How I Felt When I Lost My Mother

How I Felt When I Lost My Mother

Losing a loved one is like hell in a hand-basket.
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Walking into the office on that January morning after my first period class, I thought that I was in trouble. I was told that I was needed in the office. I didn’t think about the accident that I had heard a few teachers gossiping about that morning before school. As I was heading for the principal’s office, I was told to go to the superintendent’s office. I started to wonder what I did. After rounding the corner and seeing the police, I thought “Oh sh*t, I don’t even know what I did. What did I do that is this bad?” Then I saw one of my sisters holding my mom’s silk pajamas with tear-stained cheeks, and my other sister was suddenly behind me. The words spilled from her mouth before I could even think about what might have happened.

“Mom’s gone!” The world stopped spinning. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t even cry; but I forced myself because I knew that the tears would come later. I figured that if I cried enough, I would not have any left for the rest of the night. Wrong: I had the worst headache, and tears were still forcing their way into my eyes.

A weird thing that I imagine when someone passes away, is that they are in a white room, and they physically take a step backwards. Then it’s done. I never imagined my mom doing that (not even my grandma, who passed away years ago). It kind of sucked, but it made me realize that maybe they didn’t want me to see them like that. Maybe they wanted me to remember them walking forward, and moving toward the future, not away.

As we left the school and headed to the apartment, we went to our dad’s because he lived across the hall. We didn’t want to be somewhere we knew our mom wasn’t going to be. I know what you are thinking. Yes, I have a weird family. Who divorces, then lives right next to each other? Maybe it is because they wanted my sisters and I to stay close, but I secretly think they were trying to plot a way to take our souls (only kidding).

When people say they are sorry, or they understand, I just want to say that they've only read half of my book, but they can’t read the rest until they have gone through what I have. I do not wish for anyone to lose a parent, but when they do, they will know just how much it sucks not to be able to tell them about how your day went (or to have a shoulder to cry on). My mother was the person I always went to when I had learned about the death of someone I had known. Heck, she was the one I wanted to run to when she died. If anyone wants to talk about the loss of a parent, I’m here. I do know how it feels. I know that is sucks, and that you won’t want to talk about it (that’s how I am), but I’m here. I won’t even talk, unless you want me to.

Losing someone sucks, and hearing the same thing over and over again doesn’t help to calm you down and “forget.” Although, I wont forget my mother (and don’t want to), I know that I do not want to think about it 24/7, 365 days a year.

In the movie "St. Vincent," Bill Murray’s character talks about the death of his wife. Oliver (the young boy) tells Vincent that he is sorry for the loss. Vincent then replies with multiple examples of what he would like to hear because he doesn’t want to be told that they are sorry. One of the examples that stuck with me was that he wanted to be asked about what she was like. I just wish people would respond like that. Even though it’ll make me cry, I would be so happy to talk about how beautiful and loving she was. She always put everyone else first (even when she shouldn’t have). She was always there for everyone, even when she needed the shoulder to cry on.

To get another perspective on losing a parent, if you haven’t seen the Bindi Irwin memorial dance to her dad on "Dancing with the Stars," you should watch it. Not only is it beautiful, but it really describes how I feel. In the video, she mentions that she still expects her father to “come home.” I have that same feeling with my mother. I always expect her to just be sitting in the apartment that we used to live in, and that’s where I will be going back to when I go home from University. Although it hasn’t even been a year yet, just like Bindi, I feel like it will take a long time to understand that she is actually gone, but I know that she is, and she’s not going to come back. Although that is the truth, I know that she is somehow with me. Her body is gone, but the memories live on.

This doesn’t even begin to cover everything I am feeling. I think an infinite number of pages in a book wouldn't even begin to tell you just how I feel. I just wanted to share how it felt to me, and to speak the things on other people’s minds. Just remember, even though it doesn’t get better, it still does at the same time. Recently my mother’s headstone was put up, and it is beautiful. It gave me the sense of peace that she is now resting better. Now people don’t have to look at that plastic one and say “well, they’re new.” They will have to search for the dates instead.

On a side note, wear your seat belt at all times. If it feels uncomfortable, just deal with it. It has a better chance of saving your life than not wearing one at all. My mother lost control and was ejected from the vehicle. Be safe, and wear a seatbelt.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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