They say your life will flash before your eyes. I’m here to tell you that they weren’t lying: it really will.
When I woke up one morning and found my mother dead in her bed, that’s precisely what happened.
Immediately, my mind began jumping as fast as lightning through every moment I’ve ever shared with her, one after another after another, appearing almost simultaneously. Everything from sitting in bed with her at night as a 4-year-old kid and reading books together, to riding down the street bumping my MF Doom music and seeing her giggling at his every punchline, to staying up til 4 in the morning together watching shows about aliens and discussing our theories, to me crying in her arms as a grown ass man because I felt like I didn’t want to live anymore.
It’s like your mind is desperately trying to catch up with the fact that you never got to wrap things up with each other, that you never got to officially say goodbye and prepare for a life without each other, so it tries to immediately simulate what that experience would have been like all in one moment.
She was my best friend, my soulmate, my everything, and then, out of nowhere, she’s gone forever. My most immediate realization was the soul-crushing reality that “I’m never gonna be able to talk to my mom again…” I just couldn’t stop replaying those words in my head, over and over and over. It was the worst feeling I could ever imagine.
There’s something sacredly primal about your connection with the one who birthed you, the one who nurtured you as an infant. This is the person that resides within the deepest place of your heart, at your most fragile vulnerability. The feeling of losing that person forever is an earth-shattering eruption within the abyss of your soul, and its echoes reverberate out into every fiber of your psychological being. Not a single part of you is left untouched.
There’s no denying it: the experience has broken me irreversibly.
Now, every time somebody grows close to me, I’m terrified of losing them. I’m scared of allowing myself to be as emotionally vulnerable as I once was, and having the same feeling of unexpected abandonment when they inevitably leave me. I’m scared of allowing myself to feel truly loved and emotionally at peace, just to have it all taken away from me again.
After losing the one person I ever felt truly understood me, I’m scared that I’ll never feel understood ever again. I’m scared that I’ll never truly be cared for again like she cared for me. Who else will truly understand the horrors that I’ve been through in my life like the person who suffered through them with me every step of the way? Will anyone ever believe in me the way she believed in me; with such confidence and pride and certainty? Who else will be a preacher of my brilliance like she was?
I have so much anxiety now over how I’m gonna react to the eventual deaths of the people in my life that I still care so much about. Will it be easier this time, or will the accumulation of these experiences bring me closer and closer to the edge? How am I gonna handle it when my dog dies? When my best friends die?
I’m scared of sinking into an abyss that I can’t climb back out of. I’m scared that this experience has made me so fragile and so damaged that I’m one more tragedy away from perishing completely.