Can you introduce yourself briefly, Sasa?
I am a career woman and a single mother.
I moved to Hong Kong after graduating from university. Love gave me the strength to embark on a new journey when I was 23.
How did you meet your husband, Jerry?
Jerry is from Hong Kong. We met at a nightclub in Taiwan when he was traveling alone. We went through a two-year long-distance relationship in the era before smartphones.
Looking back, it seems incredible because I need a sense of security from my partner. To communicate, we relied on MSN, which necessitated having access to a computer, an internet connection, and the other person being available online.
We also utilized text messages and long-distance calls; they were expensive for both of us. I was a student, and he had just started working. Nevertheless, we both sensed sincerity and commitment from each other, which gave me the strength to persevere in the relationship.
How did you cope when your husband fell ill until he passed away?
In a Hong Kong movie called "Echoes of the Rainbow," actress Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu says, "People have to believe in something." As a naive person at the time, I used to joke with Jerry about what that meant. We wondered what that something was and why it was so important to believe in it.
I finally got what it meant when my husband fell ill. I came to understand the importance of faith in difficult times. It's not just about having a specific goal but a profound belief that something will happen.
At that time, our faith was in his recovery. In addition to adhering to the chemotherapy treatment plan recommended by the doctor, we suspended all work and cherished every moment spent together. We maintained a positive attitude, strived for a simple life, maintained a routine schedule, ate healthily, and took our two-year-old daughter to the park every afternoon, followed by a one-hour walk home together.
Our return to everyday life was only possible because of our unwavering belief in his recovery. Living a simple and pragmatic life was our choice during that time. Without this faith, we would likely have stumbled and lived in chaos.
How did you reconstruct your life with just you and your child after your husband left?
This was the most challenging question.
Fortunately, I had a loving family and many friends who were there for us.
The biggest challenge I faced was dealing with my psychological issues. After all, Jerry and I had spent 12 years together, including two years in a long-distance relationship. His constant presence in my life had given me a strong sense of security. He was always there for me during challenging times, guiding me and being my anchor. Our relationship was deep and unwavering.
Suddenly, everything was gone, leaving me with a 3-year-old daughter, Feifei, who required my constant attention and care. It was a painful experience in the beginning, and I found it hard to sleep at night. My head was throbbing, and I kept replaying the past in my mind. My body was constantly tired, and my confused daughter often called out to her lost and unstable mother, causing me to break down countless times.
Initially, I was naive and thought finding a replacement would solve everything. I spent a lot of time swiping on dating apps, going on dates with new people, and hoping to find someone to fill the void left by my husband and daughter's father. I went through a never-ending cycle of confusing relationships, hopes, and disappointments. Thanks to my friends' selfless companionship and love, I slowly realized that I shouldn't rely on someone else to fill this emptiness. I needed to love and accept myself to be a happy and confident mother for Feifei. That is what brings us wholeness.
During this period, I learned how to sew, went diving, and took Feifei on hikes and camping trips. Slowly, I was able to sleep better, and as time passed and my life became more fulfilling, we could return to a more normal life.
You probably think of your late husband a lot until now. What do you do when you think of him?
I underwent several rounds of therapy during that time. While my late husband and I were once an integral part of each other's lives, my thoughts of him now are mainly of his voice calling my name, without any accompanying regrets or strong emotions. We once shared a deep love and happiness, but he's now in a better place!
Death is inevitable in life, and if we encounter a similar situation in the future, do you have anything you would like to say to us?
Everyone has their own destiny and life lessons to learn. In recent years, I have often heard about the concept of the "original family," which impact our personalities and life.
Learning to balance our life with our original family is always a life-long lesson. Only through growth and changing ourselves, can life become less complicated.
Jerry and I were together for 12 years, and during that time, we supported each other and helped each other to heal from our family issues. Our relationship was a blessing, and I am grateful for the memories we created together. He was the best person I have ever met, but now he has completed his life's journey and moved on, and I am happy for him.
However, the rest of us still have work to do. If we dwell on self-blame and self-pity, it will only hinder our progress. The only way to progress is to face our pain, accept it, reflect on it, and make changes, even if it's just a tiny step forward. I have reached the age of 36 with newfound courage to take action and a strengthened resilience that allows me to overcome setbacks with determination.
When our loved ones pass away, we can find solace in the fact that they have lived a full life and completed their journey. Rather than grieving their loss, we should celebrate their life and our time with them. It's a reminder that life is short and that we should seize the moment and live our lives to the fullest.
P.S. The writing was instrumental in my healing process. I composed a series of pieces chronicling my experiences with Jerry, and I felt a profound sense of relief upon completing them. Some people have questioned how I could remember such intricate details so vividly. The answer is simple: I focus on happy memories, and my imagination may have embellished some of the recollections. The key to happiness is being content with what we have, and my memories of Jerry bring me immense joy. For anyone interested, my journey with Jerry can be found on my Instagram page @since20071116.