I’ve Been M.I.A & Grieving – Here’s What I’ve Learnt

I haven’t been as consistent on my site as I had intended since launching it a few months ago, so I thought the best way to reintroduce myself was to give a little insight into what’s been happening and why I have been MIA.

In the last 6 years, I have lost 4 family members – 3 of which were to cancer.

Before this, I had never experienced death or funerals. Now, it seems like the normal.

In 2012, my grandma (my mom’s mother) passed away from a long battle with cancer (& was actually the reason my family & I moved).

In 2014, my granddad (mom’s dad) passed away from cancer, in which symptoms were long ignored before diagnosis. This one was particularly tough, as he’d lived with me and my family on & off for the better part of our lives.

At the end of 2015, my papa (mom’s stepdad) passed away – he was 94. This was a less traumatic experience as I finally saw what a peaceful death could look like. Papa had been living by himself right up until a fall a couple weeks before his passing. He died holding my mom’s hand, and surrounded by those that love him most.

I thought we were done with deaths in the family, but then my darling uncle passed away unexpectedly one weekend at the start of 2016. This has been the hardest death to cope with so far, and everyday brings a new struggle.

I believe experiences like these forge a new, stronger you from the ashes of a broken you.

I choose to learn as much as I can about myself and my family from what I cannot control, to create a better future for myself and those I love using what I can control.

These experiences have taught me 10 important lessons:

1. Life is is a privilege and a blessing. This is cliche because it is so true. You can be here one minute, and gone the next, so don’t waste a second.

2. Family is everything. I am forever grateful to have 3 amazing siblings and 2 parents that love me, and although we have lost 4 amazing people from our circle, they are still alive in our hearts.

3. Be grateful. If you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, and have access to the internet to be able to read this, then you have it better than so many others. Cherish it.

4. Believe in something. It helps enormously in times of trial, even if it’s just believing you can make it through the tough times.

5. You can’t force someone to stay in your life. Those who leave have another path in life to take. Let them go and focus on yourself.

6. Pursue happiness, not material possessions. It is important to work on building a strong relationship with yourself. People in your life come and go. You must learn to love your own company.

7. No one has all the answers. We are all equal, we are all human, and we are all susceptible to the same downfalls. Never let anyone make you feel you are anything less than them.

8. Be empathetic. For you never know what others are going through.

9. Health is SO important. I have seen the suffering that sickness brings, so I encourage you to do everything in your power to maximise your chances of living a long, healthy and happy life.

10. And lastly, treat others the way you would want to be treated. Not everyone lives by this rule, I know. But that is not your issue. As fellow human beings, we need to take it upon ourselves to spread positivity. This alone will attract the right people into your life.

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