Last summer, many of my family and friends have asked me going back to China to visit. But I knew I couldn’t be able to handle the trip by myself emotionally. My late husband and I met in Shanghai and there were so much memories to face. You can read how we met in next Life After Loss post.
My late husband and I had 2 years long distance relationship due to his work assignment changes and me waiting on my visa to go to America. We were talking on Skype every morning and evening for hours. There are 12 or 13 hours time difference between us depends on if it is the daylight time-saving season. He also saved up all his vacation days and visited me every year on my birthday in March, Sometimes during 4th of July, then the Christmas and the Chinese New Year.
I was always so happy to pick him up at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai. But I hated the days that seeing him off. It had always been me watching him walking into the customs and I couldn’t help crying. I saw him through my tears that he was trying very hard to put a smile on his face. He always walked quite slow and kept turning back looking at me and waving to me. I was often very blue on the way home alone and kept this way for a few days. One time I told him, “Someday, I need to let you experience this sad feeling”. He was just smiling and said “Ok!” But after I moved to America, we had always been together. Last January, I saw him off for the very last time. He was traveling to heaven and would never return.
One year when I was waiting for my man at the airport in Shanghai, I was a bit early. Suddenly I noticed a 30 something Chinese man among many people walking out. He seemed like a successful business person. I noticed him because he was crying. That was very shocking for me because in Chinese culture, a man almost never cry, especially in the public. I didn’t know why, but I could feel his pain. I felt his loved one passed away and he just missed the last chance to say goodbye. Maybe because it reminded me many years ago when I ran into my house but my dad was already in the coffin.
I was hesitant about this trip to China alone. I knew I would be like that young man I saw years ago, shedding tears when I walk out the airport by myself. My man was not there walking beside me anymore and this time it was only me. On the flight to Shanghai, I was looking through the window and somehow felt my man was out there, above the clouds. My tears were running down my face but I noticed I was smiling. I know he would be very happy to see me enjoying this trip, even just by myself.
I did enjoy it very much! It probably had been the best visit since I left many years ago. This 22 days trip to China alone was a perfect testimony of my grieving progress. I didn’t feel sorry for myself because my loss. Instead, I enjoyed every single minute there and now I know that I can be happy just by myself no matter where I am.
Photo credit: Grace Liang
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