How my love of music helped me cope when my mother was dying and after her death

By Daniel Molyneaux, London-based dancehall/R&B artist

I would say that being creative can definitely help. I'm not going to say that it will totally eradicate the pain of what you are going through, but it can make life just a little bit more enjoyable.

My mum raised me as a single parent and she was my everything. It was just me and her in our house until she married when I was in secondary school so she was all I knew for the majority of my childhood - I was very attached to her.  When I was 14, she was diagnosed with cancer and she sadly passed away the next year. 

My mum's death has impacted me majorly. I was clinically diagnosed with depression following  her death and even to this day have my down days. I sit there sometimes and think 'Why me? Why her? Have I been cursed or something?' and it can be really overwhelming.

I was always into music and performing arts as a child but during the period of my mum's slow deterioration, music really provided some solace for me. I didn't deliberately choose music as a way to deal with pain, I just recorded one song, then recorded another one and so on and then slowly found joy in the process amidst what I was going through at home. 

The  happiness I got and still get whilst creating music was indescribable and I got addicted to it. There was a studio in my school,  so I would go there every day after the day had done before I went home. It really pained me watching my mum deteriorate but she encouraged me to go to the studio. 

To other young people who are grieving, I would say that being creative can definitely help. I'm not going to say that it will totally eradicate the pain of what you are going through, but it can make life just a little bit more enjoyable. To this day, making music and being creative helps me with my mental health.