Finding A Support System During A Time Of Transition And Loss

Two years ago in May, I was preparing myself for one of the hardest transitions of my young adult life. Three weeks away from graduating college, I was in a slight panic mode that I was about to be joining “the real world.”  A terrifying prospect for a 22-year-old, but one that I knew I could conquer with my mom (my biggest supporter) by my side.

Until she wasn’t there.

That same month my mom died unexpectedly, and just like that, my entire world crashed around me.  Suddenly, a major part of my much-needed support system was gone. What was already a scary time for me suddenly became this giant obstacle that I wasn’t sure I could overcome.

I should have turned to friends and family for support and comfort, but I couldn’t – I was scared. I didn’t want to break down in front of anyone, and I didn’t want anyone to think I wasn’t capable of being an adult. So I kept it all inside. That turned out to be one of my biggest mistakes.

All those encouraging words that would have come from my mom turned negative when I tried to recite them to myself, and I started believing that I was no good at my job, wouldn’t be able to take care of myself, and had no concept of what it was actually like to live responsibly.

The first six months after my mom’s death was a very negative place for me. I was sad and lonely, and kept everything to myself…until finally I opened up to someone. And suddenly that support system that I thought no longer existed was there in full force. I was just too scared of my own emotions to see it, but thank goodness I did because those “you can’t do it” sayings in my head soon turned into “yes you can!” and once again I began to see that person that my mom, friends and family always saw.

No matter what you are going through in your life, having a support system is crucial, but not everyone is brave enough to use it (look at me). That’s why an app like HeartStories is so important – it creates a safe place for you to lean on friends and family without fear of over sharing. I seriously, wish that HeartStories was around two years ago – maybe I would have been quicker to stop that negative soundtrack playing in my head.

Me and my mom on vacation in Greece (one of the last trips we took together)

One of the last trips my mom & I took together in Greece, Summer 2010


  1. Rachael,

    You’ve been through a rough two years. I can’t even imagine the grief of this loss for you.

    Thank you for opening your heart even wider to share your story with our community. It is a selfless and generous gift that encourages the rest of us. We’re grateful.

    I can relate to staying closed in during a time of loss and your story reminds me again, why we are all working so hard to bring this app to market. We need each other, especially when we don’t feel comfortable enough to admit it.

    Would someone at INK please hug this girl for me?!?

Leave a Reply

More Blog Posts
to Love ...