|With Skipper - 2002|
October 2011 7.30 am: She is called a terrific person. Let me share what is it like to live near the fire.
She is in all points more likeable than myself. Everyone lauds her openness and generosity. Acutely aware of the feelings of every living being, she would be the restraining factor of my outbursts. But let me just say that her generosity has its limits. Miranda has her favorite persons. As well as her despicable ones.
This page however is reserved for the thoughts evoked in me since we lost her on 1 Sept 2011. IF anything most significant it would have taught me humility.
She must now have the freedom to be what she was. But what she is now has become somewhat of a blessing. It is a calling for me to level up to her kindness, leadership and goodness - rather than any thoughts of retribution. I cannot think of checking her excesses when she was well - I have to encourage her now to be what she was, if at all possible. But without her, left to my own devices I dash like a clumsy bull making mistakes everywhere, where I should have done more with her around.
Nov 15 2011: The entry on the 30 Oct raised the "Why me?" question. Today it happened again - she was sleeping so peacefully one moment when in the next her eyes will half-open, glistening and glazed, looking sullenly downcast. My thoughts went to the Great Enigma in the book of Job chapter 29, 31. She seemed to say, like him, "I did well! As much as I could, I gave when I see a need, every chance to the weak and the faltering newbie. My heart goes to the poor and broken - friends say almost to a fault. All the good towards others, with faithfulness. I pulled the smallest RI to success. Yes I sit at the gates of fame - ST, BT, the Istana, but now I am just a derelict, unable to even shoo a fly off my nose. And I shared my durians."
She will not lie there, fossilizing and wasting away. Yes - even though acts of kindness are not zero sum gains, Job eventually came forth as pure gold. But Miranda is still in the process and God will not be pushed. But these are my thoughts - not necessarily hers.
Nov 21 2011 6am: Had a dream which I'm not sure is foreboding or augur well. I saw a large crowd of people, mostly middle and young ladies coming down a stairway, all wearing white flowing robes. Seems like they were ending a function and heading home. So I asked one why. She said that now Miranda's suffering is over, it is time to leave.
Jan 24 8pm 2012: I have been mourning the death of Miranda for 4 months now, though I wasn't conscious of it. She died when her left lobe atrophied from the hematoma. Her confident personality, her memory of all that makes her what she was, is gone. Curiously, I now do not feel as destroyed as I expected, just when Pi, my dearly beloved dog died three weeks earlier. I previously also thought that I might not survive Pi's passing, emotionally. Now I must make her as comfortable as I possibly can - she was that good to me too. Just a body - the faint image of her that I know. When the critical phase of her recovery is over, I'll be left with a broken Miranda but probably those that enjoyed her most when she was well (like her family), will not be around as much as myself. The irony and my present sadness is that I always felt left out by her in the past. But not anymore.
Jan 8 2012 6pm: Didn't know that I was in mourning - for 4 months now. Unconsciously I was getting used to the thought that I will never meet the same Miranda again. Since the operation to remove the haematoma from her left brain, she has literally "died" as the neurons and what became of her intellectual personality is gone. Now I must move on. It is the grist of survival, to say the least. But I will not abandon her as she is now. She is after all who I chose to be with in life. Let me celebrate who she was. Many other people also will remember her, and should continue to do so.
Jan 20 2012 1pm: As I walked alone doing chores I felt like a dog abandoned by a dead master. I have to fend for myself alone in the streets. Miranda's spirit tried to console me. I'm her Hachiko.
Feb 22 2012: I cannot change her back to what she was - it is not within my power to do any such thing to her. But I can change myself. All the things she had wished for me to be a better person - I can do. I want this for her. Reminds me of the little boy who cried to her sick mother - "Get well mummy! I promise to be better..."
Feb 23 8pm 2012:
"The Lord is good, all the time!", I used to sing the chorus et nauseum in church. But the Goodness of God is mostly seen outside the warm pews, in the malaise of poverty where missionaries toil, in remote, spartan hospitals where children starve and in the struggles of a suffering spirit where nary a pompously dressed religiosity huddle.
Sep 1 9am 2012: How shall I live hereon? She was my mental strength and courage. She literary did everything for me. A sounding board for every decision I had to make, big or small. That's all probably gone. Now I will have to do for both of us what she did for me. Can I be mentally as fast? Will I have her kindness and generosity? Can people still be attracted by her once disarming personality? Let me start with my strengths. I must now be intellectually stronger to make sound decisions and instill confidence. Maybe not as smart but I must stretch my potential there. Secondly, I am not her - I do not have her confident and outgoing personality. Must try but a conscious effort and not natural. Thirdly how to discard my background of niggardness and self- serving traits (which will only become more as I become single again protecting her) in place for kindness and generosity? Then on Nov 25 God revealed something wonderful - He will cure my stinginess with His over-abundant generosity. He will fill me overwhelmingly - so much so that it is impossible to keep to myself, except to pass it out to others.
