Losing any relative, family member or friend can be tough, but losing a parent is something different. At 17, I graduated high school and had my mom pass away from cancer in the same week. She had been sick all throughout my time in high school. The first diagnoses was that she had breast cancer, but by the time I became a senior she had been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Knowing that someone is passing away in no way makes it easier, it almost makes it harder. You are constantly focusing on whether or not this is the last day you will be able to see her, talk to her, hug her, cry to her, complain to her, ask her advice…the list could go on and on.
Nothing is the same after they’re gone; things that were once so normal now become so foreign. There are so many things that change after they are gone, too, and if you have also lost a parent you know what I’m about to talk about.
It doesn’t hit you all at once —To be honest it hits you when you are least expecting it. There are times now, three years later, that I think about how much I wish I could talk to her or hear her voice and it is hard to realize that that time is gone. There are other times where I’ll be driving or walking and think I see her somewhere and immediately it feels like just yesterday. Those moments come and go though and eventually you just learn to cope with it.
Everyone treats you a little different —It usually takes me awhile to tell someone about my mom. Anytime you say a parent passes away you always get that look of sympathy. Eventually the word “sorry” becomes indifferent especially after you have been told it a hundred times. But the truth is no ever knows what to say in moments like those and that is just something you have to accept.
Don’t talk to me about your mom—The thing I hate most is when people complain to me specifically about their mom or parents in general. I just sit back and listen and take it, but really I’m just constantly thinking about how lucky they are to even have a mom. Although sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and realize that there are moments that I complained about my mom, too.
Holidays and big events will never be the same —My mom was not there to see me graduate high school or when my little sisters started school. She wasn’t there to see me start college and she won’t be there to see me graduate college. There have been so many memorable times and milestones that have passed without her there and there will be more memorable times to come that she won’t be here for. Somehow you just move on with life and know that’s what she must have wanted.
You can’t predict the hard days —There are always days that are harder than others. Now that it has been three years for me those days have become farther and fewer in between, but they still happen when I least expect it. Time heals all things though and those certain days that do kill me like Christmas, my mom’s birthday and the anniversary of her death are a little easier with my family and friends.
This post is a dedication to my mom, MonaDee Chupein, and to all the moms and dads who will forever be greatly loved and missed.