Partial 1st Draft
My mom died when I was just fourteen years old. I was not even with her when it happened. A year before she goes diagnosed with Cancer and that evil disease is what took her away from me. At 14 years old, growing up is not required. It was my case, it was mandatory. My life was over, my best friend was gone. The day I found out about my mom’s passing, I was in the place I call my second home, Camp B’nai Brith. I knew before going up to camp that summer, my mom was extremely sick in palliative care at the Jewish General Hospital suffering to survive. I on the other hand was having a summer or joyfulness spending every second with friends trying to distract myself; until the morning of July 15th, 2011. I remember this as if it was yesterday.
We just finished singing the prayer before breakfast then I get called by my unit head. That is when my insides dropped; I already knew what she was going to tell me. All I was thinking was my mom; it needs to be about my mom. Should I go pack my stuff up now or what? That is when it came, Josh Pepin the director of camp broke the news that in the middle of the night my mom’s life was taken away. I remained quiet, and tried to be a tough as I can. I did not say goodbye to anyone, not even my best friend. I was 14 and I knew my life would never be the same and that July 15th is the worst day that I would need to live with forever.
I was waiting an hour and half for my sister and my mother’s best friend Carolyn to pick me up from my magical place to what is so call ‘home’ that will never feel homelike again. Going home is where my family was supposed to wake up every morning, hugging each other filled with love, but I knew that could never happen once more. Why should I need to suffer from grieving the loss of a parent as an adolescent? Why did this need to happen to me and my perfect family life? So many questions, yet I always remained silent.
It was time for my mom’s funeral, Paperman’s was full, and people were standing up and in the hallways which showed how amazing my mom is… well was. My family from out of town came, and we were sitting in the crowded area where the mediate family sits. Friends went up to say speeches, my sister went to say a speech on behalf of the two of us, and I went up to support her. In the span of two days, I probably had five words come out of my mouth and absolutely no emotions. Only thing I could think was wow, she is really gone, this is not a dream.
I learnt many things while going through the grieving process, at a Shiva house people do not mind their own business, while at the mall (Fairview Pointe-Claire) random people that I spoke to once would come up to me showing their sympathy and that none of this is a nightmare, this is real life. I always heard that the Jewish Community knows about all the gossip and going shopping proved that statement and turned it into a fact. My sister got diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) which occurred due to the loss of my mom and her needing to become not only the older sister role but the mother figure as well. I learnt who my friends are that year and who I should avoid.
I was fourteen in high school and grade 9 can have many mean people. It is difficult to go through day-to-day school with help from a parent but when they are gone, it is much worse. People would bully me for not having a mom, they would bully me that I made my lunch and not my mom, they would call me names and threaten me that they will kill me just for walking by them in the hallways and this one girl once told me “you will die and you will join your mother if you don’t start walking past me faster”. I was always the shy person who would go home and talk to my mom about my day and knowing that I couldn’t do that killed me on the inside.
I feel that everyone has different coping methods; we each individually need to find what makes us feel at peace and I know that my mom no matter what is always with me.
Every summer I go to camp and I feel that this is where I belong. My mom went there as a camper and this is how we were able to bond. Camp is where my mother had the time of her life as well as it being her second home. That is why camp is someplace that will always have a place in my heart because I know that once I get there my mother’s spirit will be there too.
Lab #7: First Draft, take 2
The moment every child dreads during their life is to be told that your parent has passed away. Imagine being a fourteen year old girl who lost their mom after battling cancer. Well, that fourteen year old you are picturing is what actually append to me. People ask many questions such as are you okay, how are you feeling, what changes did you undergo, but the main theme to all those questions leads to one, how are you mentally? Based on a study conducted by Yvonne Stikkebroek she discovers that there is a strong correlation between mental illness and the death of a parent before the child age of sixteen years old. Being a teenager needing to deal with issues that are not typical to experience causes them to become closed and unwilling to talk about their feelings which is one reason for mental illnesses to develop according to the Cancer Care research.
Dealing with the death of a parent is shocking to deal with at any age. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the constant fear and reliving the situation of a terrifying event. Knowing a parent has passed, you are feeling powerless and in danger for what could occur from this situation, that is what it means to have PTSD according to Anthony from my PTSD forum. I remember waking up one morning having an amazing time with my friends at summer camp to in a couple milliseconds becoming this unique teenager and being judged and bullied for losing my mother. You get a feeling that you never felt before, it’s an excruciating pain no one could express as your soul is pushing against your body trying to escape. I felt absolutely paralyzed, no movement, no sound came from me; I stood frozen while I was forced to live without my best friend and comfort blanket and there was nothing I was able to change what happened. I didn’t know I had PTSD until I started to get bullied for having no mom, people in high school would make up rumors of how she passed and it made me feel that I was in jeopardy and once again feel helpless.
I live in fear every day by having flashback to spending days and nights in the hospital, iodine smell, the syringes for the needles, the sound of the color codes on the intercom, seeing nurses and doctors run around during emergencies and especially the elevator that lead right to the palliative care sliding doors. Angela Nickerson created a study examining the after effects of children after they undergo the death of a parent and the results appeared to be psychological and mental disorders were presented such as PTSD and depression. It is more common to develop a disorder if the child was younger at the time of the event.