Every day is a reminder that you’re no longer here.
When I have a funny story to tell, you’re no longer here to listen.
When I have a question about filing my taxes, or how to deal with a grumpy client, or help deciding which shoes I should buy, you’re not here to give me your input.
You’re not here to teach me, or to guide me.
You’re not here to watch me grow, or to help me smile.
You’re not here to celebrate my birthday, or Christmas, or watching my two best friends fall back in love.
You’re not here to help me pick out my wedding gown. You won’t be here to watch me walk down the aisle and you’ll never meet your grandchildren.
You’re not here when I have a bad day. Or when I have a good one.
You’re not here when I have bad news to share.
You’re not here to compliment my garden, or the painting I did of you in your honor.
You’re not here to console me, to hug me, or to tell me I’m acting like a fucking idiot.
You’re not here to tell me when I’m wrong and I’m left trying to figure it out myself.
When I’m scared, you’re no longer here to comfort me. When I find monsters underneath my bed, it’s just a youthful memory of the times that used to be. A time when you were here, and I never in a million years thought you’d leave.
I miss those Sunday mornings when you’d dance beside me near the kitchen counter. I miss the mornings when you rushed me off to school. I miss the talks about boys. I miss the innocence of my childhood when you think your mom will live forever.
Every day is a cold and bitter reminder of what you’re not here to be a part of. Talking to the sky works most days, but not all. When I have a story to tell, you’re still the biggest part of it. When someone asks me how I’m doing, I break down and cry because it’s more honest than saying, “I’m fine.”
People still look at me with sadness in their eyes. People still talk at me like I’m fragile. People still withhold their stories. I hated celebrating Mother’s Day.
I hated waking up this morning and feeling the harsh reminder of another day you’re no longer here. I hated hearing my father tell me Thursday night that he woke up the other morning and tip toed out of the bedroom because he still thought you were sleeping. I hate how his eyes look when he talks to me. I hate how broken he is.
I hate how broken both of us are.
I wish you were, mom, because life without you is an impossible truth to comprehend. I hate that every year moving forward, I’ll think about the anniversary of your death on the 28th, then the reminder of your birthday on the 29th. I hate how every year the date of your death will be two days before my birthday, and three days after Christmas. I hate that some years Thanksgiving will probably fall on it and I wonder what in the world I’ll have to give thanks to.
I hate that other people’s moms are still alive. I hate my neighbor, who in her 60s, is still going out shopping with her mother, while I buried mine at 26. I hate that my aunt said that age is just a number.
I know that all of this will pass. I know I’ll carry on from this and that I’ll be an expert on death by the time I’m fifty having endured this shocking pain fifteen times over. I’ll say goodbye to favorite aunts, and whacky uncles. I’ll lose neighbors and friends, and cousins that ironically I’ve only ever seen at funerals. I know I’ll raise my family to learn about you, to pass along your china, to pass along your stories and your heroism. I know that five years from now time will heal. I’ll be as close to whole as I possibly can.
But at the end of my life, when I’m old and gray and my children hold my hand, asking why I’m not scared of dying, I’ll tell them it’s because I’ll get to see my mom again.
Because every morning and every night, and every millisecond in between, seeing you again is all I truly want.