steady contribution plan for my TFSA account, I have another personal retirement plan with annual contributions, I am planning to increase my retirement contributions a little bit next month. And the only debt I have is my mortgage, which to me is huge. But I will make sure that I pay it off as soon as I can. My TFSA serves as my emergency fund and in case I need funds for house repairs/renovations, I will use these funds. Overall, I am doing my best and it is not too bad.

What would I change: In the new year, as soon as I get a nice amount of emergency and house maintenance funds (that is, my TFSA), I will fully focus on paying off my Home Buyers Plan (HBP) (the funds that I have taken off my RRSP to pay the down payment of my house). RRSP is my long term investment plan and I believe beefing it up is important. Even more important than paying off my mortgage early.

I believe next year I will have a more solid financial health; this year I am still working on saving and making my chequeing account healthy (e.g. not below $0). I spent almost the entire last year with a chequeing account like that, which made me really stressed and kind of feeling hopeless, too. I hope every year will be better than the last year in future…

F. Health and life-style: I am a middle-aged individual and luckily I do not have a chronic disease, maybe except my recent back problem. Bu I still am over-weight and this will be one area that I will focus on, or more like I should focus on….

Plan: I gotta come up with a better plan to help me lose weight. My last two attempts were not successful… let me reflect more on this. I can also walk more, now that weather is better.

For my back health, I will keep the physiotherapy and the daily exercises I was given to. I do not want to have an issue again. i do not want to damage my body again.

G. Social interactions: I am not a social person and I am very happy with it. I only spend time and communicate with a few number of solid and trustworthy people. I will keep this as it is.

H. Taking time off from work to relax and enjoy my time/my life: I have been doing this in the last one year or so! I now do not spend 16 hour a days working or thinking/planning about work! I can usually relax at home, though time to time I still work at home in the evenings or weekends. And that is okay.

Since I started my blog 1.5 years ago, I take my time everyday to express myself and to read other blogs, which has been very informative learning experience. I also watch TV shows and continue to read books. I usually go to bed with a clear (of work troubles) and relax mind.

This is, to me, so priceless.

“Enjoy the delicious part of life as well”

I got up this morning with the thoughts of “What do I want for my life? How can I get them?

This is a recurring question in my mind over many years, even decades. With the recent death of my dad and head-on clash with the concept of death in reality, I am not surprised that these questions arise again.

When I look at my life, I do see that I pacified myself with my education and training in the past and do the same my work now. It is like shutting the emotions down and focusing on problem solving. They say it is the rational side of the brain (the left side) that works while working on a problem, not the right side, which is more concerned about emotional aspect (whether or not that is true I do not know; but I know that when I focus on work, I am overall feeling better)….

I also know that a number of times I have attempted to make my life better as I wished it to be. Moving to a city or country that I love, or marrying a man whom I would see myself excited and happy with. Many times these did not happen. Many people know that I am kind of stuck at my present city, which is not bad but not great or exciting either (small, isolated city with less attraction and diversity). Yet the work is amazing and I live comfortably in terms of finances, safety (very safe city, which is awesome), and life is overall very simple and easy (which helps me have lots of time for work and myself). So there are so many positives of being here, yet there are also so many other great cities out there. My thoughts always linger towards them…

After I moved here, i have applied to only one job which I thought was better than what I have right now. It did not happen. The small number of job applications tell me that after all I should be content with where I am or my life is. I think in a lot of ways I am content. But then, why do I have this feeling of “I am wasting my life”?

The fact that I live away from my family and home always feels bad…. I should have been with my family. I should have been with my dad more. I should be spending more time with the rest of my family. yet, here I am….

I over and over contemplate about why I prefer a life here than at home and I always decide that this is better for me, even though I am away from home. This is strange and somehow hard to understand. Of course when I get close to retirement, i will reconsider this and the chances that I will go back home. But, is there a guarantee that I will live that long or find my loved ones well and alive then? I can not know.

But I know one thing; after the death of my dad, I am feeling resentment against my interest in work. I, by liking it so much, neglected a lot of things; myself and my family. This gotta change. I also realized, as my dad said a couple of years ago, “life is really short and before it ends and when you still have time, do things that will give you more joy, happiness, and excitement. Enjoy the delicious part of life as well, not always see and engulf yourself in the hard part“.

