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9 Free to Low-Cost Ways to Deal with Grief

Oky and me at a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concert, May 2018

On this date, 16th of June 2019 (2 years ago) my dear husband Oky Kusprianto crossed a street and was hit by a speeding motorcycle. He got thrown several meters into the air, hit the ground on his head, and died almost instantly. We never said goodbye. Not that it would have made this kind of forced separation easier.

My life has since then been turned inside out. The moment I got the news, I knew my life would never ever be the same. I would never be the same.

In the span of a short two years however, I noticed at least 2 friends about my age (in my our thirties) being widowed suddenly. One was widowed when her husband died of a heart attack. Another one became a widow when her husband died of Covid-19.

Deal with Grief

Grief and death is everywhere. Sometimes, it’s just around the corner, a lot closer than we expect. Sometimes it comes slowly, the slow motion of a deteriorating ill body. Either way death is imminent, and grief lines our daily schedule. Yet, who really knows how to deal with it? Therapists help, but in the end it is you yourself who will have to swim through the currents of memories and pain.

So this resource is dedicated to all of you out there who know what it’s like to lose a loved one. More of you deal with grief than you let on, I’m sure of this. In the free ebook, I share some of the ways I dealt with my grief. Most importantly, they’re free to low-cost ways.

Oh I’m sure there are lot of expensive ways also, but sometimes we just can’t afford it. This ebook is for those of you that are caught in the thick of grief, with not very much money to spare. I hope this will help you go through your journey.

Download 9 Free to Low-Cost Was to Deal With Grief here.

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White Heels and Avocadoes

I walked to greet some of the wedding guests, seated spread apart across the Heritage Kitchen and Gallery’s garden. It was a hot sunny day, not ideal for sensitive skin but much better than rain, at least for this occasion, on this location. My heels sunk into the soft earth, and I almost lost my balance.

Darn! I thought.

I am not a fan of heels, but today, my wedding day, I pulled out these 8 inch white T straps. They were a perfect match with the asymmetric layered Carla top and white palazzo pants. Pants! I loved wearing pants for my wedding. The loose fabric of the wide cut allowed me to sit, stand, or dance comfortably anywhere around the garden.

One of my favorite moments was during the ceremony when we had to put on the wedding rings. Except in Cung and my case, we both agreed no rings. We had bracelets instead. And I put them in a lovely pouch in the pockets of my palazzo pants. No standing uncomfortably still looking lovely while waiting for the groom.

Not this time.

This time I paid for most of the wedding necessities: food, venue, photographers, church certificates, you name it. Last time my father paid for most of it.

This time I had semi casual outfit, last time it was a princess gown dress by Harry Lam, a top designer.

This time I wore almost no make up, since most of my face was covered by the mask required for Covid Protocol. Last time I woke up at 3 AM and started the 2 hour make up process with the make up artist.

This time, I married Cung, a one eyed rebel architect-historian-curator. Three years ago, I married Oky, a gentle genius architect.

Oky, my first husband died two years after we got married. I became a widow.

So what am I now? A once widow? An ex widow? A wife? A second wife ?

Life, love, and death does not fit neat categories, boxes, nor timelines.

I am all the above. Life, love, and death does not fit neat categories boxes, nor timelines. They defy our expectations, and we are left wondering: What Happened?

Rumi, a 13th century poet and scholar once said “sell your cleverness, and buy bewilderment.”

The white heels was the only article of clothing which I wore for both weddings. Custom made by the maker, it fit the contour of my feet perfectly. Amazingly, they stayed clean the whole afternoon, even after several more times sinking into the lawn. The heels endured.

With them, I walked towards the guests sitting at the far end of the lawn, one of whom was wearing an avocado around her neck. Avocado was the theme of my second wedding. Guests continued to ask : why avocado?

I thought : why not ?

Originally written August 6, 2020