I lost my mom 3 years ago, as a sophomore in college, to a form of breast and stomach cancer that had metastasized throughout her body. Now now, before you grab your tissue box or turn away because you think this is about to get depressing, think again. This was a very trying time in my life, yes, but what I’m here to do today is tell you about how my life changed in a positive way since my mother’s passing. I lost a huge part of my life, at a time in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was and who I would become. What I soon realized is that losing a huge part of my life helped me to figure out the many other meaningful parts of my life.
To the people who told me “Your life will never be the same”
*Rolling my eyes as I write this. THANK YOU, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. Challenge accepted. Losing a parent sucks, and I miss my mom everyday, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t trade the amount of personal growth I gained during the last three years because of it for anything. No one can prepare you to lose a loved one, but losing a parent at a young age has taught me things I wouldn’t have learned until later on down the road or maybe even at all, about both myself and my life.
Cancer is a BIG thing. But ya know what? Cancer makes you realize how important the little things are ie:
- surrounding yourself with the people you care about
- doing things because they are fun
- not stressing out over work
- saying what you mean and meaning what you say
- laughing as much as you can, whenever and wherever you are (barring a few exceptions
- loving openly: yourself, your friends and family, your life and with no regrets
Add all those little things together and you get one even BIGGER thing. Life. A pretty darn full one at that. The truth is, my mother is physically gone, but she is still very much a presence in my life, how I live it and who I am, and her death cannot take that away from me. My entire outlook on life has changed since the passing of my mother and I am so beyond grateful. My love of life, my appreciation for people, my definition of success, my ‘Mr. Right’, the love and appreciation I have for myself…all of it changed. In our culture, death is often viewed as the worst thing that could happen, especially when someone is taken at a young age. However, I chose to take on a different mindset when my mother passed. I chose (and still choose) to celebrate her life everyday and how both her life and her passing have changed my life in positive ways. You see, they were right. My life has never been the same since I lost my mother and that is something I celebrate every day.
I am not defined by what cancer took from me. Neither are you.