Growing up Without a Mother

When I was 11, my life completely changed. One thing that I thought would never happen, happened: my Mom passed away at the age of 49. Of course, at a young age, I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t see her at the hospital, why I couldn’t say goodbye, and why she was the one who had to die; the woman who worked two jobs to provide for her children, participated in the school’s Parent Teacher Association, and who helped anyone that needed the help. All of that was gone in an instant. She was taken from this world all because of a brain aneurysm.

My Mom was doing great until December 31st, and I couldn’t see her. So, the next morning when I saw my Dad sitting on his bed crying, I knew something was wrong. I knew either she was dead, or she was never going to be the same. All I could say at that moment was “she’s dead”, and seeing the reaction from my Dad, I knew I was partially correct. Everyone got to say goodbye, but I couldn’t because I was too young to see someone in that situation. Every single thought came to my mind— was it my fault? I mean I saw her the 29th when she was doing great, but it broke my heart seeing my Mom in the hospital bed, head shaved, and not able to talk to us. That night I didn’t even get to say goodbye because she fell asleep. 

All throughout her wake services and her funeral, I had to put on a fake smile and thank everyone who came. I had to console all  her friends who grieved her, I had to talk to people about the good memories with my Mom. I had to say goodbye. During this time, I took two weeks off from school, so when I returned, I felt like a broken puppy. Everyone just stared at me with sympathy, ready to comfort me if I broke down. Every classmate knew what had happened and the reason why I was gone for two weeks. 

The year after everything happened, I didn’t know how to react; how I was supposed to celebrate the holidays, how I would be on Mother’s Day, and I fell into a pit of depression. No one heard my cries, no one noticed my change in personality, they thought I was just going through a phase. I would isolate myself from my friends, my teachers, and my family. This was until 7th grade when my English teacher heard my cries, and pretty much saved my life. I got professional help, and after 7 months, I was partially back to my same old self. However, in 10th grade, I fell back into the pit. This time I expressed it with anger, and let me tell you — I lost friendships this way. At one moment I would be happy, and then, I would turn into a complete bitch. My loyal friends stayed with me and helped me through this issue, however, I am still working on it. 

Now, this article wasn’t meant for people to pity me or make them upset, but to help others that went through, or are going through, the same thing. Now that I’m 18 and in college, I realized that if my Mom survived the second brain aneurysm, she would never be the same. Seeing another woman that is so close to me go through the process, she forgets people and events. It would break my heart if my Mom just one day forgot how old I was, my birthday or even who I am. Even though it sucks that a loved one is gone, just try to think if it would be better for them to suffer. Even though they are gone, they are never forgotten. I have a carousel tattooed on my arm for my Mom’s love of them, plus I have a picture of my Mom by my bed. Don’t be afraid to get a tattoo to represent the loved one, create a scrapbook of all the happy moments, keep jewelry, do anything you have to do to keep the memories. Don't be afraid to seek professional help, don’t be afraid to express your emotions so people can hear your cries, and please just know you are not alone.