the thing(s) i left behind in order to move on

i have always been somewhat of a weepy human being. when remy the mouse from ratatouille was evicted from his home and was starving in the cartoon stormdrain, i cried in the theater for how forlorn and hungry he must have felt. when my grandmother accidentally cut a bit of her finger off while cleaving chicken, i was bawling and inconsolable for days thinking about the pain she was in. for as long as i can remember, it has always been a life of high highs and low lows, and tears never in short supply – both the happy and despaired kind.

but when my father died, it was like my heart froze over. in the years since, no sadness has even come close to the sadness i felt then. observing myself icing over is quite the experience – empathy feels like something i read in a textbook a long time ago, and nothing ever feels significant enough to move me into an emotional state that is even just one step away. it’s like operating in a very small, very low amplitude of existence. and everything just becomes fucking mundane. you’re crying over your broken relationship or your shitty job? try losing your father and not knowing if he felt alone, or pain, when he died.

this small steel ball of existence – it can feel good. for many years i felt invincible, like nothing could touch me and i could now move through life being so much stronger than i ever was. and truly it felt like every obstacle would move out of my way and i found myself being able to get anything i set my mind on. it was easy, it was ruthless. i was safe from sadness. i gave up the depths of my heart so that i could move on from the image of my dying father on the floor.

it would have been my father’s 58th birthday last month. we went to the temple and cheerful face made him a paper version of our favourite mobile game and favourite instant noodles, for us to burn as a birthday offering. the thoughtfulness of the gift moved me to no end and i secretly cried in the bathroom. the tears didn’t feel good – like a wretched burden of weakness i had to carry with me for days. and yet i cherished the idea of us sharing with my father these little terrestrial things we like so much.

it’s still a journey to find myself again. some days i am not sure i want to. but in the shards of a rare day that holds lovingly made paper gifts, resonant sounds of the bowery, a quietly painful anthology, some great pecan pie – i find myself remembering what it feels like to move on from moving on. and that gives me some solace.



6 Comments

artificially verbose

Sending you human vibes ~~~

Make you a nice cookie today!

Wendy

Thank you for opening up your heart and writing with such vulnerability. I cannot say I understand your feelings but I’ve truly missed your writing as a silent reader from your pinkpau days :) sending you strength love and positive vibes! I’ve no doubt that your late father would be proud of how much you’ve grown and for having such strength and courage to share your heart here. Focus on all the beautiful memories that you’ve created together and I hope you that you’d continue writing for the days to come to remind yourself of these memories as a powerful inspiration for all the people in your life and beyond xxx ❤️😘

Clem

Thank you for sharing and for writing again, Su Ann. <3 This post has struck a chord in me. Ever since my mother passed away, I feel like I'm floating through life. I fade in, and fade out, present just enough so that I don't seem too aloof to the outside world.

I'm far removed from Malaysia that I often feel like I've lost any tethers I had to the village of friends and family that kept me going through life. I remember you had attended my mother's wake. I don't know if I ever thanked you for coming. I know now it's impossible to say anything that will possibly ease the pain from both of our past griefs. If I hadn't thanked you then, I'd like to say thank you for coming, and for being part of my Malaysian village once.

A

Your post resonated strongly with me. I lost my grandpa in 2015 too. I was his favorite grandchild; I was working in New York and had to fly to KL the day I found out. I blamed myself because I was so busy with other things. The years since were dull like you and full of blunted pain that I was not conscious of. Last night I cried out to God in bed, in the middle of the night. The Lord be with you, I pray that He gives you solace, peace from Him, not from this world (John 14:27). It doesn’t seem like you’re a Christian but I wasn’t truly one until April this year. Knowing God has healed my broken heart more than anything I could ever imagine. Please do not let this become a root of bitterness in your heart that the enemy can use to attack your heart and mind further.

You helped proofread my admissions essay so many years ago and I am still incredibly grateful till this day. If you want to speak privately about this or even talk about spirituality please feel free to write to me via email (In the comment form). God bless you and keep you Su Ann.

artificially verbose – yay! humanity is good.

theyauguy – thank you ^^

wendy – thank you for the really kind words wendy. i do hope he would be proud of me.

clem – tethers become ever more important so that we dont drift too far away. and big hugs, i feel you. wakes are the worst. so much protocol to go through when one really just wants to disappear. say hello to my beautiful new york city village, from one villager to another!

a – thank you for sharing a fragment of yourself with me, once upon a time ago with your essays, and now again with your big spirit. don’t blame yourself for too long, your grandpa would not want you to be sad and burdened. i hope you are well wherever you are now, and honouring your grandfather through your days!

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