Thursday, April 20, 2017

loss and adapting

Prince William inspired me to write on this blog again. Please read this quote for context:

The prince, 34, who was 15 when his mother Princess Diana died in Paris, said: “The shock is the biggest thing, and I still feel it 20 years later about my mother.
“People think shock can’t last that long, but it does. It’s such an unbelievably big moment in your life and it never leaves you, you just learn to deal with it.”

I’ve written a few posts in the past few weeks but they are bone stabbing kind of deep. I don’t think they are ready for the Internet yet. But I think this is medium deep, haha! So it seems more appropriate. I watched this interview today with Prince William talking about the death of his mother—I bet we all remember this day. It made me realize more people experience the same losses as our own than we probably care to understand. It’s easy to think we are the only one that may have gone through a particular thing. But loss is universal, and the loss of a parent at a young age does actually happen to lots of other people. And it also does happen to other chronically ill people. I’m not the only person with CF to lose their mom to cancer. The thing is it’s all tragic of course, but it’s a punch in the gut on top of 100 other punches. What else can you do besides take it?

But the loss of a parent, especially a mother, is unlike anything else. It’s not like losing anyone else in your life. I came into this world attached to only one person, by an umbilical cord, by months together, by experiences in the past and promises of the future, and I felt it all violently ripped away from me when she wasn’t here anymore. (I am not diminishing people raised by someone other than their birth mom.)   

I think people assume I lost my mom so many years ago it must be behind me. And it's not. I don't talk about it with too many people but I'm still gutted by it every day. There are so many things that happen every day that compound her loss, from tiny to monumental, from crisis to joy. I've just learned to live my life with this gaping hole. And it's okay. You learn to adapt. That's what life is mostly about—adapting to anything that comes at you. The only real way to survive in almost any capacity is to adapt. And adapting doesn’t mean that things can go back to the way they used to be. It just means learning to move forward in a new way, in a new vehicle, or on a new path. And if you are lucky enough you have people that will follow along side of you.