A hug for my soul

A journey of grieving and healing after child loss

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A Hug for Your Soul

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Fellow bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents who have gone through and are still going through the same tragic loss like us, I’d like to share this update with you.

I lost my newborn to a currently unknown genetic disorder 10 months ago. His name is Vincent. He lived for 8 weeks and spent all his earthly life in the children’s intensive care unit. Through the past months I got to know other stories just as heartbreaking as ours, though all our stories are different and have unblocked journeys that are unique to us as individuals, I do wish this bit of my very own journey brings a warm hug to your grieving hearts.

My very first vision after Vincent’s death was through hypnosis. In my trip he was a handsome old man living alone in a house deep in the forest, northern, cold-weather forest. I had no idea why my half Chinese son’s soul who seemed to have such strong Buddhist sphere showed up as a white guy from the far north. Then after my husband’s grandma’s pass, which happened shortly after Vincent’s death, gave me one more piece of the puzzle.

While Vincent was in the hospital, grandma drove there almost every morning at 5am to stay by his side. One morning when I arrived, I saw that she held his tiny hand in hers, murmuring an old German lullaby, and his face said nothing but love.

They two had so much connection beyond words, and a big piece of me believes that Vincent was the baby boy grandma had lost more than 50 years ago, shortly after his birth, and in the old time she was not even allowed to see him nor hold him at all. He took a chance to come back to her, with no plans to stay long but only to feel her love and touch, and perhaps to guide her way back to the other side.

A Canadian lady told me these infants losses, manifested in various ways such as SID, miscarriages and still born, are souls making a trip to earth with the purpose to feel unconditional love. They might have been kids taken out by their parents from the womb or shortly after birth, because of their gender i.e. for being female in certain cultures, or because of poverty. Their only purpose for this life was to find a couple, or a parent who would love them not because but despite.

Then I thought about my sibling I never got to meet in this life. My mum told me long ago she had an abortion when I was very little, because of the one-child policy in the 90s. I cannot imagine what kind of pain she and her whole generation had to endure, or how much of the pain body ever got acknowledged and released, I certainly remember missing a sibling especially when things were hard. I think of my brother or sister who never got to be born had came through me, with no agenda to stay long but a strong wish to be acknowledged, and an even stronger determination to feel my mum’s hug and kisses, hear my voice and even to annoy me a little, and get to know my current life situation.

A healer told me Vincent is one of my angels manifested through my pregnancy, he came to shift things for us; The angel lady Lorna told me he was not supposed to stay but he had a message for us, which was to know we are loved and protected always; My kundalini house mate H said Vincent’s last reincarnation was to just be in my womb; My yoga classmate Isa said perhaps he needed the experience for his spiritual evolution. A friend thinks Vincent’s here for the unknown genetic disorder to be discovered and studied like what is really happening with his case now in a research group. They all have touched my heart with so much sincerity and compassion.

Whichever one it is, or none above, it was Vincent’s own plan. My subconscious would like it to be a story so brilliant and significant, for the attempt to compensate my profound loss, but it is none of my business. My role here is to go into a deeper level of love through my grief, awaken what I came here with and for, and thank Vincent for his teaching.

Isa also said the souls have agreed or decided for its life to be that way from the other realm, before reincarnation, while the other souls involved have agreed to that. It seems crazy to have agreed to such a tragic death and loss for both parties from an earthly-bounded perspective, but once we enter this world, we forget about it all and all we focus on is the mind’s search for justification and the unbearable pain.

That resonates so deeply with me. This theory, yet still being a theory (since none of us have the whole picture but some are lucky enough to get a glimpse), has made me feel less alone in the attempt to just trust my soul and allow it to flow. Most spiritual authors and mediums say the soul has a very different perspective from another realm, despite the amount of mediumship and medical books and speeches I’ve inhaled in these past months, I’m grateful that I’m learning to release my mind from anger and the urgency for whys, and to allow my soul to take the driver’s seat.

My soul says she embraces all of it, the vast, grand and fascinating life, since the beginning of all things.

I’m turning 32 tomorrow, last year on the same day I still had Vincent on my chest hooked to his beeping machines. He will still be beeping the strongest beat one year after, even closer to my heart.

Letter to Vincent’s Intensive Care Unit

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Hi all,

The past two months in your unit seemed like infinity to our whole family. Usually people associate intensive care units with cold, creepy and emotionless images, and it was the case for us at the very beginning.

I remember how insanely sacred and numb I felt when I sat in the waiting room, so tired yet alert, ready to spring any moment you came out to give us the pass to go in and see our baby on the cooling mat. I felt very disconnected.

