Losing my parents at 17 meant I lost my world, but I did what I do best and ran from the pain, I pushed what was happening deep down and made jokes as if things did not affect me. It is only now as I am getting older that I am struggling more without them, or at least I am noticing a struggle. I have a lovely house and partner, a loving and supportive family and brilliant friends, yet it feels as though there is a parent shaped hole in everything that I do. I find this bizarre as in my mind it would be more normal to struggle without them when I was younger, but at the time I think my support network and my ignorant haze kept me from realising. I find myself walking past shops that I wish I could have taken them in, places such as the Cavern Club in Liverpool would have been a perfect place to share a sing song with my Dad, and buy a dress for my Mom from Monsoon as she always wanted one but never felt she had the money to spend on herself. When at work I feel, I am in a constant struggle not to yearningly stare at those families whose daughter can treat their mother. As I get older I realise I will never be able to get to know my parents as more than just my parents. I see people in their early twenties becoming friends with theirs, sharing gossip and advice and I am so profoundly envious of this connection that they have. when i was younger they were there to clothe and feed me, I soon learned how to do that for myself, but i never learned about them as people and that is the saddest thing I find about not having them here anymore.
I am envious of all those people that got to know them as ‘Audrey’ and ‘Philip’ rather than ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’. I know they were brilliant people and intelligent, my dad loved the camera and we have many lenses and camera to evidence this. My mom loved a good dance to Motown, but I never got to share in their favourite past times, I would love to have them here now to gain advice on my own photography work or dance with my mom as I never passed my anti-social awkward teen phase in time. They won’t visit my beautiful home that I am so proud of, didn’t get treated to anything from my first wage slip, will never meet my other half or my brother’s future wife, never see me drive, so many things are being missed by them not being here, but I also feel like I am missing out too.
They never saw me become me, and I never saw them become them.
I am unsure of whether my photography project that runs alongside this blog will bring me any sort of healing process, but some days the thoughts of what they would be like now and what we would share consume me. My only hope is that this may bring me some form of catharsis, and if it does not come to me then maybe it will reach out to someone else, to help them realise they are not alone and to others to appreciate everything they have.