be kind to myself on this painful day








February 2 is the coldest day of my life.

It is the day when, 3 years ago, my mom left us with no prior notice.

Before, I was a fast, powerful and adventurous bird.

Who would go far, far away. Explore the world. And settle in California, USA.

Confident, with the future in front of her.

But on Feb 2, the bird’s wings were cut off by the pitiless and indifferent Grim Reaper who came through the phone at 4 AM:

– Daughter, I have sad news.
– …..
– Your mom is gone.
– What? What happened ?

I don’t remember a word of what my dad responded. One sentence only echoes in my head: “when your time comes, it comes.”

With that short sentence, the bird became a puppy.

A lost puppy.

Who takes a flight back home in a blurry, fuzzy, cloudy, soundless world.

When I arrive, my mom is not here anymore.

I find my siblings and, scared puppies, we run at each other.

We gather. We moan.

And together, we bark.

We bark and bark and bark again to call her. Hoping that our voices will bring her back.

But no one comes.

We get closer to each other and realize it’s just us now.

Lost. With no shadow to follow.

All around, the world is the same. People come and go.

Yet here we are, petrified and trying to understand.

I don’t bark anymore. Nobody barks anymore.

Instead, I look around and wonder: how to survive when the only thing I want to do is die?

I look around and –angry- ask: why nobody told me it would be that hard?

I look around and cry: how am I going to take care of my kids when I can’t stand anymore?

My sibling and I are still together. Mourning and grieving.

Trying to find our way through one of the most difficult, painful losses in the natural course of things.

From time to time, one of us reaches out to the world and talk to people who knew her.

Bringing back precious slices of her life to feed us.

We realize Mom was not just our mom.

Through my father’s tears, we realize she was a wife.

We realize she was a faithful friend. A caring sister. A protective aunt. A loved teacher. A woman.

The more we learn, the more we feel her within us.

We feel her presence and unconditionnal affection. We feel her strength and timeless love.

Slowly, we stop crying. Stand up on our feet again. And look at each other.

My vision is not blurred. My ears can hear. My world isn’t cloudy or fuzzy.

And we aren’t puppies anymore.

But parents, who have growing birds to take care of.


What can I tell you, my friends?

On Feb 2, I just try to make it through the day.

And be kind to myself like my mom was to me.

Yesterday, I spent time with the kids, walked around my neighborhood, called my family, had caramel ice cream, let Duderina and Duderino have a Happy Meal for dinner while I ate a banana and Nutella crepe at the mall.

It was ok for the day.


If this post touched you, please share it. It would mean a lot to me and help your friends take better care of themselves.

WHY IS IT SELF-CARE?  When something hurts, the only thing you can do to help is recognize your feelings, be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Release the pressure you put on yourself, work less, and wait until you feel better.


Time heals. Whatever you’re going through, know that TIME HEALS.

Loosing my mom was the most painful experience of my life. And I know it is was very helpful for me to be with the people who felt the exact nature and intensity of my pain: my sibblings.

Being with my moms’ friends, people who knew her, who could share anecdotes, helped me know her better and feel better too.

And when I went back to California, where I was far from my family, Internet helped.

There are a lot of forums where people share their experiences.

What matters here is to be able to talk to people -virtually or in real life- who’ve been through the same thing as you are.

Be strong, and if you can’t, it’s ok too. Time heals.

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