Yet kids are truly amazing. Vincent decided that the intensive care unit would be his home during his stay in this world, as his parents, we follows his lead. He came here through me, with his own purposes, in his own time, through the manifestation of physical suffering, choosing you all to be a big part of his life. As his mother, I know that beautiful and innocent soul was trapped in a weak body so hard to work with, but I also know that he felt safe and loved in your hands. Every diaper change, every time being fed, every time being gently combed and bathed, every try to reduce his pain and discomfort, Vincent allowed us to witness that all of you were not just doing your job as professionals, but also trying all you possibly could out of respect and love for his life, and lives of all the others kids next door.

I cannot represent the dearest and nearest of all other kids, however I am speaking to you from the hearts of all those who have loved and will continue loving Vincent. We are all grateful for what you have done for us, and all you have given through your healing hands and generous hearts. The intensive care unit has been Vincent’s true home on earth, and he made me feel bizarrely but honestly at home there too. It was also his choice to have come to you, be nested around you and be on his way out again there with you. It was the beginning of his end, it is the end of his beginning. Or the other way round.

We also want to thank you for having gently leaving us the space whenever we needed, and for making it possible for us to hold Vincent’s hands when he decided it was time to go. It meant more than words can say for us.

Thank you all beautiful souls.

27 July, 2018

We brought this letter to AKK Hamburg ICU two days after Vincent’s pass, to express all left unsaid during the dark and defeating two months of our lives with Vincent there, never being able to come home. This is especially to nurses and doctors E, A, A, B and N, who gave him so much love and me so much strength, your souls still spark nothing but pure white light for me. I decided to share this letter here today at Vincent and my space, for L, who is also a pediatric nurse at an intensive unit, as part of her birthday presents. Every time you took care of a dying child, they wanted you to know what’s been said above. xx

Acrylic on canvas: Held with Love by Goh Si Hua from Beatty Secondary School as part of the “Belong – Family, culture and Nation” exhibition at Singapore National Art Museum

You Live On Within Me

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I often wonder how my grandma Ailan would be like if she had lived till now. I also fantasize how life would be for me and my family if she had lived on.

She would be the same loving, strong, giving, generous and forgiving. She would be even more easily exhausted from doing all the chores. She would be thrilled and would want to be by my side when I gave birth to my children. She would knit tiny socks and jumpers for my babies, she would spend hours cooking for all of us, and she would make sure we all get our portions of vegetables and candy for dessert.

She would have made me less scared and lost on many occasions of my life.

She would have done the same for everyone she loved, every single day of her life.

I often wonder what kind of child Vincent would be, if he was still in his physical body. For reasons I know, I’m often surrounded by little boys whenever I go. I couldn’t help but look at how they laugh in their parents’ arms, how they get needy, and how they steal away attention from their siblings.

He would have been handsome, kind, chilled, a little risk taker and an adventurer, just like his daddy.

I fantasize about our life with Vincent, I would be more than skinny by now from breastfeeding and attending two small kids, our daughter would have been my little helper and have given him all that enormous amount of sister love, we would have been one of these families with all available and visible kids at the playground on a Sunday afternoon, sipping on our melting ice cream and having non-voluntary conversations with other parents on diaper rash and pets.

When my grandma Ailan passed suddenly from a stroke and heart attack, as a grieving spouse, my grandpa blamed that she always puts others first. She was always in a hurry to take care of others, thus she didn’t pay attention to her own health. As a seven-year-old child, I blamed fate for taking her away from me, that I was left along in this unkind world to face my parents’ divorce.

Now I see it as her decision to go. Like my mother-in-law always said, it is none of our business if one decides it’s time for them to go. She came into this realm, did what she planned to do. More or less, that stroke was her way out.

I still don’t, and will never find out what she was here for as her own Devine purpose, that was her own business, but I certainly know what she did for me. She has had opened a world so simple yet so colorful, where everyday life was about expressing her love through her creativity and generosity. The herbs and fruit picked with her own hands, the pure smell of rice stirred and steamed in her bamboo cooker, all pieces – clothes, embroidery handmade and all for others, all coins and pocket money saved not for her but for others, the hugs she gave as a cozy bath surrounding my heart, and how much a goddess her presence felt every time she tried to shield me from pain.

She made it possible for a little girl to experience kindness and compassion very first hand, her love was simple there, always available and unconditional, just like her own presence, simply and humbly be, without any identification with the outside world. I was the most blessed girl in the world to have her shine her light into my shadows. Those fragments of her have never left, those familiar beams of light live permanently within my aura. They continuously shine into every cell within me till today.

