Updated: Jan 28, 2022
Thank you for waiting so patiently as we’ve been brainstorming and figuring out what we wanted to incorporate into our second Book. We are so excited to be back and can’t wait to share more stories with you on the podcast on the struggles and challenges of Growing Up Nguyễn in America.
We left off last season on the first anniversary of our fathers’s death. This year, we have arrived at the second anniversary. Beyond experiencing many firsts without him - from everyone’s birthday to Father’s Day, of course the family holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas - it seemed as though grief followed us wherever we went.
Grief which sat in our house, in our bodies, and in our timeline. Grief felt like the ocean coming in waves. Collectively, we each had to sit with our own grief and individually we had to find our own way.
For Hiếu it began simply with speaking about our grief, which alone is a challenge:
Hiếu: ...it was hard for me to talk about it to a lot of my friends, but I didn't want people to feel like my grief was disconnected from who I was because loss is not something we openly talk about in public...
Slowly but surely, we found comfort in the routine of old activities, the rhythm of daily activities, and most importantly, the company of family and friends. For some of us, we found excitement from new creative sparks and ventures.
Hoàng: Building up a routine and staying in constant motion was really grounding for me. If I was able to physically move, it made it easier to emotionally continue on. Music was also a powerful tool for me. There were a lot of memories of Bố associated with me playing piano and singing that I felt so connected to him every time I spent time playing music.
Hạnh: After Bố died, I realized I was losing even more pieces to my family history and wanted to pursue art projects that could remind me of home
We also brainstormed and summarized what we found helpful during our grief:
Hương: Presents & presence as love languages. Ways to let someone know they’re not alone.
Ultimately, we individually found ways to channel and stream our grief. For grief can also be unexpressed love. And through it all, we hope this grief stays with us because all of this unexpressed love - that we didn’t get to share with our dad - we want to pour it forth into all the upcoming and forthcoming projects we get to share with you.
Thank you for listening, subscribing, and joining us again. We really appreciate the support!
You can read Hedda Hiếu's essays on grief on our website www.growingupnguyen.com or on medium https://heddanguyen.medium.com. Also, attached below is our compilation of prayers that we used throughout the 100 days of prayer (as mentioned in the podcast).
Other resources that might be helpful for others going through grief:
How To Carry What Can’t Be Fixed: A Journal for Grief by Megan Devine
Seeing Ghosts by Kat Chow
Where Reasons End by Yiyun Li
Growing Up Nguyễn is a story of four siblings holding onto our identity while fulfilling our parents’ dreams: the blessings and challenges of being Nguyễn in America.