What It’s Like When You’ve Lived Longer Without Someone You Love Than You Did With Them

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via Flickr – Anjan Chatterjee

My mom passed away when I was nine. It was sudden and tragic and unforeseeable.

There was a week of grieving family members, sympathetic friends, and seas of flowers which finally ended with an emotional funeral.

And while I did cry and begged her to come back, I donโ€™t think I ever truly understood the loss I suffered.

Almost ten years has passed, and I have lived longer without her than I have with her. The memo-ries are starting to fade – as hard as I try I canโ€™t hear her voice in my head anymore – and although I hate to admit it, sometimes it feels like she was never here.

At times it feels like Iโ€™m not even mourning her. Rather, I mourn the life I could have had with her and the person I would have been if she was still here.

Losing someone that close to you is extremely painful, and there is no doubt that Iโ€™m not the only one who has experienced such agony. But I believe whatโ€™s even more painful than losing someone is the feeling that you canโ€™t even remember the time when youโ€™ve loved that person.

I know I loved her, and I know I still do. But there are times when I ask myself, โ€œHow do you love someone who you donโ€™t even truly remember?โ€

I knew her as my mother, but never as a person. We never got the chance to talk about petty girl or whether she disliked how she looked as teenager. I will never know if she ever had her heart broken by a boy she thought sheโ€™d marry or which subjects she enjoyed most while in high school.

Itโ€™s because of this that often times I see her the way you would see a saint or a historical figure. Someone important who once lived in this world but is no longer here.

The best and worst feeling is when a family member or friend points out a characteristic that I share with her – the way I laugh, the way I smile, the way I cry. It makes me happy to know I inherently do things the way she did – I feel more like her daughter this way. But it hurts me because no matter how long and hard I rummage through my brain I canโ€™t remember the way she laughed or smiled or cried.

This is what I mourn for now, what I weep over when Iโ€™m alone in my room and the feelings come rushing back. The fact that I do not know my own mother and never will. How I cannot tell anyone what it was like when she was around and why I love her for no other than the fact that she was my mother.

I canโ€™t tell you I love the way she used to sing the songs I played on the piano or the way she used to kiss me goodbye every morning before I left for school because while I know all this from stories, I donโ€™t remember ever loving the way she did these things.

And I envy those who do remember – her friends, her extended family, her parents, my dad – be-cause while it might hurt to recall these memories, Iโ€™d much rather have memories to recall.

I love my mother.

I know I do.

I just wish I could remember why. TC mark

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