I often wonder what kind of person Vincent would be if I’d have the opportunity to watch him grow. He would be brave, kind, funny, smart, hard to understand, head in a different realm, incredibly wise, generous, and compassionate. He chose a sick body to come into this world, and he put up with an enormous amount of suffering and pain from the very first breath of his life, with nothing but love and mercy. He came here with nothing but love, he chose to leave with nothing but love. I don’t know his Devine life purpose, but he has been and is nothing but Devine for me. That alone, is a whole universe unlocked within me. His manifestation as my son, has been shining Devine lights into every corner within this universe, corners which are vulnerable and beautiful, but also corners which had never seen any light in any lives ever before. I’m more than grateful to be his invisible mother and student.

He also, lives in me eternally and guides me on, like he has never been away.

25th, May is Vincent’s 1st birthday. I know I wouldn’t be able to write anything up on that day, because I have a birthday cake to bake and new flowers to plant.

Sat Nam.

Humanity within You

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I am usually not an Apple fan.

In Ginza, the busiest district in Tokyo, my daughter and Vincent took me upstairs to use the restroom in an Apple store, and decided to sit down at their cinema to watch what was on.

They and Apple popped me a bit more open.

The short movies were typically liberally Americanized. All races, all genders, all ages, all modifications of physical capabilities.

We are the same. We are one. We all love the Apple technology which brings us closer.

Undoubtedly true. On an individual level. We long to be no different than others. We long to belong. We long to express the best of ourselves.

But earth is an interesting place. We chose to come in different facades. Colors. Genders. Sexual preferences. Various density and collective characteristics of cultures. Families.

I imagine some of the choices are accumulated preferences of our past lives, as I myself have been different Asians for many lives, some are goals undone or still room left to work on, some are just purely “hey let’s try this one this time and see the world from that angle, how about being burnt alive for just being Tibetan?”

Then here we are. The veil is suddenly there. Life seems so unfair. Unfair for those who seems to have been dealt with shit cards, unfair for those where everything is just so perfect, so perfect that they have to build a wall mentally and physically to protect the God-sent hand of cards.

Then the accumulated imprints and cultural density kick in. They are bad. We are not. He did that. I am just the way I am. What we have came here to work on left from past lives, and even in this life – prejudices against other cultures, genders, races; Inclined self-esteem; fear, lots of fear of water, animals, sounds, height; denial; jealousy out of self protection; greed; projections..they all suddenly work not in favor of us, but we have to constantly work against them to stay sane and feel a tat sheltered in this crazy crazy world.

I don’t agree segregation is the answer. But that is a political issue so out of control that it is simply handed to one or two souls’ free will and flooded with support out of fear.

But unity first comes from within. It is the harmony between your soul and your current physical body, and the respect from the rest of you to the soul’s past lives lived and experienced. You are strong, you are male, you got your education, you live in civilization where clean water comes from your direct house, you got the package. You were black. You were a female slave. You were a soldier. You were a witch. You were persecuted with an ax. Your current sense of superior doesn’t only sadden the rest of the world, but it hurts the rest of you, which an abundance of wisdom and suffering.

You come from a less favored race, you are discriminated for your gender, you feel no one likes you just for what you are like from the outside. Your currently status and how it is perceived by others, who are also on their unique journey, doesn’t grand you the permission to treat yourself and others with no boundaries such as the classic “I’m xxx and all xxx do this, accept it or you are not my friend” or high walls of a totally closed up heart.

So many lights traveled, so many lives lived, yet they seem to be wasted. Life lessons are tricky and hard, sometimes they don’t make sense at all, and I think I can as well just live it to my fullest awareness to love, then the rest doesn’t matter.

The oneness is within each one of us, the love needs to be first spread within self love, and then we would really learn and experience how it feels to love someone or something that is so fundamentally different yet so close.

The message really is so there yet so overlooked: Different is the one thing about us that is always the same.

The truth is we don’t see things the same, the power is we don’t see things the same.

We all came here to be a part of it, to make the world a more powerful place. Why not use it, since we are already here anyways?

Humanity is plural, not single. And that starts with respecting literally all humanity within each of us. They dance like a river within you and surrounding you, with mind-blowing grace and light.

The Art of Being Enough

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The one tie we have to this world – our family and the society surrounding us, each and every individual member of that category, our parents, kids, partners, siblings, classmates, friends, work mates, neighbors, we learn and test drive everyday with them for our nature in this world – the longing to belong.

We dream to be all things rosy and wonderful, so we are counted as lovable, desirable, capable and resourceful for those we care about. It is like a high once those goals are met, and it hurts the ego like an annoying UTI if we fail to meet those potentials we all think we have, so we feel sorry and incapable, so that must be the reason we feel so low and unappreciated, so we must do better, because you know, nothing is impossible, especially for almighty God-like me. So we try harder, we give more, we push another corner of the wall down, there goes the vicious circle.

