Dealing With Grief

Dealing With Grief, Family & Friends, Healing, Health, Survival

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Dealing with Grief

Remember please, if you don’t like to read about these matters just skip this post:

The last time we went to Cleveland Clinic, where my husband passed away, I travelled with a nurse who I had hired because Rafi was already very delicate and he couldn’t stand on his own two feet. It was honestly the worst trip I had done with him on my countless trips abroad. We literally had to carry him and lay him in the back seat of the car to take him to his different appointments. He had a Pet Scan done on the first day. The following day we went to the neurologist. The neurologist was a very kind man who dedicated all the time in the world to him and broke the news to us that Rafi’s cancer had spread to his bones and to many organs. This news was devastating for both of us. He started asking Rafi several questions to see how well he was coordinating his thoughts. He asked him to draw two interlocking pentagons which he tried to do to the best of his abilities and then the doctor asked him to write a sentence. Rafi wrote quite clearly: I love my wife.

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La última vez que viajé con Rafi a Cleveland Clinic, donde se complicó todo y murió, viajé con una enfermera la cual había contratado porque ya Rafi estaba muy débil y no se podía sostener en sus propias piernas. Fue el peor viaje que hice con él porque literalmente teníamos que cargarlo y acostarlo en el asiento de atrás del auto para llevarlo a sus diferentes citas médicas. El primer día se le hizo un Pet Scan y al día siguiente lo llevé a su primera cita que era con el neurólogo el cual nos dio la noticia de que el cáncer de Rafi había progresado y que literalmente ya estaba cundido. El doctor era sumamente amable y dedicado. Le hizo muchas preguntas a Rafi para ver como andaba neurologicamente hablando. Le pidió copiara dos figuras pentagonales entrelazadas y después le pidió escribiera una oración. Rafi escribió (en inglés): Amo a mi esposa.

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Practice Kindness

Thoughts

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During a conference, if the speaker would ask attendees which of them considered themselves to be a good human being I’m sure many people would raise their hands. We always believe it’s the “other person” the one who suffers from envy, greed, ego issues, etc. We talk in third person when we are referring to flaws. We’re not born being good human beings. Kindness must be practiced. Now that I have a public fan page, for example,  ever so often people criticize me. Occasionally  they criticize my accessories, clothing, makeup, or make negative comments. How do I react?  As long their post or comment is not rude or offensive and respects my boundaries, I take a deep breath, wait a while and then I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes.  I try to provide thoughtful responses. And you know what?  On many occasions, they have been right!  More than once the situation has turned around like magic and they loosen up and answer back with respect. Tolerance must be practiced every day.  Respect others.  Acknowledge them.  Greet people, try helping the needy, give affection to older people even though you might find them a little boring, or have had a rough day.   Listen to that friend who has suffered a loss or disappointment. Kindness should be  practiced daily.  We are all so imperfect.  We should practice tolerance, goodness and compassion.

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PRACTIQUEMOS LA BONDAD

Si en una charla o foro el moderador hace la pregunta, ¿Quién aquí es se considera una buena persona? Estoy segura de que la mayoría levantaría la mano. Siempre pensamos que el malo, el equivocado, envidioso, avaro, etc. es el prójimo. Hablamos en tercera persona cuando de defectos se trata. Pero todos, todos, tenemos nuestros enormes diablillos que escondemos a veces hasta de nosotros mismos. No se nace siendo bueno. La bondad se practica. Ahora, por ejemplo, que tengo el blog, algunas personas entran en el mismo y me critican. De vez en cuando critican mis accesorios, ropa, maquillaje. Me hacen comentarios negativos etc. ¿Qué hago? Siempre y cuando lo que me escriban lo hagan con respeto, respiro hondo, espero un rato y cuando me pongo en el lugar de la persona le contesto con dulzura y empatía. ¿Y saben qué?  ¡En muchas ocasiones han tenido razón!   La bondad hay que practicarla TODOS LOS DIAS. Ponte en el lugar del otro. Saluda, da los buenos días, ayuda a los necesitados, dale cariño a tus viejitos aunque ya te aburran un poco o tu día haya estado demasiado complicado. Escucha a esa amiga que te cansa con su lamento. La bondad se practica día a día, momento a momento. Somos completamente imperfectos. Practiquemos la bondad.

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I’ll Play the Violin

Dealing With Grief, Healing

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Keep yourself busy. Yep, that’s what I preach. Busy, busy, busy and then you won’t have time to think. By the time you get home, you will be so tired that you won’t remember your sorrows, or your name, for that matter. You’ll take a bath and fall right into bed.

