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?”

Funeral, Healing, Recovery, Reminiscing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Seeing Steve Again

In the 80 days that Steve had been missing, I’d always anticipated that he’ll be coming back home. But sometimes, it felt like that the probability of Steve coming back was nil. There were times I’d felt uneasiness in the pit of my stomach because I had no idea where he was.

A Man In Brown Suit
A Man In The Brown Suit

The longest time Steve and I were apart was when he was training to become an FBI Special Agent. We didn’t see each other for two months and yet, we called each other almost everyday. After that, I would visit or stay with him. I knew then where he was and he was doing something really important for himself and I supported that. We always supported each other’s career. We both believe that a person’s work should be something that you enjoy. It should be more than just a job.

The EAP staff from the FBI picked me up from work that morning when the news broke Continue reading “Seeing Steve Again”

Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

At Work

One of the things that has been helping me to live through “this” is my work. There are days that it’s a struggle to get up in the morning but because I’m working, I have something to look forward to. I have a reason to get myself together aside from my precious little one, regardless of my pain.

The little munchkin having fun at Disneyland.
The little munchkin having fun at Disneyland.

The unexpected kindness from my colleagues at work was overwhelming. They respected my privacy in spite of the very public way our family’s tragedy had been unfolding. And my bosses. I’ll never forget what one of my bosses said to me when I told him that I needed another week to be off to take care of the funeral arrangements:
“Just take care of what you needed to do for yourself and your family. You don’t have to worry about work. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to welcome you with open arms.” I bawled after that.

It is important to me because my work allows me to contribute however small that is to something beautiful, something that makes people happy. And that’s one the things that gives meaning to my life right now.

Thank you.

The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Silence.

Last Saturday, the little munchkin & I visited Steve’s grave. It always has been an emotional experience for me going there. Why should he be six feet under when he should be here with us? So many questions running through my head in anguish but I have no answers or rather no one has any answers for me.

Steve & Thea
Steve & Thea

The little one said a little prayer for Steve: “God bless Daddy. Amen.” He is my sunshine in this darkness.

It’s been two months since Steve was found and a month and a half since we had the funeral service. And here I am still, in disbelief. I’m in an emotional rollercoaster of pain, numbness, anger, and emotional rejection of the fact that Steve had passed away. It’s even hard for me to say THAT word. Suicide.

A lot of people don’t know what to say to me. I don’t even know what to say, either. But sometimes silence is fine and a friend who can just be there and really listen helps. You don’t have to say anything because I don’t need to hear about moving on, closure or getting over with. I don’t need a prescription of what I have to be and what I have to do unless you’re a licensed therapist specializing in bereavement. You can share your experiences with me but understand that our experiences are different and we grieve differently. But you can hold my hand and that’s enough for me.

Death. There’s such a finality in this word. As if suddenly, everything stopped. The end. And yet for me, my husband’s death is only the beginning.

Reminiscing, Thea's Thoughts

Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

Steve and I were supposed to celebrate our 8th Wedding Anniversary today. I think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record by saying that I miss him so much. I never knew that the night we were reminiscing about how we first met together, it’ll be the last time that I’ve seen him.

Mt. Charleston Wedding
Mt. Charleston Wedding

He told me how happy he was when we had our civil wedding in Mt. Charleston, Nevada. We also had a church wedding after a year. He swore that he loved both weddings but I knew he preferred this one. I didn’t mind since I knew that he favored intimate gatherings.

I wish I could still see him. I wish I could still touch him, kiss him and hug him. I miss holding hands with him. I miss his gentle smile and laugh. I’d always given him a hard time when he teased me and I missed that so much, that playful side that only few people know. I’d been longing to hear his voice again. I miss seeing him playing with our little munchkin. I miss our talks before going to bed. Or me talking while I catch him almost dozing off and asking him, “are you still awake?”

I miss you so much, baby. Happy Anniversary, my sweet.

Steve and Thea
Steve and Thea
Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

5th Day of Recovery

We had started working on the preparations for the funeral service the day before just in case it was him. I was numb with pain but I have to do the 1001 task that needs to be done.

A Sunflower To You

The FBI SACs met with me at home regarding the updates on benefits which was one of their Continue reading “5th Day of Recovery”

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

4th Day of Recovery

Purging.

You know how some families, they just accumulate stuff when they cope with trauma and loss? Our family is different, we purge –  throw things and clean. My house was getting back in order again just like before the depression hits our family.

Confirmation.

It was Steve. It is Steve. And yet another roadblock. Date of Death: July 30, 2012. WTF?

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com

 

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

3rd Day of Recovery

CLOSURE – A feeling of finality or resolution, especially after a traumatic experience.

and Steve was found
and Steve was found

It is still a foreign word to me. They say this is closure. He has been found. What more do I want? But I have to be honest. I know I’d said I wanted to know and find him in whatever state he was in but in any recovery of the missing, we always want the missing person to be alive. That’s the ultimate truth.

There’s no word yet from the Coroner Detective. After he’s been missing for 80 days, I wanted to see if it was him.

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

2nd Day of Recovery

My heart was shattered into pieces. My whole being was screaming “NO! It’s not Steve!”

It was the new norm for me: getting ready for work, bringing the little munchkin to Nursery, attending the morning mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church then on my way to work. I received a call from the FBI that there has been a body found and because it was in Burbank, it could be Steve’s. I tried to ignore this and focused on going to work and I was thinking, it could be anybody.

I started to get worried because they picked me up from work to bring me home but they said there Continue reading “2nd Day of Recovery”