The issue here is not you are not capable and you have to put a limit to things you want to do for your loved and cared ones. The issue not addressed is, most people have not learnt how to structure and maintain a healthy boundary with others. Yes we need boundaries, not cold, high walls with scorpion arrows prepared for battles, but firm, clear yet bouncy cushions for your emotional and physical wholeness.

When I close my eyes, it feels like one’s aura, a beautifully knitted net with lights from different shades, like the splash of blinding yet glittering power of sunshine when we flip our wings, shining God’s love and wisdom, but also imprinted with each individual’s own shadows.

What is the light? Energy. Positive energy so pure and powerful brought to this realm by us, wishing nothing else but to experience the fullness and dimensions of everything. What about the shadows? Energy. Energy that is transmuted into something heavier, like fear, insecurity, abandonment, jealousy and hatred. In Kundalini my teachers say when they look at people’s auras, they can always tell how truly centered and happy they are. Sometimes the beautiful nets of lights are holed, torn apart or scared.

This heaviness we carry around can be something a trauma that’s not looked at and cared for, either acute or from childhood or even past lives (I like talking about past lives because I’m a little crazy for this world, just like you are), and not that surprisingly, from your intact environment, cultures, languages, education and upbringings.

I experience in most Asian cultures, girls are perceived as less capable thus less useful than boys, a little girl has to be an all-in-one, meaning smart, slender, beautiful, considerate, caring, kind, generous, learn everything, to even catch up, to not be left behind in the competition, eventually to deserve some love and respect; Many experience in their own relations with their parents as feeling blackmailed, guilty, unfulfilled and unfair.

What’s easier to control? They are told to fulfill tasks, change plans, pick up responsibilities, give up dreams, tear down their personal space on demands of their parents or family, or even a collective country, so the needs of the latter are met – A guilty conscience filled by sometimes unreasonable demands from the closest people, and fear of losing their love if not obeyed. Your particular parents love you with all their hearts, and this was not their own invention. It is passed down through generations, made into cultural norms and renounced traditions, you are a traitor of all those above if you don’t agree that you are never enough, of course for the convenience of everything and everyone else, and later for your addiction for confirmation of being really okay and lusting for more than what’s okay.

Your auras are stepped into. And your family situation, passed on imprints and perceptions, cultures, all teach you to let that happen, so you can shine your goodness more, so love can be sustained. Your boundaries are stepped over. And everyone teaches you to tear that completely down. The more demand you can bear, the more non-guilty good feelings you’ll get in return.

The beautiful wings of light we came into this world with, which we thought was the most valuable assert, was roughly and rudely stripped away, and we are left with our arms and hands chained by deep, deep fear. A fear so foreign that we don’t know where it came from, yet a fear so familiar that when we take a deep breath, it is our dear soul looking back at us in the eyes, murmuring “how are you going to go on without knowing who you are?”

This black mailing system sustains itself, as soon as a little girl becomes a mother in deep fear of wanting to be more and do more, and soon steps into her children’s boundaries, as early as a child learns to please the parents with “good behaviors” for love and affection.

There is a difference between the frustration of not being enough driven by fear, and the pure longing to explore more. The former is composed by the heavy stuff in your aura, and you are feeding it by allowing your ego to tell you “being enough makes you better and more lovable than others”, making it impossible for you to maintain your own boundaries, and step over others’ without even realizing it. The kind of “You are enough” love? You’ll feel the lightness of being trusted and allowed, being let go, fly, explore and soar, like trusting your partner’s loyalty with a vulnerable heart, like watching your parents getting older and more fragile; like getting pregnant after three miscarriages, like saying goodbye to your dying baby and holding his body in your arms.

You are enough when your expertise earns you 200 euros while others’ earn 2000; You are enough when you are too tired to read your children 5 stories like the mom next door; You are enough when you don’t have a present or message for your partner everyday; You are enough if you are no longer happy in your marriage and want a divorce; You are enough if you don’t want to get your clothes dirty playing with your toddler; You are enough when you don’t have enough money for your parents’ surgery; You are enough if you don’t know how to cook; You are enough even and especially when you have only one arm or one leg.

You are enough when you remind yourself so. Others forget and are in a fantasy as if they are in constant competition with the world around? Gently tell them, you are enough, and your soul wants her wings back.

This is our teaching from this week. Thank you.

All Roads Lead to Rome

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A suffocatingly crowded place, Kiyomizudera in Kyoto. After climbing the hills and swimming through the intimidating tourist pool my thighs started to sweat in my rented kimono.

