4 years on I’ve realised I cannot be consumed by grief and the pain associated with it. After losing my mum in 2016 and until very recently, I used to tell myself that the emptiness and space will never be filled. I was convinced that my life will never be the same again and, in a way, it will not. The “feeling” of emptiness was immense, it was a deep feeling of loneliness. Was it a form of self-sabotage without even realising? I’m not so sure if that too much of an emotionally charged word but maybe so. I say self-sabotage because I was the one telling myself about this loneliness and emptiness based on my feelings and the level of pain experienced

 I understand the void left after losing my mum will never be filled but I also understand it does not need to be filled. I used to think it was an empty space in my heart and soul and thus accepting the misconception surrounding such language of emptiness. Reality is, it’s not empty. That “space” is now occupied by memories, feelings and emotions. Post 2016 I couldn’t even think about a memory without tears falling down my cheek like a broken tap with uncontrollable flow. I was not able to discuss the events leading up to my mums passing without the waterfall from the eyes. This over time got better. I would sit alone and think about those happy times that were shared with my mum. I soon began to smile. Her smile was engrained in my heart. Her laughter was heard in my sleep and still is. The touch of her gentle hand is firmly felt when I’m having a bad day.

With these memories, I can share with my loved ones and yes it can get overwhelming and that lumpy feeling comes back once in a while but that’s part of the process.

Allowing these emotions has helped me in the never-ending journey. Let’s not think this journey ends. Memory and emotions will not fade, even if it is on anniversaries or birthday so let’s not live in denial, let’s embrace these emotions and live on in happiness and let people into the memories. Share these memories. You may just open up a door for someone else. 

If I allow the grief to continue in it’s consumption, I’m not living in happiness, 2019 was an eye opener. I realised that the space will not be filled but it can be patched over with these memories and feelings. This is my responsibility and I’m accountable to only me.

If you’re going through something similar and early stages of the above, hang in there. I’m not saying you should feel a certain way or react a certain way. Thing is, its very normal to feel what I felt. Don’t push feelings aside. When I did this in the past, after my brother died in 2013, it had a detrimental consequence to my well-being. I learnt from that experience, as you should with any experience. Feel the feelings. Feel the pain, Feel the emotions and allow yourself to grieve. Things will eventually  get better and you will become that little more resilient

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