January 29, 2015

There is Always a Plan: on Losing my Mami.


I am 23 and no longer have my mother.

She passed away five months ago. She lost her long fight with cancer; I know in my heart that she is better now. No more doctors’ appointments, no more medical terms none of us understands, no more suffering. Just love, serenity, warmth, and lots of smiles.

My best friend’s father told me that mothers never die and I want to believe it. But there are so many things I want to share with her and can’t. I talk to her all the time and update her with my life, but it is never the same. What I need right now is for her to hug me, run her fingers through my hair and sing to me until I fall asleep, like she used to. And then maybe when I wake up everything will be okay again.

I feel like I have grown up all of a sudden and I no longer have the patience for all the things and the people in my life anymore. I feel like I want to run away, hide, grieve and come back again when I am ready. But if I am never ready?

Grief, sadness and loss can suck us in and never let go. It is up to us to learn how to live again, to find comfort in knowing that loved ones who have passed away are right here for us all the time. We just have to communicate.

It is a long process of crying in traffic, dancing at weddings, crying at work, staring at the sea, wearing her clothes, talking to her friends, looking at old pictures, meltdowns at funerals, drawing, buying flowers. A roller-coaster ride.

There is a huge plan in which we are all a part. Some of us leave early and some carry on, have to carry on. I have no choice now but to trust in that plan: that everything happens for a reason, at the right time.

My mother will not be at my wedding, or get to meet her grandchildren. But I will tell them all about her and her beautiful life and strength.

Things will always fall into place.

I found a note she wrote before passing away. It said death can be something nice. The secret of happiness, I think, is acceptance.

So, I am trying to accept and adapt. For you, Mami, always!


Author:  Basma El Rashidi

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Lee Haywood/Flickr

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