Grief & Loss, Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Can A Dinosaur Die?

Uncle Jim & Aunt Irene visited us last month and the little munchkin was just really happy spending time with them. A few weeks before they arrived, he had started mentioning and asking about his Daddy in more frequency. I’m always unprepared whenever he mentions Steve.

Walt Disney's Dinosaur
Walt Disney’s Dinosaur

It’s not that I don’t want the little one to mention and ask for his Dad. It’s actually great that he still remembers him. It’s just that what I’m concerned about is my reaction to his questions. Most of the time I don’t have any answer at all and all I can do is just hug him. Also, it’s the longing in his voice that I hear that really rubs it in. It’s like he’s expressing what I’m feeling inside that I’m trying to quell because sometimes, I have to.

A few weeks ago, I borrowed the Disney animated film, “Dinosaur” from the office library for our weekend movie marathon because the little munchkin is crazy these days about dinosaurs. I won’t be surprised if he turned out to be a paleontologist  someday. He can actually tell me their names or the different types of dinosaurs which is kinda cute. There was one scene which is almost at the end of the movie where the tyrannosaurus rex Continue reading “Can A Dinosaur Die?”

Grief & Loss, Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Where Is Daddy?

Occasionally, the little munchkin and I will go out for dinner instead of staying at home on a weekday.  I would still cook but not that often since it’s just me and the little one. Most of the time when we go out, he would order his mac and cheese. It’s interesting to see how different restaurants interpret their own version of mac and cheese. I think he had tasted them all. He’s my little creature of habit.

Daddy and Me
Daddy and Me, 2010.

After our meal, I brought him inside the public bathroom for potty time. As I was cleaning him up, he looked up to me and started talking:

Continue reading “Where Is Daddy?”

Funeral, Thea's Thoughts

Vigil Night

It was a full day and as usual, I had about 101 things to do. There was a little bit of confusion at the Mortuary because I thought anyone from the family could get in but they needed me to be there and I was running late. It was stressful and I haven’t even finished the Eulogy for Steve until I get to the Mortuary.

My Steve, Football Hunk
My Steve, Football Hunk

I didn’t realize that there’s a difference in funeral etiquette between the East Coast & the West Coast. I really had no clue. Here on the West Coast, we greet the guest after the vigil while on East Coast, the family members stand beside the casket to receive guests during the viewing. My aunt told me that here in the West Coast, we usually serve food and apparently in the East Coast, they don’t. My aunt Naomi who is a bereavement minister and her friends from St. Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Church helped me a lot during the service.

There were still a lot of people, family, friends, Steve’s colleagues and my peeps from work. It was really comforting to see that people cared.

I finally finished my Eulogy for Steve:

“If I tell you the most memorable times of my life with Steve, we’ll probably do a 10 year vigil but I only have five minutes. Instead, I would love to tell you what kind of a husband & father he was. My husband was generous, humble, gracious, honest & kind.

Our marriage, like any kind of marriage had some bumpy roads. We had our petty fights, difference in temperaments, difference in preference for movies & even political disagreements. No matter how hard our day was, we always talk before we go to bed. If we had any disagreements, we always kiss and make up.

Steve & I celebrate a monthsery. I insisted on it & he went along with it- gleefully, I think. I always show my love and affection verbally & by giving little gifts. But you know, Steve – he showed it by his actions. He did the dishes, he made our tea, he threw the thrash bags, and he gave me pedicures. I’ll truly miss those idyllic moments.

He embraced fatherhood with such enthusiasm. We were partners in raising Kyle, his little buddy. They had their own rituals. After work, Steve usually brought Kyle at the park while I prepared dinner. Every time at 6pm, once Kyle heard the keys jiggling by the doorway, he’ll be running off greeting him, “Daddy, Daddy!” Kyle never did that for me & sometimes, I envied it. Now, I would have given anything to have those moments back but I can’t.

I have to reflect on what to say to our little boy whenever he asks for his Dad. Honestly, I’m still working on it. There is only a small part of me that had been appeased because we have him back home. In spite of the loss and sorrow that I feel, I’m truly grateful to God for the ten years of knowing him, living with him and loving him.

For better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish. Until we meet again, my love.”

Thea's Thoughts

80 Days

Steve is a New England sports fan – Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. Our home is here in LA but he’s a Bostonian through and through. He would also check out local news in Boston online whenever he gets the chance.

Daddy and Me
Daddy and Me

We used to go and visit his family twice a year and when the little munchkin was born, it went down to once a year because it’s so hard to travel with an infant. So, my mother-in-law would visit us even Continue reading “80 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

79 Days

Family Time.

I’d never thought there’ll come a time that we’ll be having family dinner get- togethers  without Steve. He has always been there. These days, whenever we have get togethers, we talk about how Steve would have this and that, how Steve would have reacted, what Steve would say. He hasn’t been there physically, but it’s as if he’d never disappeared. He has been present in my family’s  hearts and minds.

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Whenever my family and extended family are around, I feel that I’m in a cocoon, a safe Continue reading “79 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

77 Days

In spite of our family crisis, I do have little moments of happiness. When I look at the pictures and videos of Steve, those little things makes me happy. When I wear the stuff my husband has given me as a gift during my birthday, anniversary or holidays, it makes me happy.

Thea and Steve
Thea and Steve

My mom has always told me that I don’t really need to shop anymore because I have everything. But those are things – just stuff. All I need is my family reunited again. I need my husband back.

My stuff. Actually, I’m just stifling this urge to just throw my stuff away. The most practical thing for Continue reading “77 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

74 Days

I just bought a roundtrip plane ticket going to Omaha, Nebraska since I finally decided to attend the “Keys to Healing Retreat IV.” It will start on the 10th of August and will end on the 12th. It’s the only retreat for families who have a missing loved one.

Swanson Retreat Center
Swanson Retreat Center

I remember when I was talking to my cousin the first two weeks that Steve had been missing. She suggested to have a time for myself away from it all and maybe a retreat will be a good idea. She Continue reading “74 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

73 Days

My little munchkin and I had taken it easy this Sunday afternoon. My mom and my aunt wanted to go window shopping and I went along just to get into a different environment. I went to the mall and after 30 minutes, I just lost interest in window shopping since I was already thinking about how it’s nice to lie down and take an afternoon nap. I just felt so exhausted lately.

Mommy & Daddy
Mommy & Daddy

When my little munchkin woke up late afternoon, we snuggled in bed and he watched Toy Story while I was writing down my “thoughts” from yesterday. I was browsing Continue reading “73 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

66 Days

After the mass, we pass by the statue of Mother Mary in the church’s garden and our little munchkin said, “Mama Mary, bring Daddy home.” I think it stuck with him when I told him that I’m praying to Mama Mary to help us bring Daddy home.

the little munchkin dance
the little munchkin dance

One of the things we love to do in the evening and weekends is to read books when I get home. I’m quite strict with limiting his television time but how can you resist it when he ask, “Elmo with milk, please?” I don’t go clubbing Continue reading “66 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

65 Days

One of the things I really miss is when the little munchkin slept in our bed with me and Steve. He usually stays in his crib but there were times on weekends we all slept together in one bed. Or during the week, Steve would bring the little one when he wakes up in the morning and he’ll have his morning milk lying down in our bed. I know he’s two years old already but we still let him drink his morning milk in a feeding bottle. It’s his comfort food and that’s all right with us. These days, it’s just the two of us in one big bed.

Daddy and Me
Daddy and Me

The little munchkin has been mentioning his Daddy in more frequency than before. A friend dropped by last Friday night and brought dinner for us and sat where Steve used to Continue reading “65 Days”