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Finality – A Year of Grief and Loss

A good friend of mine had lost her father and we discussed the finality of death and how hard it is to accept along with the grief and deep loss felt.  I thought I would post my reply here because this might help others.

My spouse, the most beautiful love I have ever shared, passed away a little more than a year ago now.  She was with me during my transition and during my operation.  So very supportive.  She passed away about 6 months after that operation.  This last year has been horrific in the pain of the loss and grief felt and accounts for the lack of posts on this blog site.  I know I’ve promised to write more here – enough so that I don’t dare promise anything except that I will try.  There are a lot of things I would like to write and I will.

Here is my response to the feelings of the finality when a person you love dearly passes:

Oh the finality …. I found there are two very distinct parts to that.  I spent 3 hours or so with Lisa’s body in the hospital after she was pronounced dead and before they came to pick her up (oh boy this is difficult to write…).  And then just before she was cremated I viewed her body for about 1/2 hour after which she was brought right to the back and cremated.  It was so hard leaving there, I walked backwards out the building looking at her the entire time until I could not anymore – my last sight of her physical-ness – ever.  Her brother was there with me and came rushing up to support me as I was stumbling and collapsing.

Even though this is so very hard to bring this memory back up – it ‘proved’ beyond a doubt that Lisa had passed – I knew from a visceral level that she was gone – no way to come back.  And that brought closure for me – in a way.
But then, more than a year later, I still grieve so intensely.  There seems to be another part of me that still battles that ‘finality’.  Some other aspect of myself.  From my experience it never goes away, instead I am just learning how to live again, how to get back my sense of purpose and enjoyment of life, but now living alone.  Everything seems ‘just under the surface’ and grief and loss strike at any time – still.  I have found that time helps with coping, but does not diminish the loss or grief and in a way the finality either.  Like you mentioned, we just learn to life like this now.
I do talk to Lisa all the time and in the first person.  I tell her about my day, ask her for help or guidance, etc.  I’m trying to learn how to live with her, together, but in this new ‘state’ of being or relationship.  That does help.
That was my response.  There is so much more about grieving and loss of a loved one to write about.  I will try…
Much Aloha,
Sifan
(much tears)
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10 Months Post-Op

Posted on
Sifan 7/10/2015

Sifan 7/10/2015

I’m not sure what to say, accept that I feel I need to post something.  Today marks 10 months since my SRS and birth into the physical reality of who I am.  Yesterday however, was the 3 month anniversary of when my beloved Lisa passed away.  This post will primarily cover transition.

The entirety of these past three months have been spent in grief, morning and loss.  People say I’m doing better, but it feels even worse than at first.  Nothing in my entire life has been this hard.  This is one of the reasons I could not post until now.  Not sure I’m ready to post now either but I feel I should.

I think I will be creating separate posts to cover the main things I’m going through and experiencing.  Those include the continuing transition (or perhaps it’s post transition now), the grief and loss of my spouse and what I’m going through and what is helping and the many ways that Lisa is showing up and making herself felt.  This last one is quite amazing.  Lisa is being felt by many and I have heard from a lot of people.  This has been an immense relief and comfort to me.

It does not relieve the grief and pain of loss.  After all these years of cuddling every night, all night long – my body experiences this loss so terribly.  But my spirit knows Lisa is with me and I experience her constantly.  These two things continue along at the same time – loss/grief and comfort.

Of course Lisa’s passing has completely eclipsed my transition.  I am very grateful that during this period of memorials, life celebrations and lots of public exposure that no one has ‘clocked’ me, no ‘he’ nor ‘him’ or sideways glances or inappropriate comments or remarks.  Actually I haven’t had anything like that for more than 1/2 a year now.  I’m not sure if that is because of looking more like a woman, acting more like a woman or because of my confidence in being who I am.  I think it’s all in the latter – confidence.  I’m not even thinking about whether I look like a woman or will I be ‘passing’ ok today, etc.   Thanks to my dearest Lisa, I have a confidence now that carries across.

As far as post op recovery is concerned:  wow, they are right – looking back, 6 months was the magical time!  As I stated in an earlier post, it almost happened overnight, the night before my 6 month anniversary.  I no longer used the seat cushion, the remaining pain went away, dilation was much easier, and on and on.

Since then, I have even ridden a bicycle!  Now that was something that the thought of before would send very unpleasant shivers up and down me.

