16 years old …16 years later.

The other day, I had a thought. It was a realization of something that feels pretty unfair. 16 years ago almost, I lost my dad to suicide. It was a horrible season. The grief took my breath away.

I wanted the world to stop spinning and everyone else to stop doing their daily tasks. Like my grief should send shockwaves big enough for other people to have to stop for a moment. Because for me, it felt like my world DID stop.

Maybe other people have experienced a loss like that? Where normal routine and normal conversations seem out of place? Where nothing feels like it once did?

That was a lifetime ago. The sad thing is, this November..It will be 16 years since my dad left. He will have been gone for the same number of years that I had him here.

And now, 16 years later- my heart is forced to prepare to say goodbye again…this time to my mum. I’m only 31. Can you loose both parents at such an early age?

It doesn’t seem right. When do you ever stop needing your Mum?

When do you ever feel prepared to say “goodbye”?

What will we do at all of the special occasions, that suddenly won’t seem as “special” without her?

Even so, I know that I am blessed. Blessed because some people don’t have this many years with their parents.

My nanna lost both her parents one Christmas Eve. They lived in the country. I don’t think the railway crossings had flashing lights, or maybe they were just distracted. Probably thinking about their Christmas plans. My nanna always said her mum loved Christmas. That was It- the train came before they could stop their car in time.

I’m also grateful that this time, there is the change to say “goodbye”. With my dad, there was only a brief note from my dad. It didn’t have anything powerful enough to comfort my heart. Any suicide note feels empty, I’m guessing.

This time, we have time. Maybe not long enough together. But I get to hug my mum. Last week, I snuck into her room once my girls fell asleep. And I asked my mum quietly: “Are you awake, Mum?”

She replied: “Yes, darling”.

So I crawled into her bed, and asked her to snuggle me. Like when I was younger, still a little girl. We cried. I told her that I couldn’t picture life without her. I told her that I’m too young to loose her. I told her…that she has been the best mum ever! That I’m so incredibly proud of her.

And after all the tears and tissues- we laughed. We laughed at the funny things that we could remember. The good times and the crazy times.

The process of losing mum is so surreal. But it is still a gift. Many people don’t get to say goodbye. So, I thank God for the memories I’m still creating with my mum now.

And mum and I can see God’s fingerprints in each day. We see how God is carrying our family through this process. We can still see the goodness of God, despite the pain.

“Lord, you see my heart. You see the tears and the grief and the fear of losing my mum. And you see hers. You know her pain. But Lord, thank you for the treasures you have hidden along this path. The kindness of friends and family. The peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you that we know that mum loves you. And I thank you for the joy that awaits her in Heaven, with you. “

Love always Kelly xx

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