There was a time in my life when I really felt like I was the queen of the world. I had an incredible job that gave me six figures every year. I found an amazing group of friends who always had my back even if I did not ask. Of course, I had parents who never left my side and always pushed me to be the best person that I could ever be.
Then, one evening, I got a call from a neighbor of all people.
I said, “Hi, how did you get my number?”
“Your parents give it to me a while ago. They instructed me to call you if there was an emergency. And… there is an emergency,” the neighbor replied shakily.
I almost wanted to yell at the neighbor and tell them to stop kidding around. However, in fear of their words being true, I decided to jump out of bed and go to my parents’ house. I could not drive out of nervousness, so I had an Uber driver bring me to their place.
Before the car rounded the corner and reached my parents’ street, though, I could see the billowing smoke where I knew my parents’ house stood. It made everything so real so fast and pushed me to believe that the neighbor was pranking me.
My parents were the most important people in my life, and I could never hug them or see them became some punk chose to set their house on fire for fun. Hands down; it was the most cruel joke of all time.
Going To Grief Counseling
Despite my parents’ sudden deaths, they were the most prepared people that I knew when it came to dying. They told me that they already finished their last will and testament when they were only in their thirties. At 40, my mom and dad even bought two plots at the nearby graveyard to ensure that they would be together even in death.
It makes me tear up as I write this now, but exactly a week after my parents’ deaths, I received an email from a grief counselor, telling me that my parents had their lawyer contact her as a part of their post-mortem plan so that she could help me handle their passing. It was safe to say that neither of them thought of dying at the same time, but it worked. It was so like my parents to do that – to think ahead of what I would need before I even needed them.
I did what my parents wanted me to do. I went to grief counseling for the first consultation and realized that the counselor was really super sympathetic about my current ordeal. She said she did not want to overstep and make me feel like I needed to heal at her pace, which I genuinely admired at that moment.
Unfortunately, after a couple of months of being in counseling, I did not feel like I was getting any better. It could be because the counselor was too nice or too easygoing – I did not know – but it was not working for me.
The first thing that crossed my mind was that grief counseling was not my cup of tea. But when I got to talk to my other friends, they said it was possible that it was the grief counselor that was not working for me. So, I decided to look for another one. I presumed that my parents would be okay with whoever I chose as my new cancer as long as I got counseling.
Although I was a total noob when it came to counseling in general, I was quick realize the difference between a nice counselor and someone who genuinely understood you.
I found Dr. Cruz after a few months of going through different counseling professionals. I was starting to get depressed at that point, but a work friend recommended him to me, so I gave it a shot.
During the initial consultation, I was prepared to give a long speech about what I was going through. However, Dr. Cruz was like, “We won’t take the typical route today. Instead, please tell me about your parents.”
It was so simple. It was not even an order but a request. And I began telling the counselor the best things I remembered and missed the most about my mom and dad. What’s amazing was that I was doing most of the talking, but the counselor could get the conversation going with small nods and smiles. I could have gone on for an entire day if Dr. Cruz’s secretary did not knock to inform him that his next client already arrived.
Though it was a little overdue, it was the beginning of my healing process.
I found it challenging to move on even if I had a grief counselor by my side soon after my parents’ burial because she was not the most suitable one for one. When I finally met my match, letting go became easier than expected.