My life was marked by death at a young age. Life was innocent and carefree up until that point. All of a sudden I had to look after myself and my little sister. I had to “grow up fast”. I don’t remember my mother’s death making a huge impact on my life in those first few months. Two months after, on my 11th birthday, my face in the photos don’t look particularly happy as I imagine any kid that age would be. Her absence started to affect me a little later in junior high and high school. My journals are full of anger and hate and hurt. I remember crying myself to sleep almost every night and being in school with a bright smile the next day. I was living a double life, for lack of a better term. In college, I hit my absolute lowest point with nightly panic attacks, therapy sessions and anti depressants highlighting my whole freshmen year. I missed my mother. I was grieving then.
I’m still grieving now 18 years later.
When I think of my mother now I feel a deep sense of loss. My mind is full of imaginary memories with my mother. I wonder what her reaction would’ve been when I told her I was having twins. I imagine her visiting the hospital while I was sick and never leaving my bedside and later holding Sakura and Akira. I make up scenarios of her taking the girls to the park like she did with me. I wonder what life would be like if she were here.
I don’t think it’s crazy to think this way, I think it’s my way of grieving her now at this point in my life. I remember when I was angry, pissed off with my father, mad at God, hated the world. How else is a 14 year old suppose to grieve? Now, nearly 2 decades later that missing piece, that hole in my heart is still there, never leaving me.
And that’s okay.
Grieving doesn’t have a stop point, a time frame. It doesn’t have an end. Life does go on and you learn to live without that person in your life, but you will always miss them. At first it’s very hard. Even to think about them brings up every emotion as you had when you first found out they were gone and you cry out in pain again and again. Then as the months and years pass it gets easier. You may still cry, but the wound has healed some.
Don’t let anyone tell you its time you “get over it”. That your time to grieve has already passed.
You give yourself the space you need to get your wits about you, place your feet on the ground again, and take one step at a time. The gravity of losing someone close to you, a parent, child, sibling, spouse, or best friend, takes it’s toll on the mind, body and soul and to ignore it for some unwritten rule of limitation is to deny yourself the ability to be human and grieve as you see fit. I ignored my right to grieve for years and it ended up in an ugly war for my sanity. When I learned that to grieve is a process and not a set schedule I was free to remember my mother and miss her in my own way. I’ve determined that that wound in my heart will never heal and I will always grieve her and that process will change over time. It’s it okay because there aren’t any rules to how long I should miss her.
I will miss her always.