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  • Writer's pictureSharon Koay

Is it ok to not be ok?

I am not ok. I haven't been ok since Joshua's death 4 months ago.

I have been unable to share my thoughts and feelings with family and friends, nor a counsellor in the 3 grief therapy sessions I attended, and have taken to writing on my blog to express my pain and sorrow.

However, someone commented last week to "Please. Stop. Sharing. If you choose to dwell in self-pity. You are not the only mother who lost a son."

I don't think "self-pity" is what I'm feeling though. I have been diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since losing Joshua. I am not choosing to be depressed. Depression isn't a feeling, it's a mental condition.

I explained this, but the person went on to say "You should stop sharing if you want to continue to dwell in self-pity or stay depressed. How long you stay depressed depends on your decision and your will to live." Where it hurt a little was when the person said "I personally think that is a very irresponsible statement made to yourself, to your son and to others" in reference to my blog that I posted on Mother's Day two weeks ago.

I did choose to get better by seeing a psychiatrist, and am on medication so that I can be as "responsible" a mother as I can to Caleb, and I really am trying to do the best I can in my condition. Even though I do not agree with many other statements the person made, I do respect his/her view that my blog may do more harm than good to others in similar situations, so I will stop sharing my dark thoughts and feelings online. I apologise to those who have been offended or were negatively affected by my writings.

My support group has assured me that my feelings are valid, but those who have not gone through what we have, will not understand. Many would want to read only of positive and inspirational stories, but for those hurting, sometimes we just need to know that it is ok to not be ok. We need to know that our feelings of despair are not frivolous.

It is especially hard to be ok on the "first" of occasions without Joshua - like my first Mother's Day without him recently. Caleb turns 18 in a couple of weeks. This would be his first birthday without Joshua. The last 4 months without Joshua haven't only been hard for me, but for Caleb too, with the magnitude of the emptiness in our lives being so apparent and painful in everything we do and see daily. We have decided to go away for his birthday. For the first time ever, I do not have a detailed plan and itinerary on exactly where to go or what to do. We are just going away, not to forget Joshua - we'll never do that. We just need to get out of this "life" where the all-consuming void is overwhelming, but we will be taking Joshua with us in our hearts.

I have created a YouTube channel in memory of Joshua. I will be updating our whereabouts here. Follow us by subscribing to the channel: 

Always loved, never forgotten, forever missed.

Joshua Tan Peng Boon

January 1, 2005 - January 25, 2024

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1 Comment

Jun 11

Girl, your troubles are yours in ownership and what you choose to do with it, do not reside in anyone's hands. You'll be finer as days goes, take the positive in that person's comments, at least for a few minutes there, he/she took your mind off your grief to digest his/her point, be that as it may, learn to cope, to overcome these lil pebbles, the big rock is Caleb. You're going to be just fine. When you feeling better and in KL, lets catch up, if you still remember me la :-)

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