Thursday, October 15, 2020

I miss you to the moon and back

They said "time will heal you", "You will feel better as time passes", "The missing and pain will fade and you will forget about it", then why am I still feeling miserable and hurtful after 6 months?

Time don't heal.  It never does and never will.

It is our brain that takes care of that. Our brain helps us to managed the pain that we are going through and heal us by making us forget little by little every day about the things that makes us sad.

But, how do I forget some one whom I have spent decades together?

How do I forget him when he died in my arms?

Every night, sleep is a struggle. When I enter the bed room sometimes it reminded me of that dreadful night; I was giving DinoPapa CPR and trying all my might to make his heart start pumping again while on the phone with 995, cursing at the ambulance for not being there.  The frightening 10mins that seems like a life time.  

How do I forget the night where I knew he was long gone the minute I stepped away to make way for the medics.

I should have stayed with him when I went in earlier to check on him, maybe I would have caught signs of the heart attack sooner.  Had I call 995 earlier, maybe the medics will arrive a few minutes earlier and be able to save him.  I didn't go for the CPR refresher course that I thought I should, maybe I did not perform CPR correctly.  So many thoughts ran through my mind and I went down the guilt road.  

Staying near a hospital means it's a norm to hear the ambulance siren almost daily, sometimes a few times a day, I used to hate it but tolerate it.  Now, I am so afraid of it because every time an ambulance dashes by blasting its siren I am being brought back to that night instantly and flash of scenes that happened in the hospital came rushing towards me again.

How can I forget the peaceful look he had, laying on that bed, waiting for us to say our last goodbye to him before being sent to the mortuary.  I wanted to wake him from his sweet slumber to go home with me but instead, I gave him a kiss on his cold forehead and said silently to him "You are free of pain and sufferings, go and enjoy the kind of life that you have always yearned for."

The truth is days before that he has already made up his mind to leave this world.  We were having a small birthday celebration for him with the usual homecooked dinner, a small cake and loads of photo taking.  Being visually impaired, DinoPapa rarely was able to look into the camera so most of the photos were of him looking either too far right or left.  That night, not only did he look straight into the camera but he looked at me right in the eye, with a smile.  

I didn't think much about it nor was I able to talk to him because after that he developed fever and was sleeping most of the time.

Looking at the photo days after I broke down and cry.  His eyes were glistering, his smile was warm,  his expression was telling me that he is leaving and assured me that we will be ok.  He is saying his last goodbyes to me and I did not catch it on that day.

How can I forget all that?

The funeral preparation was a breeze thanks to my extended family who are in this business.  Everything was well taken care of without asking me much for opinion and choices.  My siblings and cousin were great help too, coming down to the wake daily even though it was during the Covid19 Circuit Breaker period, helping out with the necessary stuffs and attending to family and friends who came to pay a visit at the funeral.

Days into the wake was a mixture of calmness, peace, lost and acceptance.  Seeing him laying in the coffin I did not cry hysterically as I expected, instead I talked to him, telling him to go in peace and we will be okay.  I didn't shed tears when he was being sent off to be cremated, I wasn't allowed to go because traditionally spouse are not supposed to send off deceased spouse.  In my heart, I felt relieved, that he is finally on his way to a better place, everything will be ok from then.

Little did I know that the worse has yet to come. 

In days following the funeral, things were back to normal with the usual daily routine of schooling for the boy and work for me.  Due to the Covid19 pandemic, I was partially working from home.  On days that I came home from work I would find myself looking towards the dining table the minute I opened the door, expecting him to be there watching videos on the iPad, but all I see is an empty wheelchair.  Some days something would come up and I would eagerly wanted to share with him, only to realized that I will never get a response.  My heart instantly felt a pang of pain and tears will well up in my eyes.

I was devastated, my pillar of support is gone and I don't know what to do.  It got so bad that many a times when I am alone I allowed myself to carry on conversations out loud with him as if he is just right there sitting next to me.  It wasn't healthy but I needed to do something, I need to come to terms that he is no longer with me.

I needed to mourn for him.

Sadly, no one is interested in other people's life, they don't care about your needs or your emotion and mental state of mind, all they want to know is that you have performed your daily commitments and responsibilities.  They probably think that I would have mourned and bid farewell to DinoPapa during that few days at the funeral so everything should be alright. 

They were wrong.  The reality of losing a loved ones will hit you AFTER you have laid them to rest.

The last time I mourned for Mum's passing, I dumped my sorrow on my friends. I was angry and vengeful with Mum and with myself, it was too much for them to handle and for their own's sanity they left me.  I definitely don't want history to repeat itself.  

I wish I could do like the scenes in movies, leave every thing and go to a faraway island, sit by the beach facing the sun and the sea, thinking about him, about the good and bad times we shared, the short life we spent together, every day till the day I die.  This is not happening, ever.

Instead, I went off to deal with it alone, in the deep dark silent nights.

But, some goodbyes are so hard to say and to let go. 

With each crying episodes, I miss him even more, I wanted him to come back, I needed him to be with me again.  How do you get over the fact that he was abruptly snatched away from me when we planned to grow old together?  I didn't want to say my goodbye to him.

Most nights I just stay up till I am too tired to think, that way I can just go into the room, lay on the bed and sleep instantly for that few hours. Some nights, I'll sit on the bed and let the tears flow down my face. I have lost count of the number of times I curled up on the bed and cried myself to sleep. Sleep is no longer a luxury for me.

I cried so much and so hard that I have started to think I will never be happy again.  Once, I told a friend that he should leave all the crying to me and live a fulfilling life.  I mean, I am already at the bottom of the pit, why should anyone be there with me?  It is a dark and lonely place, I do not wish any of my friends to be there.  If I can't be happy, then let me take all of their sorrow so that they can be worry free and be happy ever after.

Grieving is about the above but much more, it is about the words and things that I should have said and done for him, it is also about regrets and resentments I had for him.

It was another trip down the guilt road every time I think about the angry exchange or words we had or the care less attitude I showed him when he told me that he is not feeling well or the irked face I gave him when he asked me to help him to do yet another thing.  Being so caught up with stress and worrying about every thing I have forgotten that he is unwell and greatly dependent on us to help him get through his daily routines.  I can never forgive myself for being a selfish wife.

And so into the deep dark silent night I ventured, to face myself and torture that evil self for all the wrong things that I have done to him.

My buddies were wonderful.  Every time I posted something about DinoPapa, they are the first one to message me with encouraging words, sometimes even a simple word "Hugs" comforts me.  Recently, one of them reminded me that it is ok to grief.

It is a timely reminder for me because all the sadness I feel was starting to make me feel depressed.  I didn't want to be caught in a vicious cycle of constantly in pain, sense of loss, emptiness and bitterness.  I didn't want to keep yearning from him.  I came to realize that there is no measure of time when it comes to grieving.  

Grief will never ends because my love for DinoPapa did not end after his passing, I will always be incomplete as my other half is at the other side of the world but he will stay forever in my heart.

I will still have sleepless nights, I will still cry myself to sleep, I will still feel sad and miserable because I am entitled to do so. 

To my dearest DinoPapa, I miss you to the moon and back.  Thank you for coming into my life, till we meet again some day, I will be seeing you in my dreams.


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