Tag Archives: death

Death and Rebirth

In astrology, the scorpion is known for its constant cycles of transformation, ruled by emotions and instinct. It stings itself rather than others, hence killing itself off and re-emerging stronger, wiser, more determined.

I have always believed in astrology and have taken the characteristics of my zodiac sign seriously. Maybe that’s why I find myself, time and time again, in transformation mode; killing my old self and giving birth to a new, wiser one.

This trip across the world made me realize that my soul is ready for another transformation. Everything I have been for the past few years, needs to change. My mindset and career are evolving. I have hit rock bottom. I am broke, unemployed, emotionally drained and physically unwell. My relationships are being tested, some intentionally, some due to the circumstances that have arisen.

Now that I’m at rock bottom, the only way to move is up, with or without anyone by my side. It’s become apparent, especially over the past few days that people will only stand by your side for so long. Some I would have never thought to leave my side, who would have stayed through no matter what situation arose, have proven me wrong. Others I thought would divide the moment the volcano erupted have stood steady becoming my pillars. Finally, there are some that have proven how ignorant I have been for so long. The masks have all come off and everyone is now recognizable.

Including myself.

I am no longer the Tamana I was three weeks ago. I am no longer the mother I was. No longer the wife, sister, daughter or friend I was. Every responsibility has changed. I died a million deaths over the past twenty days, each time killing a relationship and responsibility and with each death giving birth to a new relationship and responsibility. Assessments of every new relationship was made and given the priority it required.

The highest priority given to self because the death of that Tamana taught me that without a rebirth of an improved, determined Tamana none of those priorities or relationships would matter.

Here I stand with the death of the old and rebirth of the new Tamana; the writer, the self-efficient, independent woman with her priorities in order and self-awareness higher than ever. Like the scorpion, her stinger is raised, ready to attack anything and anyone that threatens her or her peace.


The Battle Between Stupidity and Depression 

It’s no secret that I battle with depression. It’s the one thing about myself I remember for as long as I can think of. My doctor says it’s something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life and I shouldn’t let it consume me. I don’t think he’s ever experienced depression before and I pray he never does. But how can you tell a patient they have depression and not to let it take over them?

Depression isn’t a symptom I woke up feeling one day or virus I contracted by being near someone who had it. Depression is something that I grew up with and the severity of it grew as I did. It’s who I am, a part of me just like smoking is. The only difference; I choose to smoke but I don’t choose to be depressed.

During an episode of depression it is very easy to let go of all the things and people that are important to you. It’s very easy to forget who you are or what you are doing. It’s excruciatingly painful but a pain that isn’t described by pointing to a part of your body; it’s a soul pain.

And sometimes, an episode can lead you towards addiction, self-harm, solitude, disregard and stupidity. It can lead you to do things that you’ll indefinitely regret later on. But as much as you try to control yourself you can’t. It’s like being on drugs, once you’re on them you lose yourself and the drug takes over, you are a prisoner to your own mind.

Recently, when I was severely depressed, I did something stupid and somewhere inside me I knew it was wrong and stupid but I couldn’t help myself. My mind played games with me, I couldn’t control or stop myself and unknowingly did something else that has completely messed my life up. I sat at a bar recently and drank myself silly, I knew I was getting drunk, but I didn’t stop until I was wasted. I came home by cab and fell asleep on the couch. Dev and Nid came home later and woke me up. That’s not the stupid part. The stupid part was that while I was getting drunk, I dropped over a two thousand dollars out of my pocket; which I was supposed to put into the bank.

Dev doesn’t know. He’d kill me for being so careless and stupid. He wouldn’t understand why I got so stupidly drunk that I would let myself go so much that I couldn’t handle myself. He doesn’t understand my depression.

I thought I would create one of those gofundme accounts that you always hear of on the news. But I couldn’t share the details with anyone with the chance of him finding out. I even thought about selling some of my jewelry or something to try to recover some of the money but I’ve got nothing on hand valuable enough to even make a difference. 

I just don’t know what to do. I mean, how could I be so stupid? This idiocy has caused me even more depression and I’m at my wits end. I feel so alone because I can’t tell anyone in my circle. There’s no one to ask for help. What do I do? 

I’m fed up of being depressed and feel pathetic. I show everyone how happy I am and what a good mom I can be. But I’m not. I’m a complete mess. I’ve tried to keep myself busy with doing activities and writing but the thought of all of our bills and rent bouncing creeps into my mind and sometimes I just wish I could end everything and disappear. I wish I was dead. I wish it would all just go away and Nid and Dev would live happily ever after without the mess up that I am in their lives. But death doesn’t come so easily and I am still here fucking up their lives and ruining the happiness the two of them so badly deserve. 

