When I was told that my mum passed away, my head felt like it was going through a rollercoaster of emotions. My heart sank that day and a part of me felt that life, as I knew it, was truly over. “I will never smile or be happy again” I mournfully said to myself a couple hours after the news had hit me. The thought and realising that I may end up in a perpetual state of mourning for the rest of my life scared me. In hindsight this was simply the bereavement talking and truly getting the best of me. I began to envisage a myriad of happy moments that can take place in my life that will surely help me get over this loss: marriage, nice house, new car, etc. Once I experience all of this I will be happy again and my sanity will be restored. Yet again hindsight has turned out to be a beautiful thing as this feeling was nothing other than a false belief. Associating true happiness with an idea or an object to compensate for bereavement is simply a recipe for disaster. The truth is, as I’ve come to realise, nothing or anybody can change what I’m going through. A part of me will always be empty and, as weird as it sounds, it’s oaky knowing that this emptiness can never be filled.
Two days ago made it three months since the Duchess – which is a nickname my mum gave herself – passed away. Feelings of sadness resurfaced, as expected, and emotions ran high as I began to reflect on her life, and admire the courage she had to live it to the fullest. ‘Days like this are normal and are part of the grieving process’ I said to myself, ‘Everyday can’t be a happy day and a loss of a loved one is not something that can be compensated for’ I continuously said in my head time after time.
Three months on, I’m mentally stronger,smarter and wiser, hindsight is a beautiful thing. If I hadn’t allowed myself to process things and naturally grieve then I wouldn’t have peace of mind or even be able to remain sane. I’ve come to realise that when you are dealing with a loss of a loved one the best thing to do is allow yourself to mourn in whatever way you see fit. That is exactly what I – and still doing to this very day – did, I’ve learnt to take one day at a time and let feelings flow naturally. One day I may be really down and just want cocoon myself from the world and another day I feel motivated and inspired to take on the world and make my mum proud. This is how life goes when you’ve loved and lost someone dear to you, it’s a feeling that you can’t stop or control (to an extent). I can’t bring my mum back to this world – as much as I would like to – but it’s life and I have to deal with it. She is gone but her wisdom and attitude towards life lives on and most of all it lives through me.
‘I will never smile or be happy again’ an emotional me, that felt that there was nothing else to look forward to in life, once said. In retrospect I couldn’t disagree more, as I have plenty to look forward to. Writing this article has been a self realisation that I am able to coureagously move on. Three months ago I wouldn’t have been able to string a sentence together about my ordeal, but today I can compose a whole article let alone a sentence. To me this progress and progress is always a good thing to smile about.
The time will come when I celebrate many more milestones (marriage, children, first home,dream job/car) and I believe that I will be able to celebrate them – in whichever order they come – because I have learnt to be happy in this present moment. There is no such thing as compensating for a loss of a loved one. As I have stressed constantly, you simply can’t replace or fully get over that loss. So rather than thinking I am going to be better and feel more happy again when I finally get, that new car, engaged or decide to start a family, I have realised that these things will not change what has happened. Instead I have learnt to be happy where I’m – in life – at now and come to understand that I’m in charge of my own happiness. Nothing will change my experience and I’ve accepted that attaching happiness to objects or a destination will also not change my experience.