I lost my mum at 14 and it was a blur. I don’t like telling people because I hate getting pitied. I doubt half of my class knows.
- This is not a 'poor me' post. It's simply a large part of my life that I felt like sharing. :)
My mum was more than just a mum, she was my best friend.
She gave us so much and asked for so little in return. She sold her wedding sari to make ends meet when we were growing up whilst my dad was working two jobs to do the same. She hid her pain when she was made redundant from the company she loved during the financial crisis. She laughed when I said at the age of eight ‘Mum, you’ve just got to get your foot in the door,’ before she set off to her next job interview. My mum and dad made sure we had the happiest childhood we could, and we did. She was fun, full of life and her death was very unexpected which made the process even more of a shock to my little system.
I now hug my dad harder than ever after I learned the value of your parents. He is my safe place when I feel down. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t ring him just to make sure he’s well. He raised two children on his own after mum died whilst grieving and he did a flipping good job of it if I do say so myself.
My mum gave me lots of advice over the years but one that stood the test of time was: ‘Life’s a bitch, just get on with it.’ I now don’t care what people think of me and more importantly of my weak little voice. I was unsure of doing journalism after I got ill despite it being a dream of mine but then I thought ‘just get on with it Amber’. It’s something that clicked when she died, I have just got to get on with my life and make my parents proud. My mum often said life’s too short to worry, and her life was incredibly short.
Losing a parent is like losing a piece of you. You just feel incredibly empty inside; a sunken feeling that you just can’t shake for the life of you. I used to do everything with my mum, our weekly shopping trips to the town centre, down to my grandma’s house and then up to my auntie’s house. She was my best friend as I’m sure most young girls are with their mum. And then she was just gone. It was difficult to comprehend. To this day I have trouble believing that I will never have another conversation with her.
After her death, I became cold and hard-hearted and only now have I become a little softer. After she died, I started to believe that if I had fun then I was betraying the memory of my mum. It’s a hard feeling to describe. It’s taken a long time to start the healing process, but it still is a gaping wound that I know will never fully recover.
My whole nuclear family was gone in a week and to this day I have trouble remembering her funeral. It’s all a blur. It’s as if I’ve blocked the days in the hospital before her death and the weeks after it out of my mind. It’s for the best I think that my memory forgives me in this way; parts of the period leading to her death that I can remember are harrowing. I probably won’t talk about these memories ever; there are some things too painful to put into words.
It’s still hard to this day; not seeing her at my brother’s graduation, not being able to tell her that I’m doing alright at university and the little things like not telling her how my day was. The graduation day was especially hard. She would’ve been so proud of my brother like my family and I was.
I’m writing this for my solace and as a homage to my mother; also, as a reminder to not take anything in our lives for granted. If you can, text your mum and dad that you love them. Life’s too short not to.
When you see me at uni I’m probably laughing or making awful jokes (maybe even working, shock horror! (awful jokes told you!)) but just because someone looks happy on the outside, it doesn’t mean this is reflected on the inside. I’m not saying that I’m sad every single day of my life, it’s, simply put, a shadow over my life that sometimes comes and goes but is always there lurking. It's really hard to describe to be honest with you. I’ve learned to smile again because I know my mum wants me to live the happiest life I can.
I’m not broken even though at times I think I am.
Despite having experienced a lot of things for a 19-year-old I’ve come out the other end wiser and stronger. Please don’t treat me any differently or walk on eggshells around me. I’ve had that my whole life and I hate it to the max.
Addition: I wrote this a while ago but I’m posting this on Mother’s Day now because I thought that would be better. If you can give your mum an extra-long mega hug today because she most probably deserves it raising us little tykes. Today I am celebrating Mother’s Day but not only remembering my incredible mum but also celebrating my dad. I’ve ordered some flowers for him because he really does deserve it, but I can never re-pay everything he has done for me! I wouldn't be where I am today without my Papa Ji (- dad in Punjabi - see I can teach too, I'm not just the sad girl)!