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Ten Month Milestone

It's been a long week for me, just like it probably has for you too. I guess I had too good of a weekend last week (instead of catching up with work), filled with hanging out with old friends and colleagues, challenging workouts, relaxing with Mayo at home, and planning E40. Now I feel like I paid for it, feeling behind with everything, and I'm not sure why? I got a lot of work done this week. Before I head into the weekend, I wanted to take a few minutes to write about how I'm feeling after ten months of Teri passing away.


Soul Words of the Week: Lonely. Tired. Discouraged. Why?


Teri's passing still feels like yesterday.


On Saturday, my cousin shared in our family WhatsApp chat that dad's passing away 20 years ago and said the same words, "It still feels like yesterday." I didn't understand or could relate to people that said such things before Teri passed away. While grief is going to be different for everyone, I think I get it now. Not to judge others, but I feel like you just have to go through a loss of someone really significant in your life to really understand. Or be really good at empathy, and there are people out there that "get it" and haven't loss someone like I have. While I'm still drawn to connecting with others that get me, I never want anyone to experience the sudden loss of their spouse. It is so complicated and confusing. Thinking about how I was feeling fine and pretty happy a week ago, frustrates me.


I wouldn't be surprised if I say "Teri's passing still feels like yesterday" in 19 years and 2 months. Even if God blesses me with a new family, I just can't imagine ever moving on, even if I know she wants me to. Teri is doing fine in heaven, hanging out with Mustard and wants me to be happy. I really miss her. I am trying my best to move forward (not move on). I'm thankful for people like Nora McInerny who really gets it because of the loss of her husband in 2014:


Big thanks to my friend Grace for sending me this video last year, the timing was perfect.


On Monday, I felt it the most sadness I haven't felt in a while. I just wanted to sit on the couch with Mayo and do nothing. Getting off of it and into bed felt like a lot of work. I'm not sure why, perhaps because I started a busy workweek, feeling anxious, tired, and discouraged, wondering what am I really trying to accomplish in the first place. Didn't I just write a blog post on goals? I guess I should reread it. Even if Teri and I never celebrated, Valentine's day, I'm definitely not looking forward to Valentine's day. I guess that's two weeks from now so I shouldn't get ahead of myself.


I think its been really difficult to talk about Teri and how I'm feeling with others. I had some friends over today for lunch and just kept going on and on about "work updates" since it's easier to talk about stuff that's safe and relatable. I'm also thankful for the distraction E40 brings since I love being "laser focused" on stuff like this. Restarting the dating apps also seems like another good distraction, but not really worth doing if I'll just feel anxious again. I also know that distractions are really band-aids when it comes to healing from grief. I've had quite the share of distractions over these past ten months. It is what it is.


Tonight feels like a nice a night to take it easy and just look back at photos and videos. One benefit of Artificial Intelligence that I really appreciate is when I log into Google Photos, I get suggestions to check out photos from the past, and even builds mini slideshows and collages. Here's what was suggested to me, 6 years ago of one of our favorite "Pre Pandemic" places to eat in Brea, Souplantation:


Feb 2, 2018 (6 years ago) at Souplantation

I would always complain to Teri and my parents about going here. Thankfully it a good deal, especially with the coupons. I also tend to overeat at buffets (I guess so does most others). I've gotten better at not complaining about food these days, even when my friends and family make me go get hot pot.


I was curious if I had a photo of me and Teri on every February 2 since 2018. Thankfully I did, up to 2022. Here was the time Teri and I literally had the best cup of coffee we ever had in our whole life. As much as I can't stand waiting in lines, this cup was well worth the 45 minute wait!


Feb 2, 2019 (5 Years ago) at Julia and Jonathan's wedding


Happy 5 Year Anniversary Julia and Jonathan!