I had a granulation between my labia on my right side that used to bleed now and then back in the months after I got home.  I was very concerned and was going to have my doctor here remove it.  The advice from Chonburi was to just leave it alone.  But I wondered what would become of it:  would it remain as a protrusion?  Would it fall off?  Would it just go back in?  Well now I have the answer – it goes back in.  It’s gone and everything looks good there.

However, my doctor noticed something else – it looked like a ‘Y’ shaped frenulum split my clitoris in half!  Sent off a picture to Chonburi and they said ‘oh oh – that needs a revision’.  Ouch.  The clitoris has ‘legs’ that come down inside the inner labia on a woman.  Apparently those legs are along the inner sides of the inner labia instead of underneath.  These are sensate, but not to the point of pain or it being a problem.  My doctor here said that unless they were effecting me, to not worry about it at all.  She also said to look at it this way:  I have ‘extra’ sensate areas – be glad !!  So, I have a normal clitoris, clitoral hood, frenulum etc., then directly below the frenulum I have these two longish bumps on each side between the upper inner labia that are also as sensate as the clitoris.  I’m happy with that!

For dilation, I’m now down to once every 3 days.  I am on the largest dilator, have been since before the 6 month mark.  I don’t have any problems, no pain and it’s been easy and fast to get to depth.  I will wait for another 2 months (my 1 year anniversary) before I cut down to once a week as recommended for that time and then for the rest of my life.  Trying to figure out what day I’ll do my dilations on when I get to once a week – hummm – Mondays? – nay, those are bad enough ….

I have finally stopped shaving the upper 1/2 of my face!  The electrolysis has progressed far enough along that she now cleans up anything from about midway from my chin to my lower lip and up, then has started on my jaw line and chin and below.  There is nothing to shave above that!  At last – this is soooo good.  However, hair is still growing on my chest and stomach and that is starting to really bother me.  It has slowed down and others have said that it will eventually stop given about 2 years or more of HRT.  But I’m starting to think I might have her do electrolysis there next if this continues.

I’m also having electrolysis on my eye brows and finding that very very helpful.  She applies a topical to numb the area – it’s still a bit more painful than other places but it’s a huge difference in how I look and I don’t have to pluck anymore.  What a relief.

One of the concerns I had recently was how to shave my back.  Lisa used to do that for me – in the hard places to reach, but now ….  Turns out at my doctor’s office they now have waxing and massage.  So I signed up for a waxing for my back, my ears and my nose.  Yes, nose!!  I was pleasantly surprised!  They use a topical to numb the inside of the nose and it really (for me) was not painful at all.  So this will become part of a tri-monthly routine for me now.

My breasts have grown a bit more – I’m a 42B and filling that in pretty solidly now.  I’m glad I did not get breast augmentation when I was in Chonburi – as they had recommended against it and said I would fill out a bit more.  I did and am very happy with what I have.  Mine are ‘on the sides’ a bit, so when I put on a bra I have to pull or tuck them in (and get ‘side’ control bra’s).  This makes them look a lot better as well.  One thing I learned the hard way however – a mosquito bite just under the bra band in the middle of my back is the very worst thing to have!!!  Can’t reach it plus the bra rubs it raw.  ACK !!!!

Finally, my hair is just below my shoulders and slightly wavy along the sides.  I love how it is styled and layered.  Just right.  Ya, I still have high spots on each side of my forehead and therefore have bangs that cover them.  I wish I could use other styles but I do like this one.  I’ve had my hair up and also in a ponytail – always wanted to do that.  I didn’t think I had that much of a ponytail until I caught a reflection in a cornered mirror – wow, it was nice and long – a ‘real’ ponytail at last!  Now if I could just get more hair to cover those high spots ….

I’m settling on a style!  I’m mostly wearing mid to long skirts with tank tops (here in Hawaii) along with cork wedge sandals (1.5 -> 2″) and almost always earrings and a necklace, sometimes a bracelet as well.  I don’t like pants but will wear jeans when I have to (like going to the summit or taking hikes).

Well, here you have it – my first post about transition after Lisa passed away.  Finally, I was able to write.  Hopefully shortly I will write about how Lisa has been showing up to me and others plus a post about grief/loss and coping.

With much aloha,

Sifan

My beloved Lisa has Passed Away

Beloved Lisa

Beloved Lisa

It is with such great sorrow that I’m writing this post.

