You do not need to protect others from the truth. For years I didn’t mention how my mother died because I worried people would judge her or find it upsetting. I learned over time that not only can most people handle the truth, but the more we speak about mental illness, the better things will be for those who are struggling today.
It’s not during the happy times when I miss her - getting married, having babies, buying houses. It’s during the hard times when I really need her that I feel so intensely that she is really gone for good.
Taking care of ourselves and remembering that our needs are equal to those around us is our own responsibility. When we act like martyrs, everyone eventually suffers.
Don’t make choices based on anyone else’s expectations. Life is precious and short.
Missing her reminds me of how lucky I was to have her for 22 years. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone so much. It is worth it.
About Penny Wincer
Penny’s mother died by suicide when Penny was 22, after 11 years of severe depression. February 2020 will mark 20 years since her death.
Penny is a Melbourne born freelance interiors photographer. She also writes about freelance life, parenthood and raising a disabled child. She lives in South East London with her two children. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can find out more about her work on her website.