Losing a parent sucks. But I think it sucks even more when that person wasn’t just your parent, but also your best friend.
When I lost my mom last February, it took me a year to bounce back. I’m not fully healed and truthfully, I don’t think I ever will be. Something happens every single second that I wish I could tell her. Sometimes I still find myself static, living in that gray area where I’m walking out of the bathroom of the Portland airport, greeting some guy whose riding a unicycle to his gate and I think to myself, “Oh, I have to text my mom. She’ll love this.” And then, I’m stabbed with that bitter moment of realization while I slide my phone back in my pocket, untouched, unused.
My dad is not my best friend in the same way my mom was. I refuse to talk to my dad about sex, or about the desire to have kids, or marriage. My dad will go to his grave not knowing about the worst sex I’ve ever had, whereas my mom, I remember sitting down to meet her at the food court of the mall after a weekend trip with the guy I liked and her saying to me, mouth full of french fries, “So, how was it?”
Sure, I’ exposing a ton of information and sure, my mom is probably rolling around in her grave as we speak while I so easily type my sexual escapades out on screen while drinking my coconut milk coffee creamer I’m disappointed to find out isn’t coconut flavored. That’s the kind of stuff we shared though. We were like the Kardashians before the Kardashians started paying people thousands of dollars to document their reality. We were just in a poorer house.
When your parent is your best friend, there is no such thing as an off-limits topic. Moments can be uncomfortable, but at the very least, everything is worth sharing. When you lose that, you have to re-evaluate the people you have in your life and from there, you need to re-build that broken relationship.
The worst time of day for me is when I get out of work early. It’s rare, but on the days when it’s still daylight as I walk the four-minute trek to my car, I feel in the mood to call my mom. In later years, I was reassured she would answer because she was out of work due to her brain tumors. She’d answer, most of the time happy to hear me, or to talk and gossip, or complain about people we kinda hated. On the days she sounded miserable, it was when she felt trapped inside a body that failed her.
I had one of those days yesterday. I walked outside, greeting the chilly Friday temperatures, walking slowly as to ensure I didn’t trip over my heels for the second time because no one wants to salt our parking lot. I grabbed my phone, ready to talk, to gossip, to tell my day to or what my weekend plans were, and realized I had no one to call.
I did call my sister, but it went straight to voicemail. My mom never used to do that.