As the years go by, I shall count them all.
Today you would be 34. Thirty-four.
When your spouse dies you are a widow. When your parent dies you are an orphan.
Nothing prepares you for this loss; nothing comes close to losing your child at any age—nothing.
There is no timeline for grief.
There is no bottom to grief.
There is no end to the sadness.
I miss you more now than ever.
I miss our long talks.
I had never met someone like you. I remember you taking off your jacket more than once and giving it to someone in need. I would say, “You can’t just do that! Who does that?!”
You never cared about my nagging though, you just smiled gently, “It’s just a jacket, Mom.” And I never could stay upset at you. Ahh, what I would give for an argument like that again.
I always thought you were an angel, and then you became one.
I didn’t have enough time with you. Time—people take it so for granted.
You know, I was so mad. So angry. At myself, at everyone, and even at you. I went through the stages of grief several times. When I came to acceptance, I got mad again. I cried again.
And whenever I cried, I thought, how much tears can I have? When is enough? All the typical questions: When is it going to stop hurting? When does the suffering stop?
But it doesn’t. It is always there in some way. Deep and almost indescribable. Without twisting, I can freely say that I have a diploma in pain. And while I don’t want to be ungrateful for this life lesson, if I hear one more time: “Everything happens for a reason,” or “Who knows why,” or “It’ll pass. You just need time,” or “You don’t look like…” (to which I respond, “Is there a certain way a grieving mother is supposed to look?), I think I’m going to f*ckin’ scream.
No, I’m not. I don’t blame them. I forgive them. Grief is so personal.
I’ve stopped questioning my blessings each time I feel you, Anita. Even though the breeze that you create makes me sadly smile and drop a silent tear into a sea of love, and even though I think of so many memories and mourn the memories that could’ve happened, I’ve learned that my tears now are different. I didn’t know they could be, but I feel them deeply, especially toward my uterus.
A mother is not supposed to bury her child. It’s going to take me a lifetime to recover. It’s only been nine years, but I’m getting there, dusting my knees when I fall, and forgiving myself and others.
Letting go. Giving love.
Finding purpose is the secret of development and hope is the power for recovery.
I love you, Anita. You are my happy dream, my puffy clouds, and my desire to heal.