It has been 10 years since my mother’s passing, and I can no longer remember the sound of her voice. Over and over again, I repeat the things she used to say and the way she said them in my head. I know her cadences and timing. I know that I hated her singing because it was so nasally, but she seemed to enjoy my displeasure and only sang louder. I can picture her face as she spoke, whether it was happy or sad- but I just can’t hear her anymore.
I spent 19 years of my life hearing her voice every single day, and I used to tell myself 19 years was enough. 19 years is a lot of years- I was technically an adult when she left us- but I know more than I did 10 years ago, and I know that I was really nothing more than a child.
I know that some people say “it feels like yesterday” when speaking about lost loved ones, but for me- some days it feels like even longer. Nine Mother’s Days have passed. Nine Christmases. One wedding. Three grandchildren. So many birthdays.
I’m older, and I guess one could say I am wiser- but I still feel…. angry. Angry that she isn’t here to do the things she deserves to be doing. Angry that she left me with so many questions. Angry that my children will never get to know her, that I didn’t even really get to know her, and instead of all of us learning, they have to know her through me- and I can’t even hear her voice. I’m even angry that I’m still angry.
After ten years, I guess I thought I would have more of an understanding. Why this happened. Why me? Why her? What do I do without her?
I thought I would feel less lost. Less confused. I thought that I would have some big grand understanding of life and loss and how to cope with it all, how to move past it, how to come out the other end of the long, dark tunnel that is grief stronger.
Maybe I didn’t learn any of those things- but I did learn. We have to in order to carry on. Even though I still feel anger, it isn’t at her. This wasn’t her fault, and I know she would be here if she could be. I also know that there is nothing wrong with what I’m feeling- because I am FEELING, and that is a part of life.
It is hard not to give in and just feel pain and anger and jealousy all day, all month, all the time- of what was lost and what others still have, what my boys are missing out on. I know she would not want that for me. I have to remind myself of this a LOT, and it’s work. I also know it’s okay to still hurt and ache for her- it’s natural, it’s love that does that- and the loss of having it in front of me- something I can hold onto, something tangible.
Today has been hard, but like with most things in life- we have to hold on to the positive things and carry them with us to get through the darkness.
I learned from her life being cut so short and there being SO much left she wanted to accomplish to live life to the fullest. Not in fear. Even though I can’t hear her, I carry her with me- I carry what she taught me, even after her passing, with me at all times.
I’ve had 10 years to reflect on the time I got to spend with her. How little I appreciated it. How much we bickered over petty nonsense. What I would do differently had I only known sooner to appreciate her because she would be gone before I knew it, so far before her time; I should have told her I loved her more. I should have spent more time with her. I should have, would have, could have- but I know I can’t focus on that. I know she wouldn’t want that for me. When we lose someone so close to us, someone who meant so much to us- of course we would look back and think about all of the things we would do differently if we only had the chance- but we can’t do that to ourselves. We have to keep looking forward, not just for us, but for the ones we lost along the way.
I know, deep down, that even though I am, she was never angry- and she is not angry now about the stupid fights and the constant butting of heads. I know that because I carry her with me.
I know that even though her passing ten years ago doesn’t feel like yesterday, and it doesn’t feel like last week; even though I would love nothing more than to have her here for just one more moment, I can’t change what has happened- I can only remember her for all that she was and all that she wanted to be- and move forward with her in my heart. I may not be able to hear my mom, but I can feel her. Always.
That may not ever be enough- but nothing can take it away from me.
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