Everyone will eventually experience the pain of losing a parent at some point in their life. Losing a parent is undoubtedly hard at any age, but unfortunately some are unlucky enough to lose theirs earlier in life. This is an article for the people who have had to say goodbye earlier than they'd choose.
No one knows what to tell you when you lose a parent. They look at you with what can only be described as pure unadulterated pity. As awful as it sounds, that's what it is. You can hear them whisper about you as soon as you walk away about how brave, strong, and fearless you are. They "could never do it if they were in your position". Nothing makes you more angry than that sentiment. You know they mean it as a compliment and want to reassure you that you're going to get through this tough time, but they don't get it. Yes. You could get through this. You have NO choice but to handle it. You can't just pause and rewind life. Ignoring or changing what happened isn't an option. You buck up, put a smile on your face, and get through the day, whether you want to or not.
People try to empathize, and even though you appreciate it, it never genuinely helps. The only thing that can cure your heartache is the piece of your heart that your missing. You sit on your bedroom floor flipping through piles upon piles of scrapbooks hoping to get your fix. You listen to voicemails to torture yourself. You replay all the times you could've spent more time with them but didn't. And you absolutely hate yourself momentarily. Eventually you pull yourself together and comfort yourself. Because other than the precious memories you have, the only person that knows how to heal you is you.
At the end of the day, as cliche as it sounds, the only thing that truly heals you is time. That's the big secret, the cure all, the mystery: time.