I don’t know why we’re so disturbed by death when it’s the only sure thing we have in life. We don’t know if we’re going to be born, if we are going to succeed, marry, have babies. But die? Yes, that one’s for sure. And yet so many people fear death. I surely don’t.   And let me tell you, I have shaken hands with it before. But yes, we are so devastated when someone we love passes away…and it’s so hard to recover. They leave this space in your heart and sorrow seems to be your true companion. And we deal with it. Or at least we try…

Well, yesterday was one of those very busy days where I filled mine with constant activity, doing what I love best which is to be surrounded by people and meet new ones. I was at a women’s symposium at a mentor’s booth where I would talk to women who scheduled an appointment with me, about innovation. And boy, do I know about innovation. I have reinvented myself about a hundred times in my no expiration date life.

I walked out of the activity at around 5:30pm because I had to go home and change to go to yet another activity at night, carrying my stand up banner (which I thought was unnoticeable) inside this thin long bag in my arm when a friend comes up to me and says hello. I had not seen him in a long time. He asks me what I was doing now. I answer him, (feeling quite silly, by the way), “I have a blog”. “Oh yes,” he tells me. I’ve seen some of your comments in Facebook. “Yes”, I answered. “I make comments on Facebook”. “And what is that thing you’re carrying in that bag, a violin?” Believe me, my dear friends, I stuttered while I answered, “No, it’s not a violin, it’s a stand-up banner” He looked at me in dismay. I asked him what he was doing here at the hotel and he told me he was picking up his wife who was also attending the symposium, to have some drinks. And that’s exactly when it hit me.

Rafi didn’t like to go to my work related activities, but he would always come to meet me and have some drinks, or dinner afterwards.   And then, just then and there, I realized this was going to be my reality from now on. I will always leave these activities alone carrying my case with my stand up banner, and yes maybe I will,   maybe I’ll take some violin lessons.

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Mantente bien ocupada. No pienses. Sí, esto es lo que siempre predico. Así cuando llegues a tu casa estarás tan cansada que solo tendrás fuerzas para darte un baño y caer de bruces en la cama.

No entiendo por qué nos asombramos tanto con la muerte si es lo único seguro que tenemos en esta vida. No sabemos si vamos a nacer, casarnos, tener bebés, triunfar. ¿Pero morir? Sí esto es cien por ciento seguro. Y tantos le tienen miedo a la muerte. Yo honestamente no. A pesar de que tuve, en su momento, un encuentro cercano del tercer tipo con ella . Pero sí, nos quedamos tan devastados cuando alguien querido y cercano se muere y es tan difícil la recuperación. Nos deja este vacío en nuestras vidas y en nuestro corazón. Así y todo nos recuperamos. O por lo menos tratamos.

Ayer fue uno de esos días donde llené mi día de actividades. Fui invitada a un simposio a un stand de mentores donde señoras que sacaron cita previa, podían hablar conmigo sobre innovación. Y sabré yo sobre innovación si en mi vida, sin fecha de expiración, me he reinventado mas de cien veces.

Salí del salón como a las 5:30pm para buscar mi auto cargando un maletín estrecho y largo el cual tenía adentro mi “stand up banner”, cuando en eso se me acerca un amigo, al cual no veía hacía tiempo, me saluda y me pregunta que estoy haciendo ahora. Me sentí bastante tonta y le contesté: “Tengo un blog”.   “Ah sí, te he visto haciendo comentarios por Facebook.” “Sí”, le contesté. “Hago comentarios por Facebook”.   “¿Y qué llevas dentro de ese maletín, un violín?”. Aquí me puse un poco gaga. “No, no es un violín, es un “stand-up banner”. Me miró un tanto asombrado. Le pregunté que hacía y me contestó que venía a reunirse con su esposa la cual también estaba en el simposio para tomarse unos tragos. Aquí fue donde me tocó la fibra.

A Rafi no le gustaba acompañarme a  actividades relacionadas a mi trabajo pero siempre se encontraba conmigo después para darse unos tragos y comer. Aquí me encontré cara a cara con el hecho de que esta iba a ser mi realidad de ahora en adelante. Iba a salir de las actividades sola cargando mi “stand up banner”.

Y sí, ¿por qué no? Quizás me ponga a tomar clases de violín.

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Dealing With Grief

Dealing With Grief, Healing
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Our Wedding Day, November 24, 2006 at Casa de Campo, República Dominicana.

Dear Friends,

(Posted on my Fan Page: Annette Vaillant The Blog on July 3, 2015)

I will continue posting and writing on this blog with a greater commitment than ever before.  I will share my speech at my husband’s funeral service with all of you.  The purpose of this, is to be able to bring a little peace to those who have been, or are going through the death of a loved one.

My oldest son flew down to Puerto Rico from Florida to give me love and support during this very difficult and extremely sad moment in my life.  My other two sons live on the island.

I had been divorced from my son’s dad for about 5 years when I went to a friend’s Christmas party with my youngest one who was 17 at the time and met Rafi who had been a widower for the past 7 years and had 4 children and 11 grandchildren. We fell in love and got married 2 years later.

