I was 23 when I found out my mum was terminally ill, and was told that she could live a few months or maybe a year. Now, I understand that a lot of people deal with these kind of situations differently, but for me, one of the hardest things was that for me the world stopped, but for others it continued.
It’s not an easy thing to say, but I think it’s an important thing to say that I spent the first couple months just crying. Whenever I was alone, and there was nothing to distract me, I just cried. I felt so overwhelmed because my whole life I had lived believing that my parents would pass away when I’m already in my 40s, or maybe 50s. And now, suddenly I had to try to learn to live knowing that my mum could be dead the next week, or the next month.
I used to do morning shifts at work at the time, and a lot of the time I didn’t even feel like getting up. I just wanted to stay home, and just be miserable the whole day. But the problem is that once your world stops, the rest of the world keeps going. There’s still bills, and rent to pay, you still need to get money to eat. And so I continued going to work. I worked 50 hours a week. I went to work, and cried the first couple hours I was there by myself, and if I was long enough alone during the day, it was hard for me to not start crying. When I got home from work, I don’t really remember doing much apart from crying while watching some shows for the few hours before I needed to sleep. That continued pretty much every day for the first couple months.
I didn’t tell anyone at work about this. What could they have done or said to make it any better? This is something no one is talking about. No one talks about people losing their parents in their 20s. No one talks about how to deal with finding out your parent is terminally ill when you’re just a young adult. And because this is something no one talks about, it’s not something that had ever even crossed my mind, I didn’t think there was point in telling anyone. Because how in the world could they possibly understand the pain and ache I was going through? But, the truth is, I wish people knew about this, I wish people knew that this is something some people have to go through in their 20s. This is why I want to share about my story. I want someone else to be comfortable to tell people that they aren’t okay, and know that the people around them might understand the situation, and what they are going through, a little bit better.