How things are and how they were a year ago

Hello, this is just a short update on how things are going. I am not sure I should keep writing here, after all, this is Titien’s blog and now it is only about me. Anyway, I am doing ok. I moved houses and it feels like home already. I am back at work and I get things done, I am functioning. 

I lack motivation. Often, I spend my evenings in my new flat just lying on the sofa, mindlessly starring at the screen of mobile phone, not being able to read, watch or listen to anything that would require my concentration for more than a few minutes. I have not been out on my road bike for over two months. I managed to go for ride on Sunday. My thighs hurt. That’s a start. 

I meet with my grieving counsellor once every three weeks. We go for walks, wearing masks and keeping our distance. It is very helpful and hard at the same time to talk abut Titien and also to talk about me. I still talk with Titien’s brother almost every day. 

I am very lucky that Titien and me have kind, empathic, understanding friends. They listen and they understand that there is no need for advice or for a solution or a way out of my current situation. I am sad and I want to be sad.

Titien is buried at the place where I grew up. It is a 100 km drive from where I live. I visit the tree where her ashes lie every two weeks or so. The last time I went, was the first time I actually went there alone, without friends. It felt good to be there by myself. In a strange way, it feels comforting to know that one day, I will be lying there, right next to her. 

I don’t need to visit the tree to remember her, though. I continue to meditate and often, after my daily mindfulness-session, I just stay put and think of her. I remember a photo or a situation  with her and my mind takes me from there. I talk to her, then she is very close to me.

I remember her in times before her health deteriorated. For example, one year ago today, we were flying to Barcelona (one of probably a dozen times). We stayed in a wonderful rural hotel an hour into the Catalan hinterland. I gave a workshop there and Titien had a beautiful view for a few days. This is what she wrote back then:

Friends,
thanks for walking with me. 
I hope you’re living your life,
always be joyful,
and no matter what happens,
pray all the time, 
and give thanks in everything,
because you have the living hope,
and that hope has won.

the place where she rests
First time there by myself after her funeral
Our family tree
The view from up there in autumn
Flashback: A year ago today at Barcelona airport
The corridors were too long for her to walk. Thanks for luggage trolleys, Barcelona airport
Contemplating
The view from our hotel room balcony
One year ago today
Snow covered alps. A rare view these days from the plane window on our way back home

7 Replies to “How things are and how they were a year ago”

  1. My heart skipped a beat when i saw there was a new post. Thank you got your update Tobias. I think of Titien, and you, often. Her outlook & faith was contagious. I know she is always with you, guiding & protecting you.

  2. Dear Tobias THANK YOU for sharing and updating us on YOU and keeping Titien’s memories alive! By all means – please – whenever you are compelled- keep writing!!! I love how you and Titien expressed your thoughts. The postings are always transparent and genuine and encouraging- no matter what circumstances. We care about both of you. Who you are is what Titien loved and whom you’ve become is through the love and life experienced together. Thank you for sharing the Barcelona trip photos again. I remember reading the post and impressed by the breathtaking views. Love and prayers for you from LA! May you get some good rides in before year-end. 👍🙏😎😍☕️

  3. I too was thrilled to see a new post from you and Titien!
    The photos are wonderful and please- if you feel up to it – keep writing. A chain of people around the world care about you and your life.
    And Titien’s words always touch our ♥️.
    Be well, Tobias.

  4. Tobias,. Thank you for sharing your journey. Titen was such an inspiration and will never be forgotten. I loved seeing the photos. Praying for comfort for you.🙏

  5. Tobias! Thanks so much for your update. It’s always nice seeing a post from you and Titien. Some of the photos you posted brings back nice memories and I find myself sifting through Titien’s blogs again. Please continue to keep posting updates. I’m glad to hear that you are doing ok. Just take it one day at a time. Take care of yourself.

  6. Dear Tobias,
    I visit this blog and yours from time to time to feel connected. I reread most of Titien’s blog posts. Today to my surprise, there is this update from you.
    After Titien’s return to our Heavenly Home, you are the closest to her that we can have.
    I particularly like the honesty and bravery in the sentence “I am sad and I want to be sad.”
    There’s an ancient Chinese poem about bereavement, famous in China. I think Titien must know it.
    “LI SI: “Thoughts of Separation” No. 4 (of 5)
    — YUAN ZHEN (779-831)
    — Translated by Frank C Yue

    No other waters could impress me for I’ve seen the vast seas;
    Having viewed majestic Witch’d Mountain, me other clouds can’t please.
    I will never glance again at other flowers — (to you I vow) —
    For my destined Love is half for you, Dear, and half for the Dao! ”
    May God comfort you.

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