Finally. There we were. The gorgeously grand and graceful Kiyomizudera temple opened her arms and embraced us.

One really has to move mountains to arrive at the top.

I thought to myself.

We took photos, prayed, shopped, and painfully made our way back to the kimono shop at the foot of the mountain, again through the intimidating forest of PEOPLE.

At the corner of the shop, quietly stood the Otani Hombyo. I wanted to take one last look at this one cherry tree in full blossom in there, and this sentence stood right in front of it.

和颜爱语. Gentle in countenance and loving in speech.

The Chinese and Japanese characters capture the essence more accurately than translated into English, in my opinion.

Be gentle with your facial expression and choose loving words while communicating.

The way your face looks shines the light of peace and a balanced soul, while your speech delivers the pure meaning of love and compassion.

Your kindness is reflected on how you look at the world around you. Your words reflect the amount of love you have in your heart.

I like adding different connectives when translating, by playing with various versions of translation, I get to be closer to what the writer really wants to express.

Whichever one you mean, thanks for your kind teaching.

I traveled all the way to get this teaching right at the corner of my eye, yet the whole journey was invincible, expansive and priceless.

Judging and Being judged

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It is our first day back into the surreal and hectic city life of Kyoto from the temple mountain Koyasan. Those countless praying and temple visits which seemed to have been docile and mild, ended up stirring up so much energy which has been pushed deep into the black hole in my emotional jungle.

Judging and being judged. You might think the former is a much more comfortable place to be compared to the latter. However, if you dive deeper, which by the way is always painfully achievable, by peeling the emotional onion, by digging under your layers of faux “I know it all” and “I’m the only person hurt on this planet”, by facing up to the floating headless monsters and haunting black clouds of insecurity, self-doubt, anger, jealousy and expectations for the outside world, you get to meet the tiny shivering body hiding behind – an inner child so denied of compassion and love.

Hurt people hurt. We all judge because somewhere down the road, we all have been judged. Perhaps unconsciously, the world seems to be such a soul-sucking place, the only way for us to maintain the illusion of awake-ness is to push the buttons never meant to be pushed in other realms, or to aid to eliminate confusion of this aimlessness and the longing to belong.

Well we are kinda here to feel different sorts of emotions such as our personal boundary overstepped, it becomes complicated once the energy is formed, because judgement is to my eyes a bit like a careless flame, it ends up lighting up each individual’s fuel, oil, paper, textile and even the most innocent item in the house, depending on his life lessons and imprints. The hurt is real, the pain is real, it is part of what we are here to experience by just feeling it, yet we forget the free will is also real.

Our free will doesn’t allow us to become holier by “doing the right thing”, it is simply here to allow us be.

I often am soaked in tears when I feel wronged, bad mouthed or unfairly judged, my being is denied of its right to just be, and all of a sudden I have to meet some sort of standard which has absolutely nothing to do with me? I get hurt because I mourn for my wholeness which now seems tainted, I am quickly talked into feeling like an outsider because I care about those who did it, or I expect myself to be acceptable, or both. It’s like having ran a marathon later never counted, a well-wrapped present returned, a delicately frosted cake spoiled. Or shit.

I close my eyes and beg for an answer from within: “Hey you! This really is getting annoying! When on EARTH am I done here and when can I come home?”

“A little bit longer. When you have played with all cards and found out that all is a game yet better than a game.”

“That sounds like a smart people game.”

“No, you play as people to realize you ARE smart. Now, can you take the back seat and let me talk to her soul, ego?”

“But I’m not good at playing cards.”

“Nobody is. That’s the fun part.”

Now before you got the urge to decide someone is not up to your standards, before you let that dissatisfaction of somebody’s character determine if he or she deserves your respect and love, before you sit in anger and expect persuasion to not dislike someone or something, turn around and give the child left behind a big hug. Ask him/her if he/she feels not good enough for yourself, if he/she has been exhausted trying to be someone he/she is not, if he/she is horrified by the thought of being ignored even longer for just being him/her, or if he/she has had enough having to take all the blame for judging.

Have compassion and forgiveness for those who seek for security and comforting through judging you, they don’t intentionally long to destroy you, they need help to be reminded what powerful beings they already are, and that their imperfect inner child are part of this perfection. They just have been playing a bit too hard to keep in SOUL that just like a coin and all phenomena, free will comes in two sides too.

If after all they think their one and only path to feel less unwanted and useless is to feed on judging others, well, that deserves a lot of blessings too, wouldn’t that be yet another unique and necessary journey, like all the others we’ve traveled and will soon travel.

Thank you for your teaching.