I had taken notice of this wise and somehow unexpectedly understanding advise from my dad, but I did not overly improve the quality of my life, or make changes that will give me more joy, excitement, or happiness (except that a couple of years back I had almost fallen in love, which had felt exactly like what my dad had described).

I have dreams of course. I would like to move to a South American country for example. I can still work and would be very happy to contribute to a developing country with my skills and experience. I would love the better climate and genuine people. I would love to learn the culture, history, and the language of the country. I would love to sing songs with the elderly and have laughters with the youngster. I can always do that, yet two things bother me; a) I may not be financially as good as I am now, and b) South America is even farther away from my home. So, I will not work towards this dream.

On the other hand, I can focus on my current life, which is already abundant, comfortable, and safe. There must be things that I can do now, on top of what I already have, to enrich it. That sounds like a doable plan. My only problem is; what can I change or do new that can give me this excitement that I am missing in my life?

I guess now it is a good time to read a couple of my books that tackle exactly this question. Good to know that I am not the only one and, hey, who knows, perhaps this time I can see something….

After all, there is nothing more insensible than wasting my life. I am determined to make it more meaningful and work for me. Hopefully this time, I will start enjoying the delicious part of life.

today’s grief journal

I am overall feeling better; there has been only one case of tears bursting and that occurred while I was walking.

Walking became an integral part of my life since my dad died 10 days ago. I just leave the home and let my feet find the path. I do find peace and serenity in it. It also helps me get tired and sleep better at night.

The first few days it was because walking gave me the chance to silently weep. I cried aloud sometime at home when the sadness took over my every cell, my every thought…. Walking on the other hand does not permit this; all I can do is to let the tears go down silently. I am not sure whether I prefer this kind of emotional bursts than loud ones, or because walking somehow makes me more grounded and thus less aloud….

I remember one day I just wanted to walk to get a glimpse of life and death. Death after all is something we mostly ignore…. Some of the trees have been here longer than any of us, yet some of them were shedding barks or leaves…. I found looking at trees and seeing these giving me some sense of life and death. I also saw kids walking with their parents and giggling. This told me that there is renewal in human life. After all, if we had not died, then what would be the reason of having kids? Kids are awesome. I also noticed houses; some new, some needing repairs, some being renovated. The truth behind all of these was beginning and end were continuous in life, somehow putting human life and loss of loved ones in a logical frame. Accepting death as a part of life is brutal at first, but it certainly is healing.

My energy levels are getting better; I walked 40 min in the morning and then 1 hour at noon to a shopping mall. This is the second time I have walked there in my life; first, many years ago out of curiosity, and second, today just because. One hour of walk is quite unusual for me (too long for a lazy and busy person like my usual self…), but I made it. It was during this walk that I cried; I keep thinking how much I have loved my dad and I would have never chosen another one instead of him. And how better we could all have treated each other while he was alive….This regret is hard to swallow…. As my mom said “it would be nice that we never treated one other with an attitude or an unkind way, or never said things that would hurt the other person, but life is not like this.

That is certainly true. It does not mean that let’s go ahead and hurt people’s feelings; no. But I recognize that we all have our moments, our rights and wrongs, our list of things that are acceptable or not acceptable, our own struggles, and our significant differences. And our reactions as a result.

What my mom said has made sense to me and is easing my guilt caused by disappointing or frustrating my dad, and by not being with him as much as I should have been.

I owe my mom big time for helping me to ease this guilt by being sensible…..

grief…

I did not know much about grief till my dad died last week. It is strange; it is painful; and it is a lonely journey.

When I say lonely, it does not mean I needed to go thru my days alone. I meant I needed to face, experience, process, and feel it all by myself. Like many of us I guess. It is a personal and unique experience. I do not know whether this is a survival instinct or not, but I think everybody going thru grief may know what is best for them to help go thru it. I hope you all will find these tools when you need them…

My this experience with grief was something that I found interesting. Without thinking, planning, or resisting, I just let it surround me, felt the emotions, and supported myself (and others) as much as I could. I did not work. I did not go to work, though I had to check my emails and involve in some minor urgent matters (I am still resentful about these….I am still resentful that people required my attention during this time… I am still resentful that I did not say no – you should wait…I am resentful about work and all the neglect I have done for it…. ).

In my case, being alone and not communicating with people other than my immediate family helped quite a bit. After all, I felt like words were only words and would not diminish my loss at all. In contrast, I thought they were driving me crazy…Only after a couple of days, words, especially the good wishes and good memories of my dad started to make sense. As a matter of fact, I craved for them. I still do.. Remembering my dad with love and cherishment became a priority for me. These give me peace.