The priest at the funeral service whom I had never met before, gave a very beautiful sermon, trying to give comfort and peace to Rafi’s children and grandchildren whom he asked to join him up front in prayer in a most beautiful and powerful ceremony, but he apparently did not realize that Rafi’s widow was also present at this ceremony.

I’m  totally sure that this was a mistake and not an omission because it would be very hard for me to believe that with the magnificent power of speech and spiritual healing the priest showed in his sermon,  he would have willingly left me out and not have asked me to join them just because of the fact that I’m a divorcee. No, I’m sure this wasn’t the case because that would have shown a total lack of empathy on his part, but I felt under the right and obligation to speak afterwards at the burial services.

I hope this brings a little peace and comfort to all of you who are grieving the loss of a loved one as it gave me to be able to express myself.

“We women are so very strong!  And the reason behind this is that God granted us a maternal instinct that we thought was dormant until we become caregivers to a loved one and this instinct resurfaces once again. Stronger than ever.

Rafi was his belated wife’s caregiver.  He was by her side for 10 consecutive years until she lost her battle to cancer on 1999.  (The same year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, which I always thought was a coincidence ) He took excellent care of her during her ordeal and he deserved by Karma or let’s call it “Law of the Universe” to be taken care of in the same way. Rafi was taken care of during his long and debilitating illness the way he deserved to be taken care of and died with dignity next to his wife and loved ones.

I would like to add some words to the beautiful ones spoken by the priest at the service.  I would like the Lord to grant comfort and peace to his only sister and husband who are here  today and were beside him all the time through his ordeal and to his Mom (She is 106 years old and obviously couldn’t come to the services) because my peace and comfort will be granted to me by Rafi, and by the good Lord.

Thank you very much.”

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!Este blog continúa! Y con mas fuerza que nunca.
Comparto con todas Uds. mis palabras durante el entierro de mi queridísimo marido con el objetivo de traerle un poco de paz a aquellas que estén pasando o han pasado por la muerte de un ser querido. Uno de mis hijos pudo venir de Estados Unidos a acompañarme y darme “support. Yo estaba divorciada y mi marido viudo, padre de 4 hijos y abuelo de varios nietos cuando nos conocimos hace 10 años 1/2. Nos enamoramos y nos casamos.
El sacerdote al cual yo no conocía y el cual habló precioso en la misa de difunto, dándole consuelo a sus hijos y a sus nietos, haciéndolos pasar al frente para que se unieran en oración en una bellísima e impactante ceremonia, no se percató de que en esta misa se encontraba la viuda. Estoy segura de que fue verdaderamente una equivocación y no una omisión porque se me haría muy difícil pensar que un padre con ese poder de sanación espiritual y de palabra me obviara por ser divorciada. No, estoy segura que no, porque esto hubiera sido una verdadera falta de caridad. Pero me vi en la obligacíon y además el derecho de hablar en el momento del entierro. Espero les traiga algún tipo de paz como me la dio a mi el poder expresarme:
“¡Qué fuerte somos las mujeres! Y es porque todas cargamos un inmenso instinto maternal que creíamos dormido hasta que llega el momento de tener que cuidar a un ser querido y ahí vuelve a resurgir. Con mas fuerzas que nunca. Rafi cuidó incansablemente de su esposa durante su larguísima enfermedad y se merecía, digamos por ley de vida o Karma que lo atendieran a él de igual manera. Rafi fue cuidado durante toda su larga e incapacitante enfermedad, como se merecía, y así murió, dignamente al lado de su esposa y sus seres queridos.
Quiero añadirle a las preciosas palabras del padre, consuelo a su única hermana que se encuentra presente junto a su esposo, los cuales estuvieron presente también durante toda la enfermedad de mi marido, a su madre que aún vive ( tiene 106 años y no pudo estar) porque a mi el consuelo me lo da Rafi y me lo da Dios”.

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To My Old and Newly Acquired Friends

Beauty, friendship, Health, Love
This blog is for you. For the warrior inside you. I work very hard to make it as beautiful and entertaining as I can. I really hope you like it. Too many bad news out there. Too many problems in this world and in our own lives. Maybe your children have gone away to college and you have this terrible empty nest syndrome.  Maybe you’re not feeling your best or are taking care of a loved one. Or perhaps you are just feeling lonely. Make it your time off. I know, you’re going through a lot. I know, because I am going through a lot too. Sometimes it feels unbearable, right? This is my therapy. Make it yours. See you very soon!

ututu

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Todos los derechos reservados.

On BFF’s Forever

Family & Friends
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My Second Wedding   Dress: Lisa Cappalli;  Location: Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic

This is one of the most puzzling pieces of life. You come along this total stranger who becomes your most intimate confidant, your most priceless companion, your most soothing voice. Always there. Always willing. Always right.

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Continued ⬇️

On Second Chance at Love

Love

IMG_3063When you thought you had to live the life you always knew. When you had not yet discovered your worthiness. Oh!, and maybe you thought it was too late. When you begin to love and respect yourself, there is always someone out there who notices…

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