Nov 1 10am: My long supplications for her improvement have turned into complaints and now becoming vexatious.
Nov 27-29: Out of their concern for me more people are telling me now to get a life. Someone even said to go find a soul-mate, or another mate - the loneliness is starting to hurt badly. How can I? All my life there is no woman but her and she's probably the one in a million. I don't even know how to have an affair even if a chance appears! She used to say that to her girlfriends to my face - she knew me that well. But it appears unfair to assume one has a marriage only until death. What about lunacy? Or coma? Where is the intimacy? True - as long as the marriage was consummated the spouse is obliged to care for sickness. And abandonment is irresponsible. But somehow I've begun to face reality - I cannot live the rest of my life in sadness, having lost the original person forever. She is not getting any better by my constant bereavement. I will not abandon her, but what about getting back a normal "married" life? I cannot re-marry as long as I'm married to her. But there are needs - very deep and hungry ones. Surely God will understand. He cannot be the hanging Judge Who just throws the book by the letter of the law. Then just today it hit me. For over a year I was deeply grieved because Miranda was always the wife and constant companion - now no more. Gradually she seemed to become another person - like the girl I knew when I first met her. She is starting to become more distant as I begin to move on beyond my grief. Now I've become her constant, responsible spousal custodian. This is my coping mechanism. But frightening.
Dec 21 2012: My resurrection - Am I "free" from my marriage bonds? I'm also blocked by the mountain called Faith that I cannot just go out and have my gratification just like any other mammals. There is also guilt about Miranda's sickness - how can I just go and enjoy myself? Now my belief has become a restriction to my "freedom". The trappings of Christian faithfulness and fidelity to spouse leads me nowhere for the rest of my emotional life. I've often cried in my heart to her "Please love me again!", but she is still comatose. Its been more than a year. Can one ever find romantic love again? Can one enjoy it again without guilt? Can one be embraced, enveloped and enfolded again? It's been so long.
Jan 28 2013: Again, how do I requit myself of Miranda's catastrophic illness? Is it all in my bad karma? I continue with self-deprecation - plain bad luck or "pai mia" (hokkien for lousy life). If only I could have averted this impending danger in her brain - so many times in the past she had been protected by unseen angels. Miranda is too good a person for me. Looking at her left skull mauled and mangled by the scalpel how can a kindly God allow?
Apr 30 2013: Faithful in a love affair. We must resist any misbehavior from an alluring girl to keep faith and fidelity. A year before her sickness I did just that. But when your wife is almost a non-person we will be similarly denied. But God is fair it is said.
Feb 2014 If our sexual proclivity grows without bounds we should resist it, easier said than done. One cannot go and seek gratification because now she is completely dependent for her well-being. However if she continues to recover ever so slowly we have no legitimacy to seek gratification from someone else, even if she'll never be able to consummate the union again. On the one hand it is adultery and on the other, cruelty. The Devil and the deep blue sea.
Oct 28 2015 8 am: Two weeks after Miranda left us the heavens opened up. My eyes will always well up for you Miranda...
Nov 1 2015: Even giants die. Puny creatures like us must go on living. Mourning hit me like a ton of bricks - disbelief, guilt, disoriented, angry, lost and sleepless. The nadir was when I wanted badly to join her in heaven. Lacking a desire to eat or live I scoured the web for help. Live! I thought. Must seek rest, food, work, exercise, people, etc. Everything normal people do. Such is the toil of living on after a part of oneself had departed.
Nov 2 2015: Baggage - that is the central reason why widowed people have difficulty starting again. Have been reading on how to pick up the pieces and part of our hearts and minds cannot be left behind when moving on. Divorcees can exert themselves better to burn bridges, but when death breaks a loving bond re-cementing with another person is infinitely harder. Thinking of dating again is really nauseous.
Nov 3 2015: Ever once in a while walking through the woods you can see a tall tree fallen where it lay. Every item of hers reminds me of a greatness...For the second time I am alienated from Miranda - this time until we meet in eternity. The first was when I met her for the first time on a MINDEF tennis court way back in 1975. Tennis courts were hard to get then. We used to play with her brother, when one Sunday she announced that she would be emigrating and leaving for Canada. After she left I remember this same feeling of alienation. That was 40 years ago. We had gotten back together then through a love of academia. But we shall meet again...? somehow...
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