Thursday, 30 November 2017


Those of us who submit willingly to the wife may not begrudge we don't control our life as much as when we were single. On the average we only have half our lives and we live swimmingly along. Call it sheer force of habit, pleasure or just laziness, men often abdicate, or relegate much of our thinking and decisions to the soulmate. Then comes death. Suddenly you get your half back, sooner or later the realization sinks in. I now know that in order for the bereaved to go on, one must take ownership of the half that is returned. It is as painful as it is surreal. This might sound like a riddle to you but getting over a loss depends on how well one gets it back.

1 Dec 2017: All at once you are solely responsible - your food, money, welfare and what else - no more is that someone to turn to do it together.together .

13 Dec: "Loneliness can kill" - that headline shocked me. The article suggests that as much as we need to be on our feet at least half-hour each day we need to also have intimate or close interactions with person or persons. Failing which it is feared that our brain like the cerebral cortex will start to shrink. The downward path to death starts with a weakening of our psychological resistance to illness. Frightening?

14 Dec: Sex and one's need for it is often shrouded with shame and distaste. What is a widow to do? Dirty old man! Is there an excuse for elderly promiscuity? Any wholesome activity for its substitution may not be enough.  But a psychologist clinician has once said that the brain can be a sexual organ (???)

18 Dec: This journey gets lonelier as one by one people you know gets off. She once said in our first letters life is like a bus. As others leave we ride on. Until it's time for us to get off too.

Christmas Eve 2017:  Gender reversal of testosterone and oxytocin deficiency - these are the two factors harming marriages today. I now know this a decade too late. When the wife is eminently successful and the independent leader over the husband, her testosterone dominates and discourages him to depression. And the absence of pleasurable oxytocin doesn't help.

New Year's Eve: The dead and dying year passes and the unknown, fearful or not stands at the threshold. What a wondrous world! If only we're still alive to share it.

11 Jan 2018: Half awoke, I thought she would walk in the door as before, after a long trip overseas. But no...shes gone.

The little joys of life are not missed until you are bereft of them. The company of friends and food, soft oldies playing in background, shrieks of children at play or the yelps of excited puppies - how have they all melted into nothingness. Even the rites of Christmas, the quaint atmosphere of New Lunar Year, once were necessary tolerances, aches in memory.

10 Feb 2018: If I had known that I will live the most vulnerable years of life alone without my wife I rather might not had married her. But then there are others who had to endure their spouses all their lives to old age, instead of treasuring the companionship. Such irony.  Food for thought. For everyone, married or not.

So be thankful for the beautiful memories, accept your present state as the best and making out the greatest we can be. True or am I kidding?

14 Feb 2018: So in 3rd century Rome St. Valentine spread love among Christians, not necessarily lovers which only became vogue in 14th century England. And chocolates? The cocoa effect is a modern discovery whose trading stocks might be suspected to date to the saint.

5 Mar 2018: Just had a brutal week. When you have to face life alone any tragedy feels so hapless. Had to face a burglary alone.

15 Mar 2018: How do you shake off a groggy sense of loss and the doom that death is now coming for you? There must be sunshine one day...

17 Mar 2018: Pushing 70 and the passing of people in their eighties, some in the seventies, I came to the grim realization that there's only 10 precious years left in life. Even more precious with each day. How can one be brought not to live these years in despair and gloom, in the midst of disasters, no matter how grave?

20 Mar 2018: People. When distressed and alone you need them to stay alive.
The most severe trial of your life plummets the soul for survival. However disturbing an accident or robbery, you will not succumb, because you've gone thru the worst - the death of a very loved one.

"Gratitude even in times of overwhelming adversity - you'll find great strength" - Yutaka Sado,  conductor

"Live a life that compensates for the sad fact of our mortality" - Tsuruko Hanzawa, Chaji practitioner

6 Apr 2018: By God we have what we want and only so. Life with your spouse or family, a pleasure that extends to old age are blessings from Him. Your deepest and most cherished pleasures, creature comforts - they only exist when given to you. But most of all God gives the Spirit of Life, Hope and glorious eternity. The unquenchable Spirit of renewal and promise.

22 Apr 2018: Swimming among sharks - when you grow old and alone you start to lose parts of yourself that kept you going as a human being thru the years. Losing job (identity), health (independence), care (protection) and love (well-being) you trundle along alone and vulnerable. All the more to network.