There's no surprise that weddings and special events were not the only times I took lots of photos and videos. I'm really thankful to have captured so many moments of everyday life with Teri. I feel sad hearing from others that don't have too many memories captured on camera. And as you've seen on this blog, I have too many to share. Hanging out at Melody's house became a routine we both enjoyed. She loved relaxing around the house with Mustard/Mayo and the kids:


Feb 2, 2020 (4 years ago) at Melody's house

Most of our routines were at home, eating leftovers from work. I get most discouraged about my "anxiety-filled" walks in the morning with Teri because I wanted to go do my workout and then rush to work. This didn't happen all the time. I'll share this quote again from Teri's facebook profile as a good reminder to myself, especially as I get closer to E40:


“Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” - Anais Nin

My favorite photo from "Feb 2" is definitely this one. These everyday photos make me really happy, especially this one with this content expression on her face. I always found her so beautiful, even without makeup:

Feb 2, 2021 at the house

Our last "Feb 2" photo was with our Married Couples Life Group. It's unfortunate we didn't have one in 2023, as Feb 2, 2023 was the day before we left for Death Valley. While the group has changed members, most of them still meet regularly. I'm so thankful to have this community and look forward to seeing them tomorrow:

Feb 2, 2022 at Les & Nga's house

I guess let's get back to the present, well at least for a little bit. I was on a run with a friend on a Wednesday night. At run I was hoping to get out of doing but I know I needed it. We went pretty slow. Instead of going around the Woodbridge lakes like we usually do, we took a different route, towards Sand Canyon. I didn't think much of it until I started seeing the Hoag hospital signs at the 2.5 mile mark. The place where it all started. Hoag Irvine is where we heard the news about the cancer coming back. Here is me doing my usual selfie thing in the main lobby:


Feb 11 2023, Waiting in the Lobby

I can't really put in words now how I was feeling that day we heard the news. Maybe I'll write about it later this month. What does bring a smile to me is this video of Teri during our second trip back to the hospital, 2 days later, hanging out with her Ipad Mini using her favorite color by number app:

Feb 13, 2023 - Back at Hoag Hospital (to get the biopsy done)


Running by Hoag on Wednesday night also reminded me of when I was on a Yacht last summer with my cousins. I was so excited to do something with them that we've never done before. Everything was fine until about 10 minutes into the ride, I looked up and saw the place where it all ended, Hoag Newport Beach:



There are still lots of these "emotional triggers" that happen throughout the week. When I'm in a good mood, I'll smile about them. I'll be glad to feel the emotions, being reminded that I'm human. It's better than being a robot (what Teri would call me from time to time).


Listening to worship songs usually still moves me the most. I'm listening to "Way Maker" writing this post, thinking about the lyrics and learning about the background of the song from Teri on April 1, 2023:


You wipe away all tears You mend the broken heart You're the answer to it all Jesus You wipe away all tears You mend the broken heart You're the answer to it all (to it all) - Leeland - Way Maker

Listening to worship songs like these with your beautiful wife right before she transitioned into hospice will always make listening to them never feel the same. It makes me think about every single word in the lyrics and really ask myself, do I really believe these words? Will Jesus really mend my broken heart? I hope so.


Anyways, more to say as these posts can go on forever. I think I'll call it an evening, it's getting late and I've been sleeping in all week, 0 out of 5 for waking up at 5AM. But not tomorrow since I have to get up early for my bike ride that I'm not looking forward to, but I'll do it since I need to "keep doing hard things" and that means not be lazy.


Thank you for reading and being a great friend to me. Have a great weekend!

Erwin


P.S. Please register for E40 if you haven't done so. Once it fills up it fills up. We can't exceed venue capacity (safety hazard).

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3 comentários


Jenny Scott
Jenny Scott
10 de fev.

Erwin, thank you for sharing this post. I love how your goal is to move forward, not move on. We are so proud of you doing that as that must be very hard sometimes. I love that you took so many every day photos of Teri. That is so sweet and loving. I’m sorry you had a tough week and that you feel disconnected. I’m hoping this week you will have a less discouraging one with some extra joy, hope and encouragement. I know Jesus will heal your broken heart because He promises to in His Word. Looking forward to reading your new post and hope you have a good day.

Curtir

I'm sorry it was such a hard week; I'm praying for you. May the knowledge of God's goodness and sovereignty comfort you as you continue to walk the long and uncertain road of grief. In my lowest moments, I love reading Rev. 21, esp. the first four verses: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with…

Curtir

Tiffany Wong
Tiffany Wong
03 de fev.

I agree with a lot of what you said. I can’t say that it feels like yesterday though. It feels like someone else’s life even though that other person was just a younger me. I’m not sure what else there is to say except to allow the grief to do its work and bring it to the feet of Jesus. It reminds me of when Jesus went to Mary and Martha when Lazarus had died. Mary needed Jesus to talk to her logically and He worked through her grief and faith with her with words. Mary needed Jesus to just be there with her. He wept. He is what you need when you need it.


If you need to talk…


Curtir
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