Unfinished business: Living out our shared dream, even though mama is no longer with us

No one ever told me that losing a loved one would gift me with so many different emotions to experience. At times I thought I would break, but turns out, each of these brought me emotional growth and peace.

Pain, grief, anger, guilt, joy, gratitude – were just some of the many feelings I’ve worked through in the years since my mother Lupita’s passing.

Pain and grief – because I was losing my mama when I needed her the most, she passed at the age of 52, less than a year, after I completed undergrad and was about to begin my professional career. Anger – because there was nothing I could do to change the situation, or bring her back. Guilt – because of the many dreams she and I dreamed up together, that I knew would never be. Joy and gratitude – while reliving her life’s work, celebrating all the heartfelt memories while honoring her legacy – by living up to my own in a determined way.

Choosing to embrace the torch of entrepreneurship was not a decision I made lightly. After all, it was my mom who first inspired me. And – this was supposed to be OUR small business, she and I, both building it up, together as a team.

Mami Lupita was quite the visionary. I would listen in amazement, to all her creative ideas and personal stories as we both flipped through numerous fashion magazines cutting out all types of pictures and colorful clippings, spreading them out all over our living room floor (before a Pinterest board was even a thing). She confided so much me in, and she too, was as much older-wiser-big-sister, as she was my dedicated mother.

But the creator had different plans for her. Laying my own mother to rest before my grandparents was truly debilitating. Thankfully, as I’ve continue my personal healing journey; I have slowly been coming to terms with this reality, and what it means for me and my life ahead.

Sooo…you can imagine how ‘in my head’ I’ve been about this whole launching my own business ‘thing’. I get caught up in all the mechanics, and really long for her gentle voice and warm embrace, reminding me that everything will turn out just great.

Launching Nubia Natalie has been just as much about kicking off something completely unfamiliar and new, but also, putting to rest the idea that mom’s sudden passing, left us with unfinished business – both literally and figuratively.

On this Day of the Dead, I acknowledge my mami Lupita for all the way she’s contributed to and inspired me, both in life and in death:

I honor your life mami,  and celebrate you and your legacy. Look at all we’ve created. It’s all thanks to you and your blessings from the heavens.

Thank you for reminding me to own my voice and keep sharing our shine in all the things my sister and I do. I miss you, and look forward to the day we can be reunited. Te quiero mucho.



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NATALIE ARRIBENO