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If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years in Malaysia before settling down in Kyoto, Japan. Exploring Japan full time has been a long time dream of mine, so let's explore it together!
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Motherhood | How Do I Handle Grief

Honestly, this piece has been sitting in my draft box since March 2017, a month after you went back "home" and i was still learning to come to terms with it. I knew i wasn't ready to share on things i did to console myself, but i knew someday i would but just wasn't sure when until today. When i woke up this morning, the words kept flowing through my fingers, wishing time would stop so i could finish this piece for you Mariko but we all know that's not going to happen because your younger sister would eventuallywake up from her morning nap and demand for lunch haha. Wish you could see her right now, i'm sure she would appriciate an older silbling to guide and play with her.

This was what i wrote in 2017:

You can't exactly "handle" grief, you can only learn to accept it as part of your life and put on a facade to make everyday task more bearable but deep down all we want to do is cry our eyes out everyday.

So why finally revisit this topic right now after 2 years?

It finally came to a day, i thought i had forgotten your birthday. When it first struck me, guilt came piercing through me like a knife in all kinds of directions and after that everything was blank. Like i'm your mother, of all things; the most precious memory when we met for the first time. How could i possibly forgotten something this important?
It took me awhile to gather myself and thoughts, twas then i realised that i have not missed your birthday (yet), my memory was so fuzzy that i kept on thinking your birthday was on the 9th instead of 19th of November. My bad.

Just because a person isn't present physically to remind us, doesn't mean we have completely forgotten their existence. Sometimes we are too caught up with the present to remember all the details which slowly fades from us whether we like it or not, it isn't intentional either so we should learn to forgive ourselves instead of tearing up that old scar which has already long healed just because we think "we deserved to be punished".

That's when i realized that this was part of moving on. I've come to terms with my grief over the years without realising, though a small dark corner of my mind still subconciously yearns to relive the past again with "what if's". That can't be helped.

Whenever someone asks how many children i have, i would automatically answer "2" instead of "1" because i wanted to keep your memory alive by pretending you are still around, a 3 year old toddler who wouldn't sit still, making a huge mess with her little sister. But all of it was nothing but an impossible wishful thinking. I tell myself that "it isn't not wrong to be wishing for something like that", it's only natural for a mother who has lost her child. 

I don't think there is anything else i can say here that may give others who are grieving any comfort except to let them know from my own experience that time does heal. Slowly but surely.
Our loved ones are safe and sound, watching over us from above in a better place and the last thing they would want is to see us constantly sad whenever one mentions their name. Their name should bring joy, fond memories; not just sadness. 

Their memory still lives within us and that's all that matters, every tear shed is not a tear wasted; ever. People around us may never truly understand our feelings but doesn't mean they don't care, we can't expect them to be in the same position as us because everyone grieves differently. Some grives silently, some does it openly, and each of us have a different outlet to comfort ourselves; like how i find comfort in penning down my thoughts whenever i feel too overwhelmed. It might take some time for you to find your anchor in this but don't lose hope. 

Always remember that we are not alone.

Before i end this post, i would also like to wish my beloved firstborn happy birthday. Love and miss you so much, i still do feel your presence sometimes lingering around and i wonder if you came to visit me or to watch over your little sister. Could be both, but who knows right?

In loving memory of Mariko Hannah (19.11.16- 4.2.17)
The girl who never got to grow up.


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