When my sister rang me on the morning of October 15, 2010, to tell me our mom had just passed away, I was just going out to work.
It was Friday, our busiest day in the restaurant. I wish I would’ve stayed at home but I knew I had to show up for everyone else plus I wasn’t sure if I was able to stay by myself with the news.
All the way down to work I was rationalising the traumatic event – “it’s better that she didn’t suffer long”, “she’s better there”, “her pain is over”.
I couldn’t possible imagine what it meant for me – the death of my own mother. How that will change my life, how it will affect my mental health, how it will tear apart what I’ve carefully built for myself through the years, how it will transform me.
On that fateful morning, and for a good few years after, I couldn’t connect to my feelings. I didn’t know what I was feeling or how to express it. I was so disconnected from my own heart.
I couldn’t even take the day off or break the news to my friends. This is how unable I was to deal with the trauma.
For years I couldn’t say the words “my mother died”. Even to this day, I’m not sure if I can.