I know it’s been a while since I’ve written to you, if I’m honest with myself I somewhat hate doing this because I know that you’ll never read it. However, this is cathartic and the benefits outweigh the pain.
I really fucking miss you. I can hardly fathom that it’s been almost eighteen years since I last saw you, heard your voice, or had one of your amazing hugs. The world still rotates, and life continues but sometimes I feel like I’m in a vacuum–a place where time is frozen and I am constantly living in the days following your death, feeling the immense ache and emptiness that you left. The pain is unbearable, the void insatiable.
Mom, there are days where I struggle just to function, there are days when I am so angry that you’re not here to share in my life, there are days when I long to hear your laugh, there are days when I need one of your talks, there are days when I just want to see you walk through the door and tell me that I’m going to be okay–these days are endless. The void that resides in my heart will forever be there, it is unfillable. Mom I want so much to hear you say “I’m proud of you” or “Keep going.”
I’m often caught in the tempest of what it would be like if you were still here. How different my life would have been or how my choices would be different. I can’t truly be happy on monumental occasions because you’re not there. Prom, High School Graduation, First day of College, College Graduation….all of these things, though happy in general, was tempered by sadness and the void of you not being there. I can’t deny the jealousy that I have over other women having their moms. I get so, so angry when they complain about stupid, insignificant things that they do. I want to scream “Do you know what it’s like to NOT have that?!”
Mom, you were the anchor of my family, and though I have found my bearings, there are still times when I feel adrift and lost because you’re not there to guide me. I don’t want the empty promises of “I’ll see you again,” “She’s always there,” or “She’s watching over you,” they don’t cure the ache that I feel. I want you here beside me, I want you giving me a hard time over a stupid mistake, I want you on my ass because I’m slacking in my work, I want you to tell me how you managed such an unholy mess of a child, I want your encouragement, your wisdom, your love, your understanding, I can’t get that from a picture. I can’t get that from a gravesite. I can’t get that from memories.
I was thirteen when you died, and now at thirty, I find myself still struggling with the trauma of your loss. I will never get over it, I will never have this void in my heart filled. I know that the pain lessens, and the void quiets, I’d be a fool to say that it hasn’t, but it’s hard to remember that on your birthday, and on today–the day you died. The pain comes back like a roaring tsunami, destroying the plains of my heart, and causing havoc in my mind. Every year, I try to ask off from work or skip school (though that’s not applicable anymore). I don’t want to be around people, not even those closest to me, I know that’s not right nor is it healthy–but sometimes the pain is just too much and I can’t handle other people’s attempts to comfort or console me. For whatever reason I go out to these destroyed plains of my heart alone, surveying the damage and screaming at the top of my lungs in agony. As I’ve gotten older, I have somewhat left those unhealthy habits behind but they still surface every now and then.
The memories of your time in the hospital still plague me, I sometimes still hear those damned beeping machines, and smell the antiseptic. I remember when I came to your bedside and you smiled, you smiled even though you were in so, so much pain…
I wished with every ounce of will in me that this was a nightmare and I was going to wake up. I sometimes still wish it was a nightmare, that I would wake up and you’d be in the kitchen making breakfast like you always have.
Mom, I hope that you’re proud of me. I hope that I haven’t screwed up too much and that maybe, just maybe I’ll get to the point where I’m not dancing from place to place or job to job. I know that if you were here things would be different, but you’re not and I have to somehow figure out how to make life work.
I want you to know that, while I still struggle with your absence, I am okay. I am slowly learning to manage my life without you, I’m sure it’ll be something that I will never master and will always struggle with until the day I die but at least I know that it is manageable. I love you. I am so sorry it took me so long to realize the depth of your love and sacrifices. I suppose I never truly will.
I suppose I should wrap this letter up. Mom, I miss you. I will always miss you, but I want you to know that I won’t let the past define or control me as I have. I want you to know that I am stronger, though sometimes I am weakened on days like this. You will always be in my heart, soul, and on my mind.
I love you, I love you so much. I hope that you’re proud.