What is YNN?
YNN is a community of bereaved young adults:
- Sharing their personal journeys and speaking out about the genuine truths of grief and loss, from the neglected perspective of a young adult.
- Empowering each other to embrace life after loss.
- Normalising conversations about death and loss.
- Ensuring that no young adult feels alone in their grief.
Why I created YNN?
Facing the death of a loved one is undoubtedly one of life’s most challenging and traumatic experiences, at any age.
However, for a young adult, facing the pressures of growing up and independently mapping out their future, losing a significant someone is nothing short of earth shattering, causing them to undermine their identity, life purpose and most importantly their self-belief, so much so that they are unlikely to ever be the same person again.
When I lost my mama to cancer aged 20, I was the only one out of my circle of friends to have experienced such a monumental loss. Without a support network of other young adults who had faced similar adversities, I had no outlet for my grief. Fearing alienation from the people around me, I felt that had no option but to suppress my feelings and grieve in solitude.
The sad reality is that my experience is not a unique one.
YNN provides what has long been absent in our society: a safe outlet for bereaved young adults to open up about their experiences of loss and find comfort in the experiences of others.
Let’s lay the ground work for a world where there is ample space for open conversation on loss and grief, so that no young adult will ever have to suffer in silence again.
Who am I?
I am Meera, a London-dwelling thirty something wordsmith and lover of nature, home cooking and my two four-legged friends.
Losing my mother at such a young age was nothing short of earth shattering. She was my anchor, my sanctuary and my guiding force. She dedicated her adult life to raising my sister and I and ensuring we had most loving and nurturing childhood.
The ovarian cancer diagnosis in December 2006 arrived suddenly and unexpectedly, like a slap in the face. Oh the irony of it all. Her relentless toil of guiding two strong willed children into young adults was soon to be rewarded with an empty house and finally the time and energy to enjoy an early but deserving retirement with my father. There was talk of courses at the local university and even winters spent in warmer climates. But alas, along came cancer.
The months that followed were a whirlwind of treatments, nutritional supplements and cold hard disappointment. As the disease took hold I watched my vivacious and courageous mother fade away into a soulless body. Towards the end of her life, she had little energy for speech or expression so I spent many hours lying on the bed next to her, staring into her eyes and taking in all of her rapidly draining warmth.
My beautiful mother died at home a mere three months after her diagnosis. With her demise, the secure family unit she had single handedly built came crumbling down.
Over the last 11 years I have experienced it all. Anger, denial, suppressing guilt, anxiety, all consuming sadness, guilt, resentment, jealousy, abandonment, PTSD, trauma, depression and the inability to feel anything at all.
It has taken immense courage and dedication to come to terms with the person I became after she died, but I am now in a place of stability, gratitude and love. Whilst my mother’s death broke me, through grieving for her, I learnt the true meaning of life and love.