Almost Six Months Later

I, uh, went to the karaoke box by myself today.

I used to sing a lot until Shinpei got sick a few years ago, and something started to wither within me… but I still sang and refused to completely give up until he actually passed away. Then I was lost. Throughout my entire life, it had been how I healed myself when I was depressed. But I have been having a hard time singing since he passed on.

I found going to karaoke to be very cathartic. At home I had tried and it hadn’t worked out. I felt trapped. Every time I would try to sing alone, I would cry… and it has been months like this. But towards the end of my karaoke session, I felt much better. I felt like I was able to hit notes I hadn’t hit in a long time, and the strength in my voice and my vibrato came more freely.

In general, recently, despite the situation, I’m feeling really thankful for my life and this chance that I have on Earth to make ripples of joy or peace in people’s lives. I pray for the necessary vitality to take me forward and out of this sad shade I have been under since he disappeared, and before that. I am thankful all the time for the moments we were together and for all he taught me. It was really very hard, but I loved him immensely and I don’t regret my time with him. It’s amazing how old I feel now, and how many eye wrinkles have appeared, after six months of this.

But each day is a little brighter, and I realize that I am still alive bit by bit, even though there is an emptiness where he once was. Part of going into the light is the struggle.

Life is a struggle, but the struggle brings treasure.
I hope to be able to share what I find.
I wanted to upload Moon River, which I sang today… It is a horrible recording, and it’s my first time actually really putting some effort into singing in a very long time. I used to practice every day. May this wonderful, light-filled, guiding Universe be my Moon River to share this World and all of its inhabitants with me.

How to move forward while grieving a Loss

When a loved-one passes away, there are so many emotions that it can be overwhelming. Coupled with work, it can seem like there is no option but to recover quickly and get on with life-as-usual. But doing so holds many negatives…

Some people turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with loss and pain. The problem with that is that, even though it might help in the moment, long-term it has severely debilitating effects on how you can move forward in life. Mood-altering substances produce confusion in the brain. Though used for the supposed purpose of healing, they hinder the ability of the mind to go through the motions of grief and then navigate back to how to deal with reality.

By numbing and denying, one not only loses the way, but also denies the pain and shuts down important aspects of the relationship, such as memories of the person, feelings for them, and urges thought why are gone. This denial buries these feelings in the subconscious where they affect the future of the griever through illness, stress, emotional instability, and other happenings that are opposite to real healing. In a way, the person who is gone can never find peace, and the person who is grieving can never really move on.

Rather than pushing through grief with resilience and control, Ossefort-Russel believes and I concur, that “the terms fortitude, bear-with-courage, transform, and humility underlie a story that honors the strength” of being honest to your feelings when someone passes away.

I hold the strong belief that without those feelings of acceptance, you deny the person their existence, pushing them away into the nether world so that you can get back to business-as-usual. It lacks integrity. One needs to accept their loss in order to honor them, and it can take a long time to recover when you aren’t denying it in your heart through resilience.

Silence, mindfulness meditation (feeling the pain in your body, thoughts, memories… and letting it go), journaling, sharing your feelings with someone close, therapy; these are all ways that you can honor your grief and also your loved-one. Feel it to the fullest and let it go; this will honor both your feelings and the person who was so very important in your life.

These methods are ways that one can truly move forward with integrity and become a deeper and more truly resilient person in the end, through acceptance and change.