I feel the pressure from society telling me to ‘Get over it! No point in crying over strangers you never knew,’ they say. ‘You been so lucky, have so many blessings in life. Get a grip on yourself! Why bother to grieve? You got a new chance here, new parents and all kinds of possibilities, everything you could possibly want. What does it matter that you had parents in the first place? Think about how your life would be if things were different. You would have grown up in poverty, you might be starving and suffering, or even dead.’
Which is worse? To have messed-up feelings, or to not feel anything at all? If I feel, then it hurts like hell and I want to scream. If I don’t feel then I just want to sleep and forget. So tell me, World, how am I supposed to cope with my life if I am not allowed to grieve? It will probably take me a lifetime, but give me the same respect that others get when they’ve lost someone close and dear. Why doesn’t the world look at me in the same way? I have also lost someone dear to me. I lost my mother and father when I needed them the most. I was less than a year old when they vanished from my life forever.
I’m telling you, World, that unless you try to walk in my shoes, you will not understand how it feels to be told to ‘just get over it!’ The faces of Mom and Dad, and their love for me, is gone, and all that remains is just an empty echo in my heart. I was not abandoned then, but now I am truly abandoned and lonely. Only two shadows remains in me: my last memory of my mother who died very young, and my father who loved his children; me also, even though he had to give me up for a while. He didn’t abandon me; he came back for me one day in 1970 to take me home from the children’s home. Only then did he learn that I was gone, and spent many years searching for me in vain before he died. So thank you, World, for your understanding.
Rest in Peace, my beloved Umma (Mum) and Appa (Dad). You died only 33 and 42 years old, much to early. I miss you both, with all of my heart. I think of you every day, and it hurts so much. May all of your love for me linger and give me some comfort the day I sit by your grave in Korea. May I be able to gather the strength to find the peace which I have waited and searched for all of my life. And maybe then I will be ready to GET OVER IT!