Hi Billie, my name is Andrea, and like you, I lost my mother. Right now, I'll be talking to you like a friend, mentor, what have you; not someone who is a fan of you or your mother's, but as someone who gets it. I unfortunately lost my mother suddenly to a heart attack when I was seventeen years old back in 2007. When I found out about your mother's passing, I was heartbroken, not only for your family and Grandmother, but for you. I know that pain, I know that feeling where it feels like someone ripped out a part of your heart and there is now a forever hole.

It's honestly a little bizarre how similar our heartbreaking situations are. My mother was only 50 years old; she would be turning 60 this year. I haven't had my mother in ten years and I'm going to tell you a few things. Remember to take time for yourself; if you need a break or if you need time just to ease your mind, do it. Don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do. She was your mother. Everyone grieves differently when someone passes. And you will grieve how you grieve; it's never the same for everyone. Don't be afraid to tell someone you need to be alone, sometimes that's okay. It's okay to sit by yourself sometimes and just cry. You don't even have to cry. You can laugh, you can scream, you can do something artistic.

My mother has been gone ten years, and I finally accepted her death this past year. You can find a strength within you that you never knew you had. You're going to be able to through hell and back without so much as a flinch.

The waves of grief will happen when you least expect it. The other day, I started to cry listening to a specific song and the lyrics hit me hard. I let myself cry, I was almost to scared to, but I let it happen.

Just remember, sweet girl, you are not alone. I made the mistake of thinking I was for a long time; don't make that same mistake. Reach out your arms, look for a hug, a smile, it's there for you. Look up in the sky, feel the wind through your hair, smell the flowers, look at the ocean...look at yourself. She's there. She's with you, always. And she will never leave your side. I promise. It's not okay now, and it won't be for awhile, but there is nothing wrong with that. You're stronger than you think you are.

Love and prayers,

A Caring Stranger