May Day 2018: Finally..finally it dawned on me - clear as day. Since the cataclysmic stroke on 01.11.2011 inside me I was like a child in panic mode. I grabbed on to anything for support - like the helm strings of Jesus as He walked away in the crowd. Since then everyday I was frantically holding on to Him - anything that will pull me out of grief and loss - anything that can help me see the Sun again, anything that will throw out the darkness and gloom of Death that visited me so closely. But in my frenzy I'd forgotten that seeking God is a relationship - not a constant childish hanker for relief and escape from distress. Sure anybody will respond if you seek him hard enough. But for me I'd forgotten the Face of Hope, the reassuring smile of Peace - the healing touch of OK. So impatiently I'd started to doubt and fume and complain - even shout disbelief. Then more troubles. Now I know the motive for loving your God with all your heart, mind and soul. That motive is His protection, care and Love, despite ourselves. I wish I'd done the easier way - talk to a Person, pleading and praying. Instead I'd yearned for magic or a charm that could suddenly promise relief. Maybe relief will still come but we've missed the personal God.

Next: "Gone Ahead"

Wednesday, 5 July 2017


It is a wonderful part of the day. Little did I knew that the death of our loved ones can transform us like the coming of dawn. Birds still sing full-throated and flowers still bloom in droves. A new day. A new morning. Takes away the horrors of the night and dreads of yester-years. To live to the completion of our lives - fully, whatever it takes.

7 Jul: But life must be rebuilt - from scratch.

"As the dogs look to me as their universe so I look to God as mine - The Restorer and Sustainer"

Two goals for an aging warrior: a). Frequent meditative introspection to slow down and restore mental health and b). Adapt to physical change, which may certainly come suddenly or gradually.

"Surviving babies grow up and leave me behind and that's great. Only those who didn't remain with me." - Ikuya Ueta, pediatric surgeon

The response to "What's the meaning of your life?" will surprise you - its meaning is clear when you're prepared to face the end of it.

25 Jul: Can't believe it. Still in recovery from the shocks of last 5 years, slowly starting to think & feel normal - to get hold of my mind again.

"Master your feelings without wavering, and follow the path for you to the end" - Shiro Masuda, Master carpenter
"Eat and enjoy, it is your wish to the world that you want to live another day" - Hajime Yoneda, Master cook

25 Aug: Happy birthday! You'll never be older than me again 😥😚😃😅😉😍.

It was a surreal dream - met her and her mother together in their heavenly bodies. So young and new both so cheerful. The only word to describe them - young again!

1 Sep 2017: It will be 6 years from the fateful Thursday. Only memories now. The worst one can do in an estranged life is to wander aimlessly like a disembodied spirit. The mind must be uplifted by whatever means. To quote CS Lewis on his mother's death, "all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared...there was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk..."
When I decided to marry I didn't realize all these were not vouchsafe. The emptiness still assaults every morning. I cannot sing with any conscience that "God is good, all the time." How?, when the terrors of separation from your closest love turn off the lights in every room.

10 Sep: Today I discovered that to overcome abject loneliness God must be in my heart - not just seeking Him at church or fellowship with believers. We thot keeping busy will blot out the empty space, but no - it's who do you replace in the void that's real.

18 Sep: First her stroke, then one by one the dogs failed heart-broken. Then the lonely struggle for recovery that never came. Finally her lungs failed. When will the process of desolation end? Even self destruction threatened with the accidental death of the most stalwart dogs. When will grief end?

First my parents.
But I accepted their deaths because they're older.
Then my friends.
But I accepted their passing since friends come and go.
Then my dogs' grim days.
But I accepted their shorter lifespans.
Then my wife vanished from earth without a final word.
And I struggled with it alone.
Finally it'll be me.
And there'll be no one left to accept it.

21 Oct 2017: "Itch habe genug" - from Bach's cantata Feast Mariae Reinigung (1727) of Simeon the elder. For most of our lives we carry the burdens - out of duty or probity. But at some time or other, like Simeon holding the newborn Christ in his eager arms, say that we've lived long and have enough.

27 Oct 2017: There're so many things I had wanted to do with Miranda, but I  didn't know that she'd leave so quickly. Today I'm told that to live on with our departed beloved we should build on our memories. I still remember lots of it - treasures.

12 Nov 2017: Since her absence I face demons. The evils of giving up and constant discouragement. But I'm reminded of her life so filled in time and space that there is never any option to quit. Climb every mountain, fork every stream- keep climbing until your last breath.

17 Nov 2017: The dragonfly always moves forward and never retreat. Those who live for the moment lives forever.

20 Nov 2017: So now there's the devil of widowhood and the deep blue sea of death which some may say is better. The latter is further from the truth. However the pressure to fight loneliness is fraught with pitfalls. Each day is ticking closer to the end and life is ever shorter. So I remind myself daily to proceed with caution. A widower attempting a reset is like a rocket making reentry.

"I'm still not ready to walk alone. But that I walked at all on this perilous journey...depends in a large part I received...for 30 years as one leans on a towering tree of the forest" - Philip Yancy 2009, In the Likeness of God (p23-26)

<End of post> next -- Ownership

"They also serve who only stand and wait." - John Milton (1673)