You’re not here…anymore.

Dealing With Grief

Foto RAFI Y YO

Suffering sucks.   But the desperate feeling of not being able to find a way out makes hurting even worse. That’s why I run away from it. I keep myself very busy so that I have absolutely no time to think and realize that my long time companion is not here and will never be here again. So all of the sudden when suffering strikes, I write. This is my way of coping and if I can be of help to someone who is going through something similar then, fortunately, my hurting serves a purpose.

Yes, I remember him so well. So very utterly handsome and elegant.  With his crisp cotton white shirts and black pants. Always a gentleman.

So I sit here today in front of my computer at our home, which he used to call his “Little Cave”,  that we had remodeled to our liking, left with memories in each and every corner. Exactly ten years ago this month, we got married promising each other eternal love.  Love which was fleeting.

When I’m not physically active, his presence falls upon me. Coco, Caña and Canela also miss him. He was their master.  Now they snuggle with me at night. I hated to have the dogs sleep with us, but he would always convince me to let them in our room. Now I’m the one who brings them in. They give me love and companionship as only dogs can.

No one could come into our apartment without Coco trying to bite them.  Now Coco has become a tremendously gentle dog.  He doesn’t have to protect his master who he sensed was so lacking in health.

We shared unforgettable moments together.  He was my husband, my lover, my friend.  Now I find myself in that hollow status, so lacking in feelings, I’m his “widow”.  This is my new reality and one that I will have to cope with for the rest of my time in this mystery called life.

But yes, I want to believe that we will someday all be part of a new world where we will all meet in solidarity. Until then, my dear Rafi, I write thoughts on my wall which probably only make sense to me. And with that, my dear, I am content.

Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. All rights reserved.

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 Sufrir es feo. Pero la desesperación de no encontrarle salida a tu sufrimiento es peor. Por eso le huyo con todo. Me mantengo sumamente ocupada para no darme cuenta de que mi compañero de años no está y no va a estar nunca más. Porque ese pensamiento de “nunca más” me desespera.  De momento me agarra el dolor y ¿qué hago? Escribo. De esta manera me salgo de mi misma y quizás ayude a alguna que está pasando por lo mismo. Entonces mi sufrimiento agarra algún tipo de sentido.

Sí recuerdo a mi marido hoy. Tan pero tan buenmozo, tan elegante y caballeroso. Con su camisa blanca almidonada y su pantalón largo negro.  Hoy estoy en este, nuestro hogar, al cual él llamaba “La Cuevita” la cual remodelamos juntos a nuestra imagen y semejanza, y la cual él abandonó a destiempo dejándome llena de recuerdos en cada rincón.

Justamente este mes, hace diez años nos casamos y nos juramos amor eterno. Amor eterno que en esta vida fue demasiado fugaz.

Siento mucho su ausencia cuando no estoy activa. Coco, Caña y Canela lo extrañan también. Su amo era él. Y ahora se acurrucan a mi por las noches.

Yo odiaba dormir con los perros. Pero Rafi siempre buscaba la manera de convencerme para que los dejara dormir en nuestra habitación. Ahora los entro yo misma. Son mis tres compañeros y me dan mucho amor, y compañía. Como solo los perros lo pueden hacer.

No había quién entrara en mi casa que Coco no le tirara protegiendo a Rafi. Ahora Coco es un perro dócil que recibe con mucho cariño a mi familia e invitados. Sí, me cuida a mí, pero ya no se siente en la obligación de proteger a su amo, el cual Coco intuía carecía de salud.

Pasé muchas lindas etapas junto a Rafi. Amante, amiga, compañera y esposa. Ahora soy esa palabra tan hueca y carente de sentimientos su “viuda”,  la cual me niego a utilizar.

Esta es mi realidad y no voy a dejar que me tumbe. Lo quiero y lo extraño muchísimo, pero hay que seguir hacia adelante en este misterio que se llama vida.

“Hasta que la muerte nos separe”, así nos juramos. Y quizás, nos unamos algún día. Quiero pensar que está en un mundo mejor al cual llegaremos todos en unión y solidaridad. Hasta entonces, mi querido Rafi, serás sólo esto, una serie de palabras en mi muro que quizás solo a mí me hagan sentido. Y con esto, por ahora, me tiene que bastar.

Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. Todos los derechos reservados.

I’ll Play the Violin

Dealing With Grief, Healing

photo

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.

              Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. All rights reserved.

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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.

        Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. Todos los derechos reservados.

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.”

           Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. All rights reserved.

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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”.

          Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. All rights reserved.

On Unconditional Love

Family & Friends

IMG_3111   The little one who had never showed up, never thought of or imagined. Quietly crawling into your life making you realize you still had unpublished feelings. Feelings so different, so unconditional, so waiting for a little breath of life. You take him into your chest and snuggle him till eternity.

Copyright © 2015 UVA Investment, Corp. Todos los derechos reservados.