Saying Goodbye Is The Hardest Part

heartbrokenThe last viewing I went to was for my grandfather. He was in his early 80s. He passed away peacefully, the same way my grandmother did; heart attack, followed by brain-hemorrhage and then coma. I know it doesn’t sound peaceful, but it was. Both of them were gone the second their hearts had stopped. I didn’t cry in the ICU when the plug was pulled. Out of the hundreds of attendees, I was probably the only one that didn’t cry during their service.

Yesterday, I could not help but cry. As hard as I tried to laugh at some of the memories and stories my colleagues were telling me, I couldn’t push back the tears fast enough for none of them to notice. It was one of the most difficult days I’ve had in the past few years. I had never been to a viewing for someone so young. Matter-of-fact, this viewing was the third I had been to in my entire life. I know she wasn’t there anymore, but her body was. She looked peaceful and pain-free. She had battled a long, nasty fight with cancer and sadly the cancer had won.

It was not something any of us had expected, here in the office. It took many of us by shock. For me specifically, I didn’t believe it when my other colleague had text me on Monday to give me the bad news. I didn’t believe it when I saw the email go out to our department from her boss. I didn’t believe it when I got back in the office yesterday morning and a colleague that sits directly in front of me walked in, turned towards me and with the saddest eyes gave me a nod and half-smile verifying that I know exactly what her words were unable to tell me. I didn’t believe it when 11am came and the pack of us got up to leave to go to the service. I didn’t believe it when we drove down to the funeral home and walked in.  I didn’t believe it when the photo at the entrance of the hall had her in it.

My mind, my body, my being was in complete denial until the moment I saw her laying there.

Then it was realization. Acceptance. Then, an overwhelming feeling of grief took over every single inch of my body, my eyes teared up quickly.  But how could I cry? No one had seen me cry before. I was a tough-cookie, that was the perception everyone had of me. And there I was, center of the hall, surrounded by colleagues and her family and friends, letting the grief of her passing flowing out of me with no self-control left. I felt numb, my knees wobbled and my heart sank.

When I got home last night, I kept myself exceptionally busy. I cleaned, I cooked, I picked up Ni, showered her, fed her, played with her, focused so closely at the TV as she watched Caillou. But after she fell asleep, I was alone for what felt like the longest two hours of my life before D got home. Although, I texted a friend and tried to keep myself occupied, it was no use. I was tracking the page views and visitors on my blog; the numbers sky-rocketed. I knew people were reading my tribute to her. And every time I opened my blog page, there was her photo, shining, smiling at me, telling me it was okay, telling me to be strong and I will get through this. Even in her death, her smile was comforting me.

I didn’t sleep much last night. I kept remembering her. My mind was disturbed and my heart, sore. The tears had stopped. All my thoughts had disappeared. I felt numb, as I do this morning.

I said my goodbye to her yesterday, but here I am writing about her again. Maybe I haven’t fully said my goodbye. The hardest part is saying goodbye, when all you want to do is joke and laugh a bit more.

The saying goes, “everyone grieves differently”. That’s true. But what happens when you can’t let go? I wasn’t over Patricia’s death yet. Her photo, her name, her Facebook profile creeps up time and time again. And now, Jo’s death has opened the wound that hadn’t healed in the first place…

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A Final Goodbye

Jo WallworkYesterday I learned of another friend and colleague losing her battle to cancer. She had fought so hard, for so long and passed away in her sleep on Saturday, July 25th.

The hardest part is knowing that barely anyone knew at work that things had taken such a drastic turn for the worst. I had just messaged her on Facebook last Tuesday after reading she had been in the hospital. I wanted to make sure she was doing okay and it wasn’t anything serious. I wish she had responded. I wish she had told me that things were getting bad and let me come visit her.

Dearest Jo,

My heart aches terribly to hear of your passing. I know how hard you fought and how strong you’ve been over the past couple of years, stronger than anyone else I’ve known. You always had a smile on your face and never let this cancer thing get the best of you. Even though you were fighting the toughest battle of your life, you always made sure the ones around you were doing okay. It always amazed me at how confident and put-together you always were.

I remember working on the holiday guide with you. We were constantly at each others throats when it came to that specific project. We even yelled at each other on the day of the launch. But you didn’t let that come between our friendship. You were that type of person; you kept work and friendships separate, although they were interconnected. I envied that about you.

My dear friend and colleague, Jo I will truly miss you and thank you for being a friend. I thank you for all the support and love you gave me over the few years we had known each other. I thank you for letting me get to know you and appreciate what a wonderful person you were.

