Things 7 years of grief has taught me

Today marks seven years since I lost my precious mother. There has not been a day that has gone by that I have not thought about her. Everything I do is for her and every decision made is with my mum in mind. Everything is so different to when I was 14 years old. I cannot explain how lonely I used to feel as a teenager – it sometimes felt like I was the only girl in the world without a mum. But the troubles we go through in life only make us stronger and I have certainly learned a lot throughout the last 7 years, too.

To be kind, always.

Now I will be the first to admit I am no saint, and I think it is impossible to say I have never upset anyone. However, since losing my mum I have subconsciously become a kinder person. You never know what is going on in someone’s life and a little bit of kindness can go a long way!

To appreciate my family every second of every day.

I was raised being told that family is the most important thing in life and me & my siblings grew up worshipping the ground our parents and grandparents stood on. Losing my mum taught us that having present family members was a blessing & not something that should be taken as a given. Going through the pain I went through losing my mum has made me even more protective of my loved ones.

That I am stronger than most.

I sometimes take a step back and think to myself, over half of the adults in my life have not been through what I went through at 14 years old. It’s almost as if I sometimes forget the pain I have been through – not because I forget the trauma of it all, but because its almost automatic that you go through your life constantly taking advice from your elders when in reality, most of them haven’t been through the things that I went through as a teenager.

The future is never guaranteed.

We all dream about growing old. You don’t go through life knowing what age you will die at, so you automatically live life thinking you will grow to be elderly. My poor mum was in her early forties when she passed- one of the worst things about losing her is that the older I get, the more I realise how little time she had on this earth. I try not to think about this too much as it is a massive trigger for anxiety, but when living my life it is constantly in the back of my mind that the future is never guaranteed.

Things always get better with time.

I remember people telling me this when my mum first passed away, and I cannot tell you the anger I felt every time I heard it. I used to think that if I started to feel better about my mums death it meant I was forgetting about it. But that couldn’t be further than true. My lifelong best friend has just sadly lost her mum recently and I find myself constantly saying this to her. Time heals- and it’s ok to feel better about things. It doesn’t make my mums death any more or less painful, but over time the overwhelming ache gets a little less.

It’s ok to fall out of routine.

I am one who thrives off routine, however when I feel upset or anxious, my routine goes completely out of the window. I have learnt over the years that this is absolutely ok and there is nothing I can do about it other than be kind to myself and ride it out until I feel better. Some days I’m up at 5am doing a workout, and some days I find myself still in my pjs at 1pm scoffing a McDonald’s, but the important thing is I no longer bully myself for it. I am kind and patient to myself and the older I get the more I understand how important it is.

Dogs can help a broken heart.

This seems like such a silly one, but some days the only thing that keeps me going is my two fur babies. Obviously I absolutely adore brad and my friends/family as well, however some days when I feel really down, I find it so hard to communicate with other humans. Everything seems like so much effort and I just don’t have the energy for it. From the moment we picked up Bella, I have always had the feeling that she can sense when I’m sad. Whenever I feel down, she doesn’t leave my side. Seeing the dogs being so happy every single day makes me happy. They truly are a (wo)mans best friend!

I think the biggest thing I have learnt is that I will never be “fixed”- as hard as it is to comprehend, my heart will always remain broken. It is so normal to feel like the world is ending when you lose a loved one, but you have to remember the world keeps on spinning no matter what. Time heals. One day you will wake up and things will suddenly feel a little less heavy. Be kind to others but do not forget to be kind to yourself as well.