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Image / Living / Culture

Shay Mitchell’s musings on life and death are a beautiful tribute to those we’ve lost 


By Sarah Finnan
08th Feb 2022

@shaymitchell

Shay Mitchell’s musings on life and death are a beautiful tribute to those we’ve lost 

The ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star confirmed she’s pregnant with her second child on social media last night, just one week after the loss of her beloved grandmother. 

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy. We try to lessen our sorrow by focusing on the good times, but death is a stark reminder of how transient life is and that’s always tough to come to terms with. 

Recently mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother, actress Shay Mitchell is, unfortunately, all too familiar with the gut-wrenching grips of grief. It’s not something she’s been suffering through in silence though. Sharing a gorgeous tribute to her lovely “gram” on Instagram, Mitchell admitted that the day she passed was “one of the hardest things” she’s ever had to go through. 

“She was and will forever be my best friend. From the imaginary games she would play with me when I was little to picking me up from high school because I was being bullied, to keeping scrapbooks of every article and magazine cover I have ever been in, she was my #1 cheerleader. My heart is broken,” she wrote. 

 

Grateful that her daughter, Atlas, got to meet her and that they had so many incredible moments together as a family over the years, Shay added that “it’s hard to say that this will ever get easier because right now the pain I feel is excruciating.” 

“A part of me wants to pretend like everything is the same and that I’ve just gone a few days without FaceTiming her. The reality is too much for me right now. Because I have always shared her with the world I felt like I also needed to share the experience I am going through now which is trying to celebrate her life and the memories we have had with smiles in between the grieving,” she continued. 

Encouraging people to call their own grandparents just to say hi, the actress concluded the post with a heartfelt “I love you Gram”. 

Just one week later and Mitchell confirmed that she’s pregnant with her second child. Overcome with joy, but still in the depths of despair over the loss of her grandmother, it’s been a very difficult time for the You star, who pondered that it’s all part of the human experience. 

“Saying goodbye to a loved one while simultaneously experiencing the joy of welcoming another into this world is the great cycle of life. It is also my most challenging season to date,” she shared on social media last night. “I can’t help but think this was the universe’s plan all along, knowing I would need otherworldly joy to cushion the blow of losing one of the most important people in my life.”

“Yet, this is proof that love, life and loss can profoundly exist all at the same time. Gram, I miss you every day. Little one, we are so excited to meet you. I breathe a sigh of peace knowing you two are already connected in such a cosmic way.”

Being pregnant again is actually an especially important milestone for Mitchell who opened up about a previous miscarriage back in 2018. Another “extremely difficult” period of her life, she talked about what that experience was like on her YouTube series Almost Ready, revealing that she was “completely blindsided by it”. 

“We all have to deal with various struggles and challenges in life. And sometimes it’s easier to only showcase the good times on social media, which is what leads so many people to criticise it for its lack of authenticity.,” she wrote on social media at the time.  “Having so many people follow me on Instagram and read my posts is both incredibly humbling and hugely uplifting. The support and affection that so many of you show me lifts me up during even my darkest days, one of which happened last year after I miscarried and lost the child of my hopes and dreams.

“In the spirit of the new year, I think that we need to remember that we are all on this journey together – in good times and in bad – and to remind ourselves that we seldom really know or understand the struggles and hardships that other people are going through.”

Mitchell’s musings on life, death, love and loss are a beautiful reminder that there’s truth in the old adage: there really is beauty in pain. Sure, you may not be able to see that at the time, when your heart feels so heavy that you’re sure it must be broken, but time, perspective and a little gratitude usually help to reframe things – if even just momentarily.