9.9 Editor's Pick
August 6, 2019

I Blinked—& you were Gone.


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It was too soon.

Sometimes I wonder what I would say if I had one more year, one more month, one more minute, one more moment.

Even a second more, just to spend with you.

One more something to hug you tight, to let me rest my head on your shoulder—one more tiny, eye-blinking flash to look at you for the last time.

There is no instruction manual for grief. No to-do lists. No handbook describing what the days, weeks, and months following a parent passing away can ever teach you.

You go through each day, putting one foot in front of the other, most days on auto-pilot to get somewhat of a sense that you are still alive. You’ll forget the basic things, like to hydrate, to eat food; some days you’ll forget if you have even had clean water run over your body.

The quiet moments are the hardest. When all your mind can do is play back a video recording of all the things you remember about them. Their smile, laugh, the way they said certain things, the phrases they used. You’ll look to your phone to check for missed calls, text messages, voice mails. Anything, to hear the sound of them again.

You’ll do a double take every time you’re walking in the street because you’ll see a stranger with a strange sense of familiarity. You’ll visit the places where you went together, just to feel some kind of closeness. You’ll spray his cologne on your pillow and sleep in his old T-shirt that he once let you borrow.

Nothing will ever come close to being in arm’s distance of them, taking the cup of tea from their hand, or a kiss on the forehead goodnight as you take yourself off to bed.

I blinked. I blinked, and you were gone.

Maybe I was lucky, maybe I was blessed by the heavens that I didn’t have to watch you suffer for months on end. That I didn’t have to watch you slowly deteriorate over time. Maybe I just tell myself that your heart was too big for this world and nothing could save you, no matter how much I wished or how much I tried.

I’ll forever miss the milestones that we now have to endure without you. Birthdays, Christmas, and Father’s Day. All the milestones that bring the feelings of celebration, joy, and complete happiness are somewhat overshadowed by your missing presence.

But if anything, you have taught me that those are now moments to be cherished forever, to hold the hugs a little tighter, to remind the people in your world that you love them. Making every moment of our life here, in this time and place, count.

And out of all of the things this world has to offer, I know that being your daughter was the best damn thing to ever happen. You taught me so much about kindness, giving, showing up, and, most importantly, love. Your DNA is half of my make-up.

I’ll take all of these things and share them with others. I’ll leave my mark and keep your legacy light burning bright.

You loved me for who I was, and who I was becoming.

And I know that a heart that has been broken is a heart that has been loved.

And I know that I was loved by you.


author: Shauna McCrohan

Image: @_minimalista on Instagram

Image: @elephantjournal on Instagram

Editor: Kelsey Michal

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Dechen Dorji Aug 21, 2019 6:38am

beautifully written and I get you been down that path thank you for sharing

jacquierhodd Aug 11, 2019 1:18pm

This is so beautifully written. Inspired by your words to take my broken and use it as light. xo.

johannalynn3 Aug 7, 2019 4:55am

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts Shauna. I am so sorry for the loss of your parent.
I have recently lost my mother who died very suddenly ( it’s been six months) but you have written what was and is sometimes hard to put into words. I just listened to her voice in a message I have saved. I am turning corners but they are always with us in our hearts. Blessings to you as you continue navigating this new way of life.

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Shauna McCrohan

Shauna McCrohan is a 20-something-year-old currently residing in Melbourne, Australia. She is a Nurse who is passionate about helping others, young people, mental health and just being a kind human. Writing is an outlet for her that let’s her express her creativity, vulnerability and her story.