I wish your family, your son, your spouse and everyone else that had the privilege of getting to know you, strength during this difficult time. I wish them patience and time to accept and handle the pain they are feeling. But most of all, I wish them memories and love for you, for which I know they will forever keep in their hearts.

Rest in Peace, Jo Wallwork. You will never be forgotten.

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Why Do We React To Death The Way We Do?

No matter how many hours I sleep, I constantly feel tired. That’s been the norm lately post-surgery. I haven’t felt like writing, reading, talking or doing anything else for that matter. Even at work, my mind hasn’t been able to focus. My mind continues to wander towards the two recent deaths that have happened; my colleague and our family dog. I’m still in shock by both and don’t know how to deal with the loss.

Yes, life goes on and days will pass. But when your heart and mind is stuck on a person or thing that is no longer alive, it is nearly impossible to know when the day came and went.

As I was growing up I saw both my grandparents passing away. Sure, I was sad and had a lot of empathy for my mother. But I did not cry at their funerals and it did not affect me as much. Was it because they were old and had lived full lives? Or was it that I wasn’t close to them that it didn’t affect me as much?

Maybe I was much younger when and didn’t understand death and the effect it had on a person if it ever took place?  Or maybe after becoming a mom, I am just too sensitive (D constantly reminds me of this when I’m bawling my eyes off during sad commercials and soap-operas).

But I wasn’t close to Trish or Hogan either and both of their deaths have brought me to tears over and over. I simply cannot speak of either of them without wiping back tears. Hogan was old. He lived a full life. But Trish was young. I didn’t know her personally. I wasn’t very close to her. But I knew her for many years.

So why did I cry so much for Trish and Hogan and not for my grandparents? Why do we reach differently to different types of death?

Sometimes Death Is The Only Answer

I don’t like dogs. I never did. One tried to bite me when I was 7 years old. I’m scared of how vicious they can be. I’m terribly allergic to them. But today a little dog, I’ve known for the past 14 years has brought me to tears and my heart has shattered.

His name is Hogan. He was given to my brother from a former girlfriend as a birthday present. My brother barely took care of him. But he became one of the kids for my mother. He was and has been her friend, her companion; the only one that has always been there no matter what happened in her life.

Although, I didn’t like him for being a dog, he was a part of our family and he held a place in my heart that is now inevitably empty.

Today we put down our beloved Hogan. It was the only choice we had left. There is no cure for old age and he has become a victim of it. In human years, he is now 78 years old. That’s a long time to live and he’s had a loving family to share those years with.

But now we must say goodbye.

Dearest Hogan,

I know I never told you, but I love you and will miss you. You’ll never be forgotten and will live in our hearts as the little child you were, following us around the house and jumping and barking for treats off the dinner table as you always did. I don’t know how mom will survive without you. She was truly your best friend and will miss you the most. Please watch over her and guide her to get through not having you around any more.

Ni, D and I love you dearly and we’ll forever keep you in our hearts. Rest in Peace little angel.


A Final Goodbye

Source: http://ak-cache.legacy.net/legacy/images/Cobrands/NationalPost/Photos//1089661_A_20150106.jpg

Today we bid a final goodbye to a beautiful soul, Patricia Soriano. She was a caring soul and brightened everyone’s day. She was a hardworking colleague and was ever ready to help in any way she could. She had this smile that would brighten even the dullest of days or cheer-up the worst moods. She was indeed an angel in disguise to all the lives she touched.

I don’t do well at funerals as it is and to see her or know that she was the one in front of me would absolutely tear my heart into pieces, so I’ve decided not to attend her service today. Although, I was never very close to her in my personal life, I still cannot seem to come to terms with the fact that she has passed away. Such a young and good-heart woman passing away, is just not normal and if it is, it shouldn’t be!

So as I sit at my desk. while my other colleagues attend her funeral service today and bid their final goodbyes, I close my eyes for a minute of silence in her honor and bid my goodbye to her as well.

Patricia, you will forever be missed but never forgotten. You were one of the sweetest, most caring and darling persons I’ve ever worked with and met. Your passing away is still a shock to me. But once I can come to terms with the fact that I will not see you again and all of this is truly a bitter reality, I promise to come visit your grave and give you the proper goodbye that you so dearly deserve. May you rest in peace and may your soul find eternal bliss and may you shine down on all the lives you’ve touched while on earth as you did in your present life.

I send your husband, family and friends my deepest sympathies and lots of courage, strength and peace as this day and the rest of their lives pass without your presence.

Rest in Peace Patricia Van Helvoort-Soriano.

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