The realisation of losing my mother never really came… Especially the first weeks/months without her felt as if she was on vacation. I have 2 older brothers and one lives at his own place in Amsterdam, the other one was studying in America when we lost our mom. The older one did everthing he could to get me, dad and moms remains back home safely. My brother flew back from the United States as quickly as he could, the world as we knew it had been changed forever.
Because of the vacation the two girls from Sweden booked a flight and came to the Netherlands to visit me and to meet my brothers. By then Dad was in the hospital in Aachen, Germany. We took them to visit and my dad was thanking them for everything they had done for me. This overlapped with my first week of school and I decided to get it over with and went the second day after the break.
People stared shamelessly at me when I was walking through the school, because I was the girl that was in the earthquake and had lost her mother because of it. My classmates were amazing and helped me as much as they could; as much as I would let them. Because the earthquake, the consequences and the loss of mom was so fresh in everyones mind, a lot of people offered to help me and dad. Dad was in a wheelchair for quite a while and had to built up his strength. People brought us groceries and helped us settle in.
Dad could hardly cook, just knew the basics of the washing machine and I…. Well, let’s say I knew how to cook spaghetti and how to push the on-button on the washing machine but that was about it. We both had to learn how to do everything without the help from my mom. My brother decided to quit the programm in the States and moved back in the house for a couple of months. He got a job and the juggling of the house hold started.
I quickly realised that the best thing to do was; to do the groceries together and check when everyone would be home for the dinner but the cleaning, the washing and the ironing; we all did for ourselves. My dad got a help for the big cleaning of the house once a week.
In the weeks following, we had to make decisions for moms funeral and the biggest wave of tears came on the day that they told us that moms remains were preserved very well and that we could see her one last time if we wanted to…. You would think that the realisation of losing your mother would come when you see her for the final time or when you say goodbye at her funeral…. But that never completely happened. I cried my eyes out at her funeral… For nights I cried in my bedroom, quit enough so I wouldn’t wake someone. But till this day I kind of still feels like a dream, a very weird and kind of bad one from which I could wake any moment to find my mom waiting downstairs for me.