I consider my grief to be a journey. One that I must learn to evolve with as I enter each new chapter in my life.
Eleven years ago, when I was 18, my mum passed away unexpectedly of pneumonia.
However, I hadn’t seen her since I was 16 because our relationship had deteriorated due to her mental health.
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
To be honest, I felt hurt and neglected.
Mental health wasn’t talked about much at the time, so I put her behaviour down to the fact that she didn’t love me, rather than it being the result of an illness.
So, when she did pass away, life didn’t drastically change because her absence had become somewhat normal.
A few months later I moved to university, and it was the perfect opportunity to forget what had just happened and as a result, I mentioned her name to very few. Yet I found each anniversary became more difficult to cope with because my unresolved, confused and bottled-up grief rose to the surface.
I felt angry, sad and guilty but simultaneously longed for her. I would sit with this anxiety for days but then let it pass and forget about her until the next anniversary came around.
As time went by, I felt more lost, confused and without purpose.
I felt anxious about making decisions, always worried about things going wrong and struggled with being single.
The toxic dating app culture only made me feel more alone and neglected and that’s when I became depressed. Yet it was within this darkness that I really began to face my grief and unravel the trauma I had experienced. I analysed every detail of what happened to my mum, but it became overwhelming.