I never thought I would even be able to do this, to talk about this, to remember the day my life changed FOREVER without feeling like it was happening all over again, without being suffocated by darkness, without being so angry and confused. I was only 13 and my mother was my everything. She was my Mother, my Father, my best friend, caretaker, provider and so much more. We had such a strong relationship even with me being the worst child she had. No seriously, If the roles were reversed I would have sent me away to boot-camp when I was 10 but she showed such patience with me. She was only 50 years old, she wasn't sick, at least not that we knew of. She worked everyday as a nurse. She lived her life to help others live, literally. I will never forget this day as long as I live. I remember exactly what I was wearing and I could recall the exact way my heart felt when it shattered in my chest when the priest at the hospital looked at my siblings and I and said "They did all they could do but she didn't make it." I promise you the universe stopped at that moment. I lost it. Not instantly, but slowly. I was still digesting the fact that the woman who was responsible for my existence and current life was no longer living. They asked my siblings and I if we wanted to see her. We said yes. I remember looking at her screaming "DO SOMETHING" and no one could. I was angry that no one tried. I heard of so many stories of people being raised from the dead. Why wasn't anyone praying? Why couldn't I pray? Why did she have to leave me here? If I can be honest, it's still hard for me to grasp that. I still remember how she looked. No child should ever see their parent lifeless. Pain like that makes you retreat. Pain like that makes you turn inward. Pain like that changes you. Attempting to explain that pain to someone who hasn't experienced it is like trying to explain colors to a blind person. It's like asking a person who has suffocated to death to come back to life and explain how it felt to have their reality ripped from them. It is impossible. I haven't been the same since and I am sure I never will be. I have learned to take that loss and turn it into endless love. I have taken that pain and I use it as my greatest weapon and as the fuel to the fire that burns within me. I will not let my mothers' legacy die.
I never thought I would be the little girl who had to grow up without a mother let alone the 26 year old woman I am now, still trying to find my way through life without her. "Yo mama jokes" drove a knife through my heart rather than the giggles they were meant to create. I spent years crying myself to sleep. I was living in constant pain. It never went away. I would pray and pray... and pray. No one really talks about losing your mother at a young age. At least no one did with me. I don't know if it was because people didn't know what to say or they just expected me to keep living life like I was okay. Either way, I spent years wishing I died right along with her. I would be lying if I said the pain doesn't feel like a freshly opened wound at times, but I would also be lying if I said part of me hasn't learned to live without her. I think that's it... You never truly "get over it" you just learn to live without them. It feels nearly impossible to live without your mother. I spent years crying myself to sleep at night. I prayed constantly. I buried myself in my Bible and church. I was desperate. I was broken. I was instantly tossed into the turmoil of life and I had no choice but to refuse the pain. This was something I couldn't run from. This was a tragedy I was left to face for the rest of my life. I found comfort in the presence of God and the excruciating pain lead me to a peace and love I have never experienced before in my entire life. It took a VERY long time to reach this point, but I reached it. I didn't give up. I didn't allow the darkness to win. Something kept telling me not to let go, not to end it all and I am SO HAPPY I listened to the still small voice rather than the screaming voice of hopelessness in my ear.
I miss her. It has been 13 years. I have now lived without her for the same amount of time I have lived with her being here. Losing your mother, especially when she was so close to you is a pain that occurs over and over again. You feel the loss at every birthday, every holiday, mother's day is the worst day of the year. There is a empty place in my heart at every performance I have. No one to tell about a date I went on or who would listen and give the advice only a mother could give. You learn to not feel. You turn off responses when people ask you what you're getting your mother for mother's day when it approaches without them even considering that you may not have one. Cause everyone has a mom right? No one fathoms losing the one responsible for your existence. I have learned to discuss her loss with such ease. At first it was because it was rehearsed. I got used to the usual responses but now I can talk about her for the first time since she passed with a smile on my face.
I feel her with me more and more everyday. I hate when people tell me she is looking down on me. It's kind of creepy to be honest. I know people mean well but what helps me be a little more content without her here is that she truly is alive within me. I carry on her legacy. I love people like she did. She opened up our house to everyone no matter what they looked like or where they came from. I grew up with brothers and sisters of all different colors because she helped ANYONE in need with out asking for anything in return. This is why it is so hard for me to understand how people can be selfish at all. How we can hold tight to material things when they can be taken from us at any moment. I watched a woman who was beaten by her husband nearly to death for years run and save my life. I watched her feed the neighborhood and open the doors of her home to children who weren't the same color as her when we all had nothing. She taught me to love. She taught me to fight. She taught me that no matter how broken life can make you you can always rebuild. She taught me that there is love to be found after brokenness. I watched her allow herself to be loved by a man after the father of her children almost ended her life. I wish you all could have met her. You'd like her more than you like me. If I could be HALF of the woman she was I know I will be okay.
Attempting to discuss the greatest loss in my life has been horrifying and much harder than I imagined it would be. There is so much to be said about the most amazing hard working woman I ever have had the honor of knowing. I watched her make everything out of nothing almost literally. I wish I could say more. Honestly I am just coming to terms with this all. I have found a place of stability. I have found peace. I can't say losing her makes any sense but I can say that because I found faith and hope through all of this turmoil that I am okay and I will do whatever I can to make sure others who have been through this loss are okay too. If it's just a hug, I am here. That's all we need sometimes. I have learned to love when it doesn't make sense through losing someone so close to me and experiencing a deep darkness that blurs reality. From facing this loss head on for years it developed a love in me that will never die because I allowed it to. If you have experienced this loss I promise it will get better. You will have days were you will want to cease to exist but I promise if you hold on the sun will shine again and your mother (or any type of parental figure) would want you to be happy and live life with a smile on your face. Let them live on through you. Our souls never die. Our parents can live on through the legacy we create.
Love intensely, no matter how scary it may be.