parent loss | mother
"BEYOND GRIEF -
Snapshots of Life after Loss"
by permission of Gracelyn Bateman & Melody Lomboy-Lowe
Published by Luna Peak Foundation, pages 62-63. Copyright 2021.
3 minute read
Cecelia | 1 Year | Mother
“My consumption of Chinese food has spiked since my mom passed because I just miss eating her food. No restaurant can replicate it, but I’m just seeking some connection that you can’t otherwise feel.”
How are you doing today, 1 year after loss?
“I don’t know how I’m doing, I’m still utterly heartbroken. I think there are still days and moments throughout my day where I feel a sense of normalcy and that normalcy is immediately followed by - oh that thing didn’t actually happen - which is then immediately followed by - but it did. I think I’m still struggling to accept it and I’m still very angry. I don’t think people talk a lot about anger.”
What has helped you cope through loss?
“There is this really challenging thing when you’re going through grief - when you have a job and you are a leader at your workplace, you’re really expected to project a sense of calm. I’m supposed to be the rock for my team. It got to a point where every morning I felt like I was putting on a mask. I would go into work and was a completely different person from how I was feeling inside. I think all of these things intersected to the point where I wasn’t sleeping and I decided that I was going to do the ‘100 day project’ on social media. So for the past 62 days I’ve been drawing and illustrating and making little infographics that communicate what it has felt like and the thoughts that I have while going through this grief process. I have been able to find a way to express grief and connect with people in a way that feels less like I’m putting a burden on other people and more like people are here of their own choosing. That makes a huge difference when you’re really trying to find connection. It’s the first time in the past year where I have actually felt a little bit less lonely.”
What advice do you have for anticipatory grievers?
“One thing I really regret is that after my mom was diagnosed, I think we were all trying to be so optimistic for her that we never fully touched on the fact that she was probably going to die. Through that process I was never really able to express to her how much I cared about her and loved her until it was kind of too late and I think the disease had already progressed too far. If there is anything that I can share with people who are losing a parent to terminal illness, it’s to not wait too long to tell them the things that matter because I think that sometimes you can’t predict the speed at which things can go wrong. Take advantage of every single moment that you have.”
What do you wish you knew sooner?
“It would have been healthy to have taken as much time off as I needed and to not question it so much.”
How do you celebrate your life?
“By being sharply aware of my own mortality. I think knowing that you can’t predict how much time you have left has just brought a little bit more of being in the present.”