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Over the last few years, I have lost my mother to cancer, my father to liver cirrhosis, my grandmother to Parkinson's disease and my grandfather to dementia. Some were ill for months, others for years...
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I always thought that I would break down if I lost my parents. Not that my world revolved around them but they formed the centre of it. Nothing seemed more difficult to me than living without them. But here I am. Living, partying, watching movies, setting goals, travelling, attending functions, and looking forward to life.
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My mother and I spent years discussing how we wanted to die. It was prompted largely by my father's death. While he technically died on a Saturday morning, his life was over Thursday afternoon earlier that week. He waved to my mother who stood in tears as she waved back watching the hospital team wheel him away for his bypass surgery. He told her he'd see her in a few hours, completely confident that he would return to see her smiling face.
We all age, but few grow up. We are all children walking as adults in this world. We are led to believe that growing up is to be strong and not feel too much. As a society, we love to escape. We love happy faces, we love happily-ever-after stories, so we want to do away with anything that is sad. No one is okay with grieving and breaking down. But when we do not grieve after any form of loss, that grief is not transformed - it is transferred to something else.