People who have lost family members get asked this question a lot.

Not necessarily all the time, probably when the loss originally happened and then whenever someone new finds out. And it’s a fair question, to those who haven’t experienced the death of someone close to them.

The answer, for me anyway, is yes and no. Yes, because the initial shock and having to adjust to never seeing that person again does go. You adapt to living without that person, to never seeing them again.

But also no. For me, every time I see someone my age or older with their parent(s), I remember that I don’t have that. I think, “Oh, yeah, I don’t know how my mum would interact with teenage me”. It’s quite jarring sometimes, especially at special events in life such as GCSE results day, at prom, the first day of college. You don’t have that loved one there.

Again, this can be applied to situations as common as being sad. Recently, I have found that I’m getting sad a lot more often, which I talked about in my previous post (not-so subtle self-promotion). I can’t talk to who I live with, and the other adults in my life either have their own kids or their own problems and I don’t want to burden them more with my melodramatic “problems”. And that’s when I wish I still had a parent. Parents are the ones you take for granted and put all your problems on because that’s their job, and even though I would probably still feel too guilty to say anything, it’d be a comfort knowing I had someone there who was available to talk to.

The main point I’m trying to make, in a very convoluted way, is that the lack of a certain close one in your life is omnipresent- it just isn’t constantly at the forefront of your mind. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it. And that’s normal after a long time.

Anyway, I am aware that I am privileged. I have a family, a house, food, clean water, sanitation and free education and free health care. I don’t want to come across as feeling sorry for myself as there are people in the world so much worse off than me- people without any family at all. We should all remember how much we have and how much we take for granted.

-A. Bluegown