The circumstances around the death my dad also help my grieving process. He had a long life (he was 88), the majority of his life he was healthy, he lived his life in a way that he wanted, he was proud of his children and knew they were okay; and he had great care prior to his death. He did not suffer too much at the end of his life. The last day of his life was great and meaningful. He, I thought, left this world with dignity, without letting life make him suffer any further or any more hurting. Before he became more incapacitated. He was buried by his children (except me; I could not go) and many of his friends were present in his ceremony. Right before his death, we all had become a family, loving, caring, forgiving, and forgiven. I think he died knowing this, which is the most important thing for me.

I do not know whether writing and reading have always been my tools that help me analyze and contemplate (come to think about it; I guess that is correct), but I found reading and writing about grief, death, and my dad very therapeutic….

I wrote my inner conversations with my dad in a long letter that is getting longer each time I write on it…. When I read it time to time, I can see my feelings and all the realizations and sorrow I have gone through. I also see the love I have for him… During one of this readings I had realized that I would have never wished for another person as my dad; if I had an opportunity to have a dad again, he would be the one I wanted. Feeling and knowing this in such a deep sorrow have been incredibly healing….

Why reading about death and grief? To face them. In order to make sure I was not hiding, ignoring, or running away from them. To take the feelings, however saddening they may be, as they were. To live these moments in an authentic way. And most importantly, to fully and openly connect with my dad’s memory…

I may mention about the books I have read in a later post, but I want to say you this; grief and coping with a loss is an individual journey.. The books usually mention about several stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance)… i did not go thru these yet, certainly not in this order. I did not deny my dad’s death for example. I am not bargaining. I am not fully depressed…I am not feeling anger towards him, life, or anyone else. I am just saddened that we could have better memories, more time spent together, and I could care for him more and better…even though I know we all did our best during our lives and with our interactions, I naturally have regrets…. i also know that these do not matter now (i.e. there is nothing I can do to reverse the time) and I can rather focus on all the good memories and all the goodness and peace surrounding his death.

That also means that I have learnt about others’ experiences with death and loss by reading. I am not interested in comparison of pains or the effects the losses put on us; after all everybody has their own memories, their wishes, their regrets, their circumstances, and their emotions to deal with. But I have seen that there were losses that if happened to my dad would have made my grief journey much more painful;  a long-lasting and incapacitating disease for example. Death at a young age… These give me some kind of peace… Maybe I am being selfish or something… Please forgive me if you have experienced such losses and my experience sounds like a selfishly better or less painful one….. No loss is better than the other; but I hope they all have somethings attached to them that give some sense of peace, some sense of serenity….However different they may be for each one of us.

I miss my dad and I love him dearly. May he rest in peace for ever.

grief over losing dad

It has been a week that my dad died.

I truly loved my father and if I had an opportunity, I would choose him again as my dad. May he rest in peace…..

I am broken and saddened.

But, I know this; I could not get by these days, this agony, the loss of my dad without my family; each one of them mended the broken bricks in my heart. I am forever grateful.

There are many things to be said, many things to be remembered. Perhaps I will, perhaps I won’t. Perhaps they should remain sacred.

The truth is death of a loved one changes you, makes you realize and experience new things, new feelings, new thoughts. Nothing and no one can prepare one to the grief of such a loss.

I found some more relief (in addition to the support of my family) by reading about death and grieving. I now have 5 books that remind me that I am not the only who grieves after a loved one; that death is a natural part of our lives; that everyone goes thru it and the grief individually and uniquely. For some reason, reading and contemplating in these gives me peace and helps with my sadness.

I did not want to see anyone when I heard the news for 4 days, except my family. I simply faced my emotions. They were raw… But I sincerely think that this was the wisest thing I have ever done. I know myself; I could as well choose to suppress my feelings, deny everything, and keep busy with work or otherwise distract myself. I am glad I have not. Allowing myself to feel my loss and going thru the initial steps of grief was wise. I feel like I am coming back to my life, however slowly or broken-hearted I am.

I also wonder why we hardly talk about death and why we do not have a healthy grieving culture…..

Losing my dad was the first major loss in my life. There will be many more as nature dictates. I too will die one day. Will I take them easier after my dad’s death?

I guess I will write more about grief in the coming days…

 

 

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