Friday 26 March 2021

‘Love you all the world’ - Dealing with losing a parent

*Trigger warning* This blog talks about grief and discusses suicide which we understand can be upsetting.

Lucy shares how she dealt with losing her Mum nearly 12 months on from her death.
- Lucy Moore 

April 2020 will always be a time that haunts me, and I will forever dread April that comes around for the rest of my life. This was the time I lost my beautiful Mum when she took her life. Although I was so incredibly angry and hurt at first, this nearly past year I’ve learnt to accept my emotions and change that anger into a more deep-rooted love for my Mum. 

Mum was known for her infectious laugh and her biggest grin that could light up any room! She’d give the biggest hugs which would leave you flushing; she’d always squeeze your hand so tightly when she knew you were upset or struggling, and then remind you how she ‘love[d] you all the world’. 

Mine and my siblings' lives were thrown upside down and all around: a new environment to live in, new routines, having to explain to people what had happened. We waited nearly two months for the funeral because of the backlog from coronavirus. I was certain that I would read her eulogy out. The day of the funeral came, and even though I was there in a pit of tears, makeup everywhere, I made sure I got up and read it – for my Mum, for my brother and sister, for my family and also for me. It’s one of my proudest moments. 

The months processing my grief were hard and turbulent. After almost a year has passed, I am in no way saying I have processed all my grief and I am in wonderful mental health space. Fortunately, at the hands and thanks to my old secondary school, I was encouraged and guided to engage in counselling to deal with and process my emotions. At first, I was very sceptical and thought, very stubbornly, that I could resolve it all in my head. But the more I held it in, the more stressed, anxious and upset I became: I was suffering from severe tension headaches to the point I would end up in A&E; I stayed up nights after nights worrying about what the future held. 

I am so glad I was proven wrong about counselling – it was so relieving having someone to speak to about how I was feeling authentically and in a raw setting. I didn’t feel judged and was able to open my mind more to why I was feeling what I was and also why my Mum could have been feeling the way she was. I also had the best support from the people around me who were always there to listen to me and comfort me when I was having a bad day. 

To get through the last few months I began to make a conscious effort to move my life forward and avoid sticking in a rut: planning my day out, throwing myself into university work, speaking to those closest to me when I was struggling, going out for walks, and finding new hobbies and interests to occupy my mind. On the days I didn’t feel like ‘me’, I would remind myself that this is not what my Mum would have wanted. She wouldn’t want me upset – she’d want me to be happy. 

Over the last 11 months, my proudest moment has to be when I raised £1365 for Mind from doing a 15k walk in honour of my Mum. For someone who hated PE and would turn up to lessons hoping the 60 minutes would fly by, this was a huge challenge! However, I knew it was something I wanted to do and something my Mum would’ve laughed at me for – for being the least athletic person going – but also would’ve been proud of. My social media were plastered for weeks with my JustGiving page as I was determined to raise as much as I could. I will always feel incredibly proud of myself for accomplishing the walk and for raising the amount of fund that I did. I hope to engage more in fundraising this year to keep raising awareness around Mental Health. 

When losing a parent or any loved ones, to any circumstance, people often tell you it gets easier; for me at the moment, I can’t say it has – but I’ve learnt to live with it. It is an irreversible and unchangeable chapter of my life, but I can let it make me not break me. Processing the loss and grief has helped me understand and emphasise with others more.

Your feelings, no matter what, is always valid when it comes to grief. You just have to remind yourself that you were and always are loved and that those lost too are always loved. 

I will always ‘love you all the world’ Mum.

To learn more about how you can support yourself through loss, you can find more Student Minds resources at Student SpaceIf you are seeking support, other organisations such as Cruse Bereavement Care Hope Again and Let's Talk about Loss are there to help.

Hi, I'm Lucy, a 20-year-old from London who wants to help raise awareness around Mental Health. After losing my Mum last year, I want people to see there is life throughout and beyond grief.

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