The past few days have been a weird journey of sorts, almost like a “Through the Looking Glass” kind of adventure, with times when I was feeling off-balance and encountering situations and emotions unexpectedly that were well “jabberwocky-ish”.
I am so grateful for all my family and friends and work colleagues. No one assumed that I would not have strong emotions of grief as I am the ex-spouse. And they made sure I did not feel invisible and sidelined even as the curtain of grief fell on the immediate family. I was not allowed to grief alone – and thank goodness for that.
I am especially grateful for my mom who recognised that I needed to go through a grieving process and gave me space to do so on my own terms and in my own way, whatever her feelings might have been with all that had happened in the past 5 years.
Friends and family opened their calendars, enveloping my kids and me with the gift of time and love. Some brought out the alcohol (for me, not the kids!), others soothing tea and cake. Some spent time with us over rowdy board game parties, others just sat quietly with me. Some took the kids off my hands so that I could just be with me. Others were extra listening ears for the kids, so no one felt like they were alone and unheard. And yet others just prayed with us or for us.
Everyone leaned in and allowed me to be sad and respected my need to face the sadness head on. Some friends lovingly “forced” me to talk about the elephant in the room and probed me to dredge up the good memories when I did not feel much like talking, bringing out the much cathartically needed good cry that was there but had been difficult to coax out. Some sent me playlists of sad songs to help get me into the mood for tears. Others were generous with their hugs and silence, allowing the sadness to marinate in the quiet without needing a single word to be said.
Bible verses, inspiring quotes, words of comfort and affirmation, encouragements, condolences, jokes and humorous wisecracks flooded my WhatsApp and Facebook. A physical copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B made its way to me.
A few checked in on me every day, sometimes a few times a day, ever ready to have a call or to drop in on me. And the offers to be around in the days ahead now that the funeral is over continues to come in.
So thank you everyone for remembering my girls and me: Mom, Fr, Clifford, Amite SQ, Bryan, Gloria, my brothers and sister-in-laws, Serene, Celine, Minny, Edwin, Ged, Patrick, Anna, Beedisha, Donn, Huan Ran, YY, Petrina, Daniel, Jeevan, Kelly, Ryan, Alvin, Joshua, Joanne, Nicholas, Ben, Jennifer, Tracy-Ann, Dana-Leigh, Clare, Agatha, Joan, Kimberly, Francine, Iesha, Shinder, Nidhi, Roland, Zoe and well everyone who called, pinged or reached out and pulled me in for a hug the past few days. God bless you all!