“Ma” was 60 years old when she died on June 5th 2014. It’s weird to think it’s been almost three painfully long years since I last saw my mother’s face. I yearn to intertwine my fingers in the curls of her sandy blonde hair and overdose myself in her hugs. The most difficult thing for me by far is getting myself to come to the realization that she will no longer be here. Ma will not be here to see me blow out my 28th birthday candles. Ma will not be here to go dress shopping with me for my once in a lifetime marriage. Ma will not be here to see me walk down the aisle and nor will she be here to light the candle of unity. Ma will not be here to witness the buying of my first home along with the buying of my first new big girl car. She will not be here to call at 3AM when I’m drunk and need someone to make me laugh or tell me I’m pretty. Ma will not be here to watch the yearly MTV movie awards with me nor will she be here at 4PM to indulge in our daily dose of Judge Judy. She will not be here to witness my future pregnancies and neither will she be able to see and meet my future children.
The list goes on and on and I will ensure you, it is a tough pill to swallow. The funny thing about that is my mother initially attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills, keyword: attempted. I’ll never forget that morning for as long as I live. I will never forget what it’s like to see my mother lifeless neatly tucked in bed. She fought deeply to wake up, no matter how many times I yelled and wrestled around with her frail cancer contaminated body, her eyelids soon became heavy barbells bench pressing the demons of her disease. I try to stay strong everyday, I do. I do everything in my power to keep my emotions on auto-pilot and struggle to let myself nakedly address certain memories of her. In fact, I like to pretend that side of ‘Ma’ never existed.
She became different after a particular point in time. I can’t necessarily pinpoint to the exact timeframe, but what I can tell you is that 20+ years of a wishy-washy marriage definitely contributed to her questionable actions near her death. Their marriage wasn’t a communion of love and passion, but rather a board game of intimidation, silence, and defeat. But this blog isn’t about their mistakes- it’s beyond that. My Ma was able to collect herself despite her broken pieces and was put back together by the Angels of God, but only for a short amount of time. Her confirmed reason of departure was not suicide, but in fact Colon Cancer. She held on the last couple of months but soon fell overboard to the other side and took a final bon voyage to the seas of the unknown.
This blog is to let all of the other motherless women out there know that although it may seem like a “BREAKING NEWS” story that will never turn off, you are now entering a new phase/shift in your life known as ‘AFTER MY MOTHER PASSED.’ It’s that state of shock that keeps you emotionally paralyzed for the rest of your life and as it may sound terrifyingly so- I can tell you that you are not alone. In fact, you are never ever alone. The one thing that I was never able to digest is the presence of Angels and Spirits; that is until ‘after my mother passed.’ If you haven’t let yourself feel her there, keep trying. It is a magical feeling; a MGMT electric feels feeling. One thing my Ma said to me before she died was that she will be able to hear me but won’t be able to talk back- kind of like an answering machine. I feel her wanting to communicate back, but we no longer use the same kind of telephone. However, I do FEEL her presence. She’s sitting next to me now as I type this. She sits at red lights with me, watches me slip on my work shoes at 6:45AM, folds laundry with me, laughs at me when I fail at Pinterest dinner recipes, and most importantly she makes sure to watch over me while I snooