This is about missing a parent, whose passing has left a huge void in your life. As the years go by, you do not get over it, rather, you learn to live with it. No matter how young nor old, the hurt runs deep. There is never a way to prepare, albeit chronic illness, or sudden death. You must find ways to keep your mom or dad alive within your heart.
It always helps me to talk to my mother as if she were sitting next to me. I have to believe in my heart that she can see and hear me. Then I meditate over what I’ve said and imagine her response. Whatever you may do, I suggest you find what works best for you. There is no right and wrong way to grieve, and NEVER let anyone else tell you otherwise. Grief is a process, and you should be familiar with it.
This time, I am imagining that she is a techie like me. Therefore, I’m giving her a digital correspondence. Here goes.
For You, Mom-Because You Lived, And Because You Left
Mom, I want you to know a couple of things about me in 2014. You taught me that it’s ok if I’m not married. It’s ok for a single mother to work hard to pay the bills. Because of you, I know that ultimately, I’ve got to love God, love my daughter, and love myself. The rest of the universe will fall into place. So this isn’t a pitiful, tear-jerking letter. It’s a few words to update you on what the living is doing, and I want to give others who still have their parents, and their mothers especially, some things to ponder.
1. Your granddaughter is simply precious.
You’d be proud to hear about how well-mannered she is. She’s simply beautiful. You also might be perplexed that our athletic genes must have gotten lost in the shuffle, however I think she got all the Math tutoring you tried to instill in me, tenfold. Sometimes I try to imagine what you’d say to her if you could meet her. I do assure you, that she’s a sweetheart, just like you. She’s even got your dimples (and her dad’s too, I suppose).
2. Your family did a good job with me.
You would be honored to know that somehow, they were able to guide me through the abyss. Through the tweens, high school, college, love, joy and pain, they have fulfilled your wishes and still remain pillars of strength for me. I have learned that it was unfair for me to expect anyone to be you. Rather, the love in my heart comes from God, and people who are actually extensions of you.
3. It seems that I have problems finding and maintaining healthy relationships.
There’s just something about being a little girl without a father and experiencing the sudden death of her mother at the tail end of the fourth grade that preludes social difficulties in life thereafter. I’ve learned that no matter how good I try to treat others, everyone doesn’t like me; and that’s just fine! Because of that, I’ll support a lasting relationship between my daughter and her father, and teach her to foster healthy relationships in her life.
3. I am an introvert.
Make no mistake: I am a ritualistic extrovert on the surface. Always having been on the hardwood floor, under the hot lights, making kinesthetic moves in and around the shrieks of the whistles, the chanting and bleacher stomping cheerleaders, and the crowd’s roars and murmurs, I know how to turn it on. You taught me how humble myself and to remain calm under pressure. I’ve accepted all of my accomplishments with class and grace.
4. My number one defense mechanism is keeping people at a distance.
I love dancing, and getting together with friends and family. When I go social, I go hard. I can be the life of the party, or simply the energy that keeps it alive. Through it all, I strategically keep everyone at a distance-a safe distance-close enough to get to know me, but far enough away to prevent any hurt. It’s just better that way.
5. I am confident in who I am.
As I stare in the face of the dating world, post-split, I harness the same precaution. I’m strong-willed. I’m strong-minded. I’m the daughter of an 80’s Worker’s Rights Activist (never married), and at 38 years old, I’m suddenly damned proud of that! Friends will come and go. They will let me down, and I’ll do the same to them. Yet, I’ve got to keep living. I accept the fact that Mr. Right may or may not come into my life. One thing is for sure, I will not go on a man quest. I hear that the more you go looking, the harder he is to find.
6. I’ll never get over losing you.
I think since you departed, I’ve taken an issue with abandonment, and rightfully so! However, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a testament to what you meant to me. It was a pain that I won’t ever forget, and I have anxiety when I’m confronted with situations that mimic a death. I find it hard to accept when relationships and friendships end. Be it by distance, death, or even fault of my own, there’s some type of muscle memory in my heart that reenacts the moment I learned I’d never see you again.
7. No One Can Seem To Love Me Enough.
I have wonderful memories of your unconditional love. No matter what I did wrong, at the end of the day, I was still your baby. I’ve been searching the eastern seaboard for a love like that. I have learned that under no circumstances will anyone love you like your mother. While that’s an extremely high expectation, I realize that I was doing just that-expecting to find that same security and genuine adoration, without realizing that no one on earth except you, is capable of fulfilling those needs for me.
8. I always know that the next moment is never promised.
My hope for everyone who still has one or both parents, is that they hold on to them in every waking moment while possible. Thank goodness your idea of quality time involved talking and singing together. Because of you, I am a good communicator to this very day (but I still sing like a wounded crow-a severely wounded one, at that). That was a great way to cram a lifetime of love into ten years. You must have known. I only pray that my daughter knows that I love her just as deeply.
Please share this post with anyone you know who has lost a parent. For those who haven’t. Live each moment like it’s your last!