The aim of this platform is to get grief spoken about in a less awkward and more open way, so I have reached out to some incredible people who all have a different story when it comes to grief, and have agreed to share it with the world through The Girl with Grief platform.
Firstly, thank you for allowing me to share your story with the world and I’m honoured to dedicate this post to your mum.
Myself and Vaish met at University as we was studying the same course. Over our final 2 years we spent a lot of time in studio and it I’m sure it was one late night working when i found out Vaish had lost his mum. He was has always been someone to send me a message on any anniversary of my mums death which means a lot.
So, on my journey to get grief spoken about more openly Vaish agreed to share his story.
Vaishan shares his story:
Who have you lost? Mum
What is their name? Ilanga Gajendran
How did they die? Kidney failure which eventually brought on many health issues and led to a heart attack.
Tell me about the moment you found out and the feelings that come with it?
I remember the moment I found out and the moment I last saw her like it happened yesterday. I had just got back from school and my mum wasn’t feeling well, she was lying down when suddenly she started having a seizure, my grandma screamed for help and our neighbours came and carried her into a taxi to be taken to hospital whilst she was still having a seizure, in that moment I felt something as if it were the last time I’ll see her.
I heard nothing of her after she was taken to hospital and 2 days later I woke up in the morning completely surrounded by people/family, and I knew in that moment what had happened, no one had to tell me or explain, I just knew. To be honest at that moment I felt nothing. I was only a 6 year old, but I knew what happened and for some reasons my instinct had already known this was going to be the case so I felt nothing. I remember to this day that I never cried or expressed any emotion other than confusion at the time. My family told me that she had gone to god and for some reason I could just accept that.
How do you think losing your loved one has changed you as a person?
It has impacted everything in my life, every step I take has been shaped by my loss. I lost my mum at too young of an age to know how it changed me from who I was before my loss. But having experienced this, I go by life not taking anything or anyone for granted as things can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Everything I do is with her in mind, making sure I don’t let her down as I feel she is always watching over me. I also think how life would have been if she hadn’t passed, I was a kid growing up in Sri Lanka, now I am in the UK living a complete different life, sometimes I think maybe I wouldn’t have got the education or life I do now without what had happened so I’m forever grateful for what I have in life. Sometimes it feels like a sacrifice my mum made in order to create a better life for me. But what changed me and my mentality of life the most through my loss is seeing how my dad got through it. He lost his best friend, wife and more and was left alone with me to take care of, but he promised her that he would bring me up exactly as she wanted to and that he did. He got through it all without ever making me feel the true loss of my mum or neglecting me, he stood by me through it all whilst fixing himself up. He managed to build himself back up, move me out of Sri Lanka to the UK, do well for himself and get me to the position I am in right now with a great education and a life filled with opportunities. It really taught me to be strong, to never give up on anything, there are no excuses to fail, you must keep trying. My dad’s suffering will never compare to any obstacle I will face in my journey of life so there is never a reason to give up knowing what he achieved after his loss. My dad has always told me if you have love for something as he did for my mum and I, that love is enough to drive you forward through all the hard times, and his love for my mum and his promise to her as she left is what drove him to create and shaped the life I live now.
What is your happiest memory of them?
Sadly, the memories I have of my mum are very vague and very few. I remember certain parts, for example I remember me and my dad would go out to play and my mum would have made some amazing snacks and tea for us when we came back, she was an amazing cook. I remember that me and her would make cakes together for peoples birthdays, she loved making themed cakes. Finally, I remember I would come home from school and the first thing I would do is look for my mum, so after a while she started playing a game where she would hide just before I got back and I would run around the whole house and sometimes just cry if I couldn’t find her and she’d come running out.
Any bits of advice you’d give to someone who is currently going through what you went through?
I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt from my loss is that it never comes without a lesson to take forward in life. The passing of your loved ones is never not a reason, there is always something they leave behind with you to cherish through your life and that is their way of living on with you. At first a loss is too daunting to see the lesson but we have to embrace the sadness, and then seek the lesson to be learnt, and once we learn that we will find it easier to accept our losses, this goes to any form of loss in life not just the passing of a loved one.
The advice Vaish shares ‘At first a loss is too daunting to see the lesson but we have to embrace the sadness, and then seek the lesson to be learnt, and once we learn that we will find it easier to accept our losses’ is a great bit of advice, grief is a journey and it will be with you forever, it will come and go and teach you things you never expected. There is a lot of people out there grieving and my email/DM’s are always open for anyone however far into your grief journey you are. If any of the stories hit home for you then please reach out.
Thank you for getting involved in this little project of mine Vaish, it’s a big ask to let me write about such a personal experience all over the internet but I’m glad you can be part of this movement. I know it brought up a lot of emotions you may not of faced before so I really do thank you and I hope you find comfort in sharing your story.
Together we can make Grief a more open and less awkward subject xx