Friday, April 10th sometime in the night/early morning, Lisa passed away in her sleep from a heart attack.  She had always said she wanted to die in her sleep, being cuddled by me.  She got her wish.

The night before, when she went back to take her shower, she asked me if I was coming to bed too.  When I said yes, she exclaimed “Yayayayayay, I can’t wait for cuddles tonight”!

We were so very close, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  We tightly cuddled each other every night for the entire time we have been together.  I’m also a very light sleeper and am awakened by almost any sound or her movement.  So I can confirm that Lisa passed away very peacefully and quite.  It was at 6:20 that her body rolled over onto me that I knew something was wrong.

I gave mouth to mouth, called EMC and gave CPR until they came.  But she had passed away a while before she rolled onto me.

Sifan & Lisa at Chonburi

Such a beautiful, strong and powerful person.  She had so many daemons from her past that she was fighting.  She had overcome the last one just the week before and her awakening and life was starting to blossom.  These struggles are what gave Lisa these powerful abilities to see clearly, to forgive and at the same time to speak her truth without excuses.   Everyone saw a very kind and loving person.

So many people have commented on the huge difference she has made in their lives.  More than a thousand people have posted or left comments for her.  A typical post says they never shed tears for the people in their life that has passed – but here is a woman they have never met in person and they are balling their hearts out for Lisa.  Lisa has that kind of effect …

As is the case almost all of the time – Lisa aspired to be what she was  – but never saw that she was actually there.  She was the person she was trying to be.  I had told her this many times, tried to point out the love others had for her and the respect they held for her.  Again, part of her childhood conditioning, derived from some horrible events in her childhood prevented her from accepting herself and these comments were not understood.

Just weeks ago, the little girl inside her that was traumatized way back then, was finally able to leave her dark cave and instead inhabit a beautiful bright girls room filled with dolls and toys and happy colors.  Lisa’s deepest parts had finally been rescued.  She related this to me a number of times along with a joy of moving past probably the most intense part of her life.

It was all of these trials that forged Lisa.  What you experienced in Lisa is a triumph of life succeeding where others would have drowned.  Her beauty, her personality, her insights and talents to write, to create videos and help others find their path, are all attributed to her struggles.  These are what forged her and allowed her to give us light.

Her intensity for awakening was so inspiring.  Her ‘Sharing Joy’ video is probably the most open and free expression of her spirit and of her awakened self.  When she first crossed that gateless gate – this is how she was  – for days.  She is so precious ….

More of Lisa’s work can be found at her YouTube site “One Spaciousness” and her WordPress site “One Spaciousness” and her FaceBook pages.

Lisa smelling the roses

Lisa smelling the roses

My love, my kealoha, your presence is felt, your love surrounds me.  I know you are at peace and are what you strived for – at one with the nothingness, which is everything.  I feel her surrounding me, others have stated the same for them.  She is here, everywhere.  And that is something, along with her life and being, that I am in celebration of.

Something Lisa always said and I also felt and would echo back to her:  “I love you more than I loved you yesterday.  And yesterday I had loved you the very most I ever could.  How can our love keep growing, growing beyond what I ever thought possible, growing beyond what I thought was the most I could ever love.  Yet here I am – I did it again!”

There are so many memories I want to try to get down on virtual paper – I will post those over on my blog “Sifan’s Journey”.  But here’s one:  every time I come home – every time – I would stand on the lower step into our house, close my eyes and pucker my lips.  Lisa would come out and kiss me, then we would come into the house and hug.   Every time ….  I am still doing that and can feel her especially during those moments now.

Lisa and Sifan as Easter bunnies in SL

Lisa and Sifan as Easter bunnies in SL

We actually met on Second Life, a virtual world that connects people from all over the world.  We still ‘played’ together there.  That allowed her to express her creativity in many beautiful builds that I will maintain and everyone can enjoy.  She was able to express her inner child and work out her issues here too.

My dearest Keahlo, I love you sooo deeply.  I miss your physical touch so intensely…  In what ever you are going through right now, don’t be scared, be assured I am here, loving you forever and giving you comfort in what ways I can.  You have heard me tell you “I am here” so many times – and you know I am and you have taken comfort and relief from that.  Please hear me now my love, I am here, always will be.  And I know and feel you as well.

Forever cuddles my love – forever …..

With the greatest love (and cuddles) ever,

Your kealoha, Sifan