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Woman shares five things to ask your parent following her own mum's unexpected death

Jess Hardiman

Published 
| Last updated 

A woman has shared five things you should ask your parent before it’s too late, following her own mum’s unexpected death.

Courtney Lopez Gervais, 33, was left with unresolved business after her mum Kathy Medrow died two years ago from melanoma, aged just 50 at the time.

Since her mother’s untimely death, she has now come up with five things you should ask a parent – now, before you lose your chance.

Sharing the list in an Instagram video, Courtney explained: “Some of you have told me that you can’t relate to my story - the part where I lost my mom unexpectedly at the age of 50 - but that you’ve taken my story as an opportunity to love and appreciate your mom and the time you have with her even more.

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“I had a dream that I got a second chance, this time I knew she wasn’t going to make it and I made a list of the things I wanted from her (hence this video).”

The mum of two added: “I don’t want one single person to miss out on documenting these things. I promise you, they’ll mean a lot one day.”

Courtney Lopez Gervais shared five things to ask your mum or dad for. Credit: Instagram/@courtneylopezgervais
Courtney Lopez Gervais shared five things to ask your mum or dad for. Credit: Instagram/@courtneylopezgervais

Courtney’s list of five things to ask your mum for ranged from the simple, like your child’s name written in her handwriting, to the poignant, such as an anecdote from her childhood.

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Here’s her list:

1. Your child or children’s name in your mum’s handwriting.

2. A letter from your mum to your child or children, telling them what she loves most about them and what she hopes for their future.

3. Your mum’s favourite childhood memory.

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4. Your mum’s favourite memory from your childhood.

5. What she wants to leave to them, and why it’s important to her.

In the caption, Courtney continued: “I wanted a tattoo of my daughter’s name in my mom’s handwriting, so I asked her for it. I also had on my list, what she loved most about Ezra Rose and what she hoped for her future.

“Even if your mom is young, you expect to have her around for a long time - ASK! It’s okay if you ask again in 5 years (hopefully you have the time!) and she can write about what she loves most about them then too.

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“I don’t know what my mom’s favorite childhood memory was, and I wish I did. Ask your mom.

“You’ll want to remember this. I also don’t know what my mom’s favorite memory was from my childhood. I know she was proud of me, but I wish I knew which EXACT moments were her favorite. When her heart swelled with joy like mine does for my children.

“And lastly, what she wants to leave to them (a piece of jewelry, a special dish, custom art) and why it’s important to her.

“Ezra Rose and Beau will have things of my mom’s and I can tell them stories, but I wish they were HER stories to go along with them.”

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Courtney believes you should ask your parents for their favourite memory from your childhood. Credit: Instagram/@courtneylopezgervais
Courtney believes you should ask your parents for their favourite memory from your childhood. Credit: Instagram/@courtneylopezgervais

Speaking to Good Morning America, Courtney said the five ideas came to her in a dream after her mum's death.

"In my dream this time, I knew that she wasn't going to make it and I accepted that,” she recalled.

“And so, I was in a hurry writing, making a list of all the things I wanted from her before it was her time.”

She said she and her mum were ‘very close’, but after looking back she realised there were still certain details that she’d have loved to share with her two-year-old daughter, nine-month-old son and stepdaughter.

"I wish I would have spent more time being inquisitive about her and her childhood," she said.

"She was just so interested in me and supporting me and being my biggest cheerleader. I wish that I just would have spent more time learning truly about who she was and what made her the way that she [was]."

Since posting the video, Courtney said she has been ‘blown away’ by the response.

She added: "One person commented and said that she has stage four terminal cancer, which is ultimately what my mom had, but in her message, she said, 'It's treatable but not curable and essentially, thanks to this video, you've inspired me to leave some of these things for my children and grandchildren.'

"I was so touched by that response and that's just so beautiful to me because that's exactly what I want people to be able to do - because you don't really know what you're going to want or miss until it happens."

Topics: Life, Real Life, Parenting

Jess Hardiman
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