When you lose a loved one, it’s likely that you feel like the world around you is collapsing.
That’s certainly how I felt on January 17, 2006.
That was the day I lost my mother.
I couldn’t fathom how it was possible that one day, everything was completely normal and okay, and in an instant, everything was the complete opposite.
On Monday, January 16, you’re a regular high school kid, thinking about your 11th grade finals coming up. And the very next day, the ground you stand on has completely shaken you to your core, and the last thing you could care about are some stupid tests.
All that matters is that a part of me is gone. And somehow I’m supposed to just go on and be that normal high-schooler I was the day before? I’m sorry, but I just can’t. The world is earth-shatteringly different.
A person in my life that was always sure to encourage me and tell me how much she loved me is gone now. She said that I was a good writer, and I didn’t think much of it at the time because moms are supposed to say that kind of stuff. But now it’s one of the only quotes of hers I think about.
It’s been a little over 10 years since that Tuesday in January. And I look back wondering how I was able to get up again. I’m not entirely sure how I was able to do that. Time does pass, and somehow the pain lessens. That void is still there, but it doesn’t swallow you whole.
Having friends to be able to talk to, if only to give some respite for a few hours, was tremendously important, if only to feel like a normal teenager again.
Her death made me double-down on my belief that G-d has a master plan, partly because the alternative would just be so unfair and painful otherwise. It made me a more religious person. I wasn’t praying 3 times a day and leading the morning, afternoon, and evening prayers for me. It was for her. Everything I now do has become a testament to her and I became a reflection of her memory.