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What Losing a Parent Will Teach You

It is 5 years ago today that I lost my mother. Five long yet short years. At the time, I never thought the grieving would end.

At the time, I felt so much sadness that I never thought that I'd see her death as an opportunity to learn and re-evaluate my own life. But eventually as the months and even the years passed, I allowed myself the chance to move beyond the grief to get to a place where I could learn from the experience.

Here are a few of my discoveries.

1. It's so cliche, but it's also very true: life is short. The days are long. The years are short. Time moves at lightning speed. Take advantage of every moment you get to spend with your parents.

2. No matter how many loving and supporting women you have in your life, no one will ever take the place of your mother.

3. I've become painfully aware of my own mortality. There's nothing like the death of a parent to remind you that one day you will die as well. Live your life to its fullest. Do the things you've always wanted to do. Live with a purpose and without fear.

4. It is so important to take care of yourself and pay attention to your body. Call it women's intuition. Call it what you will. We know our bodies the best, and we know when something is just not right. Since my mother's death, I visit my primary care physician yearly. I've learned that I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol as a result of my mother's death. I see a cardiologist yearly as well. Don't ignore warning signs!!!

5. Leave a legacy. It's when we die that we are most spoken of. Give people only good things to say about you.

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