14th May 2020
WHAT I HAVE LEARNT IN LIFE AFTER LOSING BOTH MY PARENTS BEFORE I WAS 40
I had the opportunity to speak to a few young adults during my time as a HR manager. At times, they sought advice on career progression and work challenges. But very often, they also seek personal advice on their personal life. Some would say that their life is boring and uneventful. As a motherly figure in the company, I will always try to give them an objective view and steer them towards what they can do with their interest or vision, instead of thinking that their life is boring.
Such conversations always made me think about my life in the past few decades. My life has been filled with so many events, both happy and sad. And how it has shaped me to who I am today.
My first loss
I lost my father to liver failure when I was 21. Having just graduated from my Poly and started working, I thought I finally can start to “pay back” my parents for raising me. But it was not meant to be as my father was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis soon after I started work. I witnessed the pain he went through and losing the fight within 2 weeks.
Going back to work was tough as losing a close family member was not easy. My work colleagues and supervisor were not that understanding and empathetic. I was not able to concentrate at work and I could not show my emotions openly. I will get scolded for the smallest mistakes that I made.
Looking back, I was young and defenceless. I didn’t know how to stand my ground and let those in my workplace know I was not OK.
My Second Loss
I lost my mom in a traffic accident, 2 days short of my 39th birthday. Losing her was extremely hard. Everything is still so vivid in my mind, the emergency surgery, her fighting for her life in ICU, hooking on to the life support machine, making the dreadful decision to switch off her life support and watching the whole accident video at the Traffic Police.
I had to stop working for 2 weeks while nursing my grief as well as being the executor for her estate, sorting her stuff.
However, my work colleagues made the grieving process more bearable for me. They showed me the support needed, they allowed me to cry openly, they hug me and offer words of encouragement. Without them, I would not have remained strong.
What have I learnt?
I have previously shared that there are times when we feel defeated or victorious. There will also be peaks and troughs in life. And I think it is so important in life if we could have these in us to help us manage our thoughts and emotions better:
1. Empathy and Compassion
I have been shown the different side of human in my worse moment. We all need that comfort in times of despair. Being empathetic and compassionate helps alleviate the pain. Be that someone, as you will never know how your words can help someone overcome their difficult situation.
Losing both my parents when I am still considered young is something I still cannot comprehend. But life must go on. I can choose to be in self-pity mode or make the fullest use of my life.
We are all living on borrowed time, be courageous to try to do something new or things you have been putting off. Because what is stopping you to push yourself further is you, yourself!
We all must Live and Love Life!
14th May 2020