Thursday, May 23, 2013

Moving On

It has now been a little over a month since I moved to Vietnam, and I must say that things are going great. I am very truly happy with my life here. Of course things are not perfect, but this is the best I have felt in a very long time.

But I must say, that there are times that I feel bad for being so happy, so soon after my parents were killed. I remember after being told that my parents didn't survive, that I could not imagine ever being happy again. And yet, its less then a year later and I am doing great.

I remember at one point during my stay in the rehab center, I was feeling very lonely at nights. I felt that pretty much everyone in my family was married and could lean on their partner for support, but I was single and had to get through the sad nights alone. So I started to visit online dating sites to chat with guys in an attempt to find some kind of companionship. I even thought that maybe I would find someone that I could possibly be with once I got out of the rehab center. But this made me feel very guilty. How could I be thinking about dating so soon after loosing my parents?

I mentioned to a friend that I had been visiting online dating sites and talking to people in an attempt to find some companionship. I told her how guilty I felt because of this. She told me that I should not feel guilty, and that life has to go on. Sitting around and wallowing in sadness for the sake of being sad does no good for anyone. Of course she was right. So why do I now still feel guilty sometimes for having moved on with my life?

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my parents. I miss them terribly. I wish I could share with them all the wonderful experiences I am having. I wish that I could speak to them and try and convince them to come out here and visit me. I know that they didn't think so, but they would have really enjoyed a trip out here.

My parents deaths have left a hole in my life that nothing can ever fill. No matter how happy I ever am, they will always be missing. My life will never feel a hundred percent right. But staying sad all the time for the sake of staying sad helps no one. So I've moved on.

I know that there are people that have a set idea of how much time after a tragedy someone must wait before moving and rebuilding. Some people get this amount of time based on their religious beliefs, some might come up with a number based on certain "social standards". Growing up as an Orthodox Jew, I was always told that this was 11 months. But the truth is that the number varies from person to person. Some people need to mourn longer and some need to move on quicker. Any attempt to force someone into some uniformed standard will probably do more harm then good.

There will be a moment every day for the rest of my life that I think about how I lost my parents and I will be sad. But the moment will pass and I will go on doing what I have to in order to be happy. A life spent being miserable is not a life that I would want to live. So I've moved on.






16 comments:

  1. Ami! You shouldn't feel bad for being happy. No matter what, everyone deserves to be happy and to do the things that will get them there, including YOU. What you've gone through is awful, but that doesn't mean that being happy means that you have forgot your parents or what they mean to you. No doubt they are still very important to you, and I don't think that anyone would disagree. These two things that you feel conflicted with are very connected but separate and you have to keep on going, there is no other choice. I love you and miss you and only wish you the good things in life, but as a realist, I know that there will be other hurdles thrown your way and I am fully confident that those to, you will be able to overcome.

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    1. Thanks Emily. I miss you too. I really can't wait for you to come visit :)

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  2. P.S If anyone disagrees I'll ring their necks! :p

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  3. So happy you're enjoying life in Vietnam! Hanoi wasn't our favorite city, but we're glad you love it! We're in Beijing, so if you ever want to visit the city, let us know!

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    1. Thanks so much! I might take you up on that offer :)

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  4. curious, did you sit shiva for your parents? say kaddish? etc.?

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    1. No I did not. Although for the time of shiva and shloshim I was still in the hospital. but i wouldnt have either way. At least not in the traditional form. It would be meaningless and empty had I.

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  5. Even with the shiva and shloshim and 11 months, there is an easing back into normal life. The purpose is not to be completely miserable for almost a year.

    You parents loved you very much, and it sounds like they were people who lived life to the fullest. I imagine that it what they wanted for you. Going on with life and finding joy despite your grief is a way to honor them.

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    1. Thanks JRK for your kind comment and for being such a loyal reader.

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  6. Hello Ami,
    I am always impressed by your depth, and your wonderful ability to communicate so effectively. You are totally right about mourning being a very individual and personal experience. I feel badly for people who get stuck. Their own process may just need lots more time for various reasons. I am glad that you are not stuck. You love and miss your parents, and at the very same time you honor them by living a happy life, as they would wish. My mother always said that acceptance is the key to everything. She was right.
    I am delighted that you are having such a positive experience in Vietnam! Keep posting.

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    1. Connie, your comments are always so kind. Thank you for always reading.

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  7. I can't imagine your parents would want you to be miserable and sad all the time. They loved you, they wanted you to be happy. I know it's futile to tell someone not to feel guilty, but just remember,they WANTED you to find joy - and now you are doing that!

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  8. If gay men like the asshole so much what's wrong with a woman's asshole? O.o

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