29 Jun Dealing with the loss of both my parents
One of Hope’s young people tells their story of dealing with grief and coping with the devastating loss of both parents.
Life is a process from birth until death and between those events it is a never ending journey which unfolds before us. It is something we will gain love, smiles, memories, heartache and scars from, whoever we are and whatever path we take, however old or however young.
2017 has knocked me to my knees and made me feel like I couldn’t catch my breath. I said I was weak with the pain, sadness and longing for my mother and father but actually I am not weak and never will I be, although it is okay to have the good, bad and the ugly days.
I will remain strong, for my heart continued to beat long after theirs stopped and on those days I will look for guidance in a heart that beats strongly upon the foundation of the love, respect and morals they both gave me.
Today I chose that, although birth begins the process of life and death does end it, it will not have the final say in my life.
Despite my fears, worries, sadness and pain I will do all I can to keep the memories of my parents alive and I will defeat grief by continuing the life my parents so gracefully gifted me with.
I am not weak but right now I am delicate, vulnerable and fragile as I ask myself how could this happen? Why did this happen? As I quietly know in my head I will never get the answers to those questions, or more likely understand the concept of them.
I think the hardest feeling I have had through this journey is feeling like I have been damaged by grief for a whole life time. That grief is casting a shadow on every corner of my life and taking me deep in to a valley of emotions about which I lacked understanding. I felt isolated around others who also lacked the understanding but wanted guidance from myself because how do you support a teenager who has lost both of their parents?
It is those days which are the most fragile, lonely, dark and cold. In those moments it felt hard to survive, but I have and continue to do so one breath at a time, one step at a time, each second, to hour, to day, to week. With grief comes an overwhelming need to give yourself the relief of pressure and high expectation.
How I survived today was by telling myself that I am strong and it is okay to miss them. I can cry and I can continue to laugh, I can be thankful for time, memories and love. I can smile about them and say their names. I have days where I can’t function and days in which I take on the world, sometimes alone and sometimes with the empowering support from uncles, aunts, siblings and of course Hope Support Services.
As I give myself permission to feel the emotion I learn to live in a different way, a new normal.
I do not want you to pity for me or feel bad or feel like you have to worry, I’m living life and with living life comes learning.
Some days I will be loud, others quiet. Some days I will breathe in and get a scent of hospital bed sheets, a flash before my eyes of a doctor standing at the end of the bed being the bearer of bad news. I will remember the nights I scrambled out of bed with next to nothing on, flustered and uncertain of what was to come, only knowing that it shouldn’t have to be like this as they take their final breath.
As you read this we are equal.
Maybe the time for your loved one has not yet come but is on the horizon and a quiet but difficult morning is ahead, or maybe they have died and you are surviving? I don’t know your circumstances but I do know you’re hurt. Every story is different and grief can never be told exactly the same.
I understand the awkward path it takes you on and how exhausting it is.
We can both probably shout at the top of our lungs that life is not fair and with that comes hurt. It can be difficult for others to understand but please never let anyone rush your emotions or pain or feel you have to find the right words or figure out exactly how you feel.
Be honest. Be raw. Be numb.
Healing doesn’t happen over night when you experience grief of such loss.
Remember your heart remains beating, that is strength alone. Find the love that they gave you and within that find the hope to continue and make them proud despite how forever changed you are. Hope Support Services have been my growing support of hope, love and light with guidance and friendship.
The death of my parents birthed the support I needed most at the times I was helpless to change their circumstances. As they greeted death and I greeted my new life.
Use your little voice and make it loud, make it echo and live their legacy out in empowerment and truth and above all, pure love. The truth is we become broken with grief but never weak, we will find love, hope and a new way of living.
Together we are a family at Hope, connected by the darkness but supported with light. My brothers and sisters in grief, walking beside me in my journey to new pastures.
Why do I share the hardship of grief you ask?
Because with my story of pain and grief it invites others into those hard spaces of my life that they could also be going through. When I feel free in telling my story it is the way I can give to others. We have to release our grip to give but you also have to release those tight fists to receive in moments of need.
Open hands are the hands of love and truth. Find comfort in hands that at times can be vulnerable and delicate but which give kindness to others on their journey. By using your voice, your thoughts and your emotions you help give permission for others to open up, showing they are not alone.
This blog post was written by one of Hope’s young people. If you’d like to write a blog for us, please do get in touch.