You've got to feel to heal.
Life is tough, but so are you. Most of you come to my blog for style inspiration, whether it's in the realm of fashion, beauty, lifestyle... I aim to make each element beautiful and aesthetically pleasing. Maybe some of you come to see my boy, MaQ, as he is just as much a part of my blog as I am and he is truly the mascot of my business. But what I rarely discuss on here is my personal life and all the experiences that led me to here. Since I've had a lot of new readers on here as well as on other social media platforms, I thought today would be a great time to sort of -reintroduce myself. Hey, I'm Suz. I've lost both of my parents in my 20s. I'm completely estranged from the rest of the family, including my brother. Today marks exactly 6 years since my father unexpectedly passed away. Grab some tissues, this isn't going to be an easy read. Listen quietly or talk to me... I'm open either way.
My father, Caz, died from a massive coronary in 2012. The irony? The day he died was the day he finally was hired for a job after struggling for years trying to find work. The morning his sister drove him to the interview he had said he felt like he was finally at peace and one with God. He literally collapsed in the hallway after shaking hands with the woman who just hired him. When my brother called to tell me the news that our father had passed, I thought it was a sick joke. Truly in a state of shock, I was numb until getting on the plane the next day with my fiancé at the time (now husband). I sobbed the entire flight home, knowing I would have no time to shed any tears while handling my family affairs once we landed. My family was unsupportive and cruel. Since my father died, not one member of my family has even called to check in on me. I'm dead to them, therefore, they are dead to me. One of his sisters refused to come to the funeral because she "already said goodbye to him" from a falling out they had. What about everyone else that needed love and support? Forget them too, right? It was as if everyone couldn't wait to just put him in the ground and be done with it. My father's side of the family has never been the best at communication (I plead the fifth) but everyone's true colors were shown after my father's death. It was like being hit with a Double-Whammy.
I lost my mother in 2005. It's still hard to believe it's been over 13 years since being without her. What was different about my mother's passing was being there until the very end. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and battled it for nine months. I took care of her while holding down a job at the airport, finishing up school to graduate on time, and then some (nearly died twice while she was sick.) I am forever grateful that I was able to say goodbye to her. When people wonder what's worse: Losing a loved one suddenly or watching them slowly deteriorate... after experiencing both, the worst is the unexpected. There's so much I wanted to say to my father before he died and because we were estranged for three years before he passed, I'm eternally haunted from all the things left unsaid and what could have been. Is it normal to think that there's something else I could have done to prevent such a heartbreaking loss? Yes, but that's part of grieving.
How long does the grieving process take? I'm going to have to say, sadly, for the rest of your life. Is it easy for me every day? Fuck no. Some days are so awful, I have trouble getting out of bed. But then I hear my parents, and they'd be damned if I lived an unhappy, unfulfilled life. They wouldn't want that for me. And even though I try my hardest to live a full, rich life, I can't help but feel such sadness at times, knowing I can't share any of my accomplishments or mistakes with them. And in turn, I feel this incredible pressure to honor them - to prove to my parents that I wasn't born in vain and that it was all worth something. That I'm made of both of them, and that's a gift within itself. Do I feel lost half the time? Yep. Do I have moments of profound anger? Rage? You betcha. I feel like I've been robbed. Not one, but both parents? And no family to back me up? Why? I may never know, but I know this. I love them with everything I have and the content I create isn't just for the world to see, but it is more so especially for them. I hope they are proud of what I have done (so far) but I always have the sinking feeling that it'll never be enough, that I just will never be good enough. That's a horrible burden to carry. But I carry it. With pride.
So how do I bounce back on God-awful days as such? I FIGHT. It'll take every single ounce of energy within me. I try to believe that my experiences happened for a reason, and perhaps since I was strong enough to survive it, I do feel responsible to share it with you guys. To tell my story is a privilege. I hope this short but emotional post brings you something. Whether I may inspire you, and/or make you feel less alone, or even just getting to know me a little more and have a better understanding of me: Using my blog and art has helped me tremendously through the healing process. Those of us who have lost our parents are forever changed and we will never forget. I do believe that if you’re dedicated to wanting to live a brighter, lighter life, doing the work, finding the tools, and feeling the feelings will help you move forward. It has helped me. But it's a long, unwinding road. You’ve got to feel to heal.