Loyalty Integrity Honesty Dignity

“The human journey is so short. We no sooner realize that we are here than it is already time for us to be leaving.” John O’Donohue

For the past two weeks I’ve been contemplating writing an article for my blog. It’s about the spiritual books I read two weeks ago and the one I’m still reading now. In my mind I made a comparison of all the dogmas and the teachings these books and the authors offered, and the striking similarities between them. It’s a big task that one day I would like to tackle on my blog, and I hope that day is soon. But until I do that, there’s something else that’s nagging me and I think it’s also blocking me from further writing. To quote Zora Neale Hurtson:
“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” 

It’s that time of year again. November 16. Today marks the fourth anniversary of my husband’s passing. Four years ago today we didn’t know it would be his last day with us here. I still remember that day as if it was yesterday.

I play the events of his last two days in my head. It happened so quickly. We didn’t say goodbye, he didn’t want to. He said he was coming home with us and like a fool I believed him. He looked so peaceful and calm with a smile on his face before he breathed his last breath. Sadly we drove home alone leaving him on his hospital bed. Four years have passed and the pain is still strong.

“Death in its way comes as much as a surprise as birth.” Edna O’Brien

Those days and the days that followed were a nightmare. I felt like a robot accepting friends and well wishers and trying to be strong for my kids. I didn’t know what was in wait for me. I didn’t care. All I wanted to do was get it over with, the funeral, the condolences, the emails and the phone calls.

It was only at night when I went to bed that I cried myself to sleep. But sleep also failed me on most nights. I was like a lost soul trying to find comfort somewhere, I didn’t know where.  

Four years (1460 days) later, and after going through some really difficult times and facing new challenges, we are still trying to find some comfort. And I know we will never be the same again, ever. There are times when the kids are back from work and we’re gathered in the kitchen having dinner and they start talking about their day where I stop and stare at them, unable to eat or talk.

I think of all the things he missed and is missing, even the little everyday things like the weather, which is so beautiful today like it was on that last day, and all else. All the dreams he had for our kids, the way he would have held his head high proud of their achievements. His dreams, especially his dreams as an artist, the painting he left unfinished on the easel, his sketches, his studies, his canvases, his books and paints. All of these and more.

He wouldn’t know how highly some art critics think of his paintings, that they find his “images intriguing.” I guess he would never know. And that hurts.


Shortly after he passed away, my uncle Setrak in an email wrote the following about him:

“He was smart. I could tell that when I used to watch him play cards in Ainjar. He was a good bridge player. He could even outsmart his small computer (then in black and white) when he played poker. He was also a good chess player. He was intelligent and wise… and his colors were vibrant and beautiful, his paintings…” and the list goes on.

In my hand I hold his ring, the silver ring that was given to him as a service recognition award by the company where he worked for over two decades. Carved on one side is the company’s logo, the logo that he redesigned, and on the other his initials, VH. Carved under his initials are the words, LOYALTY and INTEGRITY. I would like to add HONESTY and DIGNITY to those words. 

Yes to me, to us, he was all that and more. He was one hell of a guy.

I don’t remember which year he received that ring. His rewards and certificates were so many. We were so proud of him. But his biggest prize is that he was the best dad, and the best husband and friend the kids and I could ever wish for. I feel so blessed to have traveled with him on this journey, life’s journey. I wish that we never stopped and continued ’till old age, like he always dreamed of. 

Robin Sharma writes:
“Painful events come to help us learn the lessons we need to learn at that point of our paths. Sad experiences arrive to help us heal, and grow more philosophical.”

During these four years I’ve learned a lot about myself and about others. I’ve come to realize who my true friends and the people who really care about me, about us, are and I am forever grateful for having them in my life.

And after four years, after going through really hard times, I realize things are never as bad as they seem. The situation that causes us sorrow is also the reason behind our strength and power and wisdom.

Lots have changed in these four years, but the one thing that hasn’t is our love. If anything it has grown stronger. In the same way we feel his love and believe that he is our guardian angel, watching us from a more powerful and peaceful place, from heaven.

Rest in peace my darling and rest assured that your legacy lives through your kids, who by the way have all your characteristics and more.


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