It’s been 10 months since we lost our mom and there’s a few things I’ve learned from having a loved one pass away. (This is my personal experience. I know that it may be different from one person to another.)

  1. The first time you hear that your family member has passed away, you’re in disbelief. Especially when it wasn’t expected.
  2. Planning a funeral must be one of the hardest things we as adults need to do. Adulting is hard yo.
  3. At the funeral, family you’ve seen last 10 years ago, think it’s now time to be jovial and reminisce about the past. I get that it’s some people’s way of coping and that funerals shouldn’t be all sadness and gloominess but for me, I just wanted to wallow in my misery alone.
  4. Then, when you realise you didn’t have the best relationship with your mother and that you should’ve tried better to get along with her and get to know her better, you think that you shouldn’t really be too sad about it and get over it. You’re not allowed to miss her, to think about her and tell people you’ve lost your mom. She worked on your nerves and you often rolled your eyes. You don’t deserve to grieve.
  5. Weeks go by and you realise that her significant other, your dad, is not coping so well. You try your best to be there for him and make sure he doesn’t spiral into a depression and that he looks after himself. Although birthdays and big holidays are not what it used to be. You dread Christmas and what it’s going to do to him.
  6. Now it’s your turn. The doctor says that some people grieve immediately, others take a few months, sometimes years, to grieve. You’re put on some meds and life looks a bit better.
  7. You realise that life is really short. Yes, people always said it and you never really understood what they meant. Until now.
  8. You forge a new, closer relationship with your sister. You guys do almost everything together. You start looking after yourself and do more fun things with the family. You realise that your family is all you really have.
  9. Your friends don’t understand and can’t figure what it is about you that changed. You just know that you have to make the best of this life. You try to include them in your activities but it doesn’t bother you as much as it used to when they don’t seem to be as interested in doing things with you.
  10. You wonder when your mom is coming back from her holiday. She’s been gone so long and you need to know when you’re going to see her again. That’s what it feels like anyway…..

It’s been hard, the kids still talk about her and tell me they miss her. My dad often has these vacant eyes and stares into nothingness.

But you know what? It gets better. Every day is a little bit better. And then tomorrow, you take about 10 steps back. It’s okay. You’re okay.

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