I lost both of my parents in my early twenties. My father being my best friend, and my mother being my challenge - or so she would say the same. I found peace and forgiveness with the ability to reflect, feel and forgive.
Growing up, I always had a better relationship with my father. I always tried to make it work with my mom but we were always butting heads.
My mom met my dad when she was 18, young, lively and beautiful. He was 26, recently immigrated from Greece, LOVING the north american lifestyle. They moved from downtown Montreal, to a small town outside of Ottawa, in what felt like; the middle of nowhere. She was a stay at home mom, and he built his dream as an entrepreneur.
They were both so fueled with passion and emotion, which resulted in a lot of arguments, where it may have seemed like I was siding with my father, but always wanted to support my mother.
My dad is my best friend. I say it, because even though he doesn't walk the earth he still holds that piece to me. My mother on the other hand, was a challenge in my life. She brought out the worst side in me. I felt like I just wanted to help her make better choices, and she didn't want to be helped. She suffered from a lot of illness', which I felt she was stronger to overcome.
We lost my dad suddenly overseas, where he had ingested enough bacteria in the sea water, to reach his bloodstream fast enough to attach his immune system. My parents were on their first vacation alone together in 34 years. I had never seen my mom be his partner the way she was, while he was in the hospital trying to fight this. It was quite inspirational to see her so active, and involved but that quickly fell apart when she lost her partner.
8 months later, she passed away suddenly in her room from her heart stopping, while my siblings we waiting to take her to the doctor. I truly believe in soulmates, and a broken heart being weak alone, which I feel she was very weak to begin with, and my dad was her only strength.
When he left the earth, I was mortified. Not only was I losing my father, but my best friend, my partner, we shared everything together. But my mom was so weak, we needed to be a family more than ever, and support her. She was acting very irrational, as my father had no will, so there were plenty of steps to be made in order to move forward. Focusing all of her time on that, we were able to maintain a supportive relationship with one another.
Then what I was really starting to feel, was comfort in losing my father. I know, it sounds really strange to hear, but it feels like he was with me everywhere I go. When I hear songs that remind me of him, I smile. When I go places we’ve been, it excites me. I love introducing him to my new friends, and reminiscing on him with old friends. I get comfort in my father, and I felt it from the beginning. I felt him give me the support to transfer to my mother to find light in each day through this process. I felt him support my siblings through the communication of me and allowing myself to feel that closeness with him.
When I lost my mother, I was distraught. It felt like the kid who always cried wolf, and when the real deal happens, you don't know how to feel. My siblings and I gathered our things, moved out of our family home for some time and allowed everything to soak in. I couldn't feel my mom the way I felt my father, there was so much peace with him, but with her it felt like I couldn't close that door. I didn't realize that I was still angry at her until one night about 10 months after she passed away, at 2am, coming home and finding forgiveness.
I used to always untangle my mom's jewelry, and I had a huge knotted piece that I neglected to do for years, as I could really care less about jewellery. But that night, I came home and sat in my room crying my heart out, smiling, and FORGIVING my mom for all I felt she did ‘wrong’ as now I don't see it as her 'fault' and I thanked her for allowing me to become this beautiful, strong woman, who's able to forgive and look forward and be free to be who I am.
Now when I think of my mom, I only have the most beautiful thoughts and memories, which seemed so farsighted to me for most of my life.
Losing both of them by the age of 22 was definitely life changing, but I feel optimizing my perception to finding peace in them leaving, and feeling closer to them each day, allows me to be my best self.
So THANK YOU mom and dad, you gave me the most valuable lessons and I will passionately pass them forward!