Life!

Johana Riquier

4/8/20233 min read

15 months ago, I unexpectedly lost my 21-year-old son to a devastating illness.
I then started to throw myself into work and keep on with the things already planned — not like nothing happened, but because it happened, I wanted to make him proud.
Indeed, it was already planned that I would leave the country for 6 to 12 months for the benefit of the new venture: Gamerging Solutions.
My initial flight to UAE was scheduled for September 5th 2021, and his funeral was on September 6th 2021.
My son was supportive of me. My son was my rock for everything. We were business partners, confident in each other and moral support.
Losing a child is hard — this is an understatement.
Travelling for work was a way to make him proud. I started to be very hard on myself, working to the ground.
But I had this empty feeling.
I could not find the meaning of life anymore.
I worked to find this joy and purpose and to fill that empty feeling.
My birthday last year was doom.
I started scrambling down during the holiday period last December.
Understanding that my son had definitely left started to be daunting for me.
I was alone. I felt alone.
This feeling of loneliness never left me.
In February, I started seeing a therapist to deal with everything.
It helped in a way.
I started to understand that I needed to take it gently on myself.
In June this year, it had become a struggle for me to work to concentrate. (having ADHD did not help)
Insomnia crept on.
Beginning of July, I went to the doctor for a routine check to get my immigration paperwork.
The doctor ordered me to stop working and to take it gently on myself.
Grief had its toll on my health and body, and she could see it without knowing what was wrong.
I explained.
She said: “you are working yourself to the ground.”
I thought: “ I don’t really mind. My son is not there anymore, anyway.”
I saw the doctor on a Friday morning.
The Friday late evening, the emergency services were called.
I almost died alone in my apartment.
My brain had caught up with my body, and I escaped an aneurysm.
No one knew. I did not want anyone to know how bad I was.
I called my mother in case I did not make it.
I was not scared. I was at peace.
Weirdly, I actually wanted to leave.
But it was not my time.
I started taking it slowly and living a soft life.
I told myself I needed to find joy in living again.
I needed to get rid of the unnecessary and useless societal expectations.
I needed to find joy in small mercies. I do.
One thing I realised since my son’s passing is that this world is cruel.
We celebrate people when they are dead but are mean, indifferent and loveless when they are alive.
What is the sense of this? Tell me.
Why am I sharing this today?
I am still catching up on the wishes for my birthday — over a week after my birthday.
I turned 43 last week.
It was doomer than last year. I’m not gonna lie.
I still work harder sometimes, and when I cannot work hard, I learn new things and train myself.
They say that when you share about your demise: half of the people are happy that it is happening to you, and the other half does not care.
To be honest, I don’t care. Writing helps me process things. If my rumble helps someone else in a similar situation.
Lastly, I wanted to share what I find helpful in life. Maybe you happen to know of someone going through the same situation.
· Please be patient; I am not the same person and will never be the same.
· Please talk to me — not talking isolates me further;
· Please don’t act as if nothing has happened — it’s hurtful to me, as I have gone through so much;
· Don’t feel bad if I cry; it’s not because of you or what you have said — it’s because I am living through a trauma;
· Don’t hold back ‘happy’ news; I still enjoy someone else’s success/life news; and
· Be kind and considerate, as you do not know what life has planned or what someone is quietly going through.
Love yourself, and care for your loved ones whilst they are still here.
Enjoy the little things in life!
This article is raw with no edits. I could edit it, but sometimes I like writing and publishing as it comes.