An Open Letter To Anyone Who Has Ever Lost A Parent Unexpectedly

I know you’re struggling. Life feels like a whirlwind, and you’re not quite sure when or if you will ever catch your breath. You still sometimes feel like life isn’t real. How could it be? From the moment you lost your parent, you felt just that — lost.

You wondered how you could exist without this important piece of your life. How could you go on doing the same things you did every day? How could you wake up daily without your parent? You had no idea how you could actually go on without them.

But somehow you did.

You made it through those horrible first few days and weeks, when the days didn’t seem real. You just kind of went through the motions. You were surrounded by people you loved, which helped a bit. But you weren’t yourself. Maybe you wouldn’t ever be yourself again. How could you, though?

Eating was a struggle. You had no appetite. Everyone had kind words for you. Some of them helped. Still, you were surrounded by people and you’d never felt lonelier. And time kept moving.

Eventually, you had to return to “real life” — as real as it was going to be, anyways. You went back to work and returned to your social circle, but nothing was really the same. Life felt so much more meaningless.

Eventually you will start to feel like yourself again. It may take months, even years, but you will. One day the memories won’t make you cry, but smile. You’ll be able to talk about your loved one and it won’t hurt so much.

Losing someone to a tragic or unexpected circumstance is hard. You don’t get to say goodbye the way you would like. There may be things unspoken. It will never, ever feel like it was enough. But, with that being said, loss is also a teacher.

The loss you experienced will make you a stronger individual. It will make you kinder. You will be more aware of time and how limited is. And while you will miss your parent every day, just know that they are looking down on you proudly.

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Astrid is a twenty-something madness who likes to write short stories that are, kind of like her, barely there. Her soul is happiest when she is reading, or being around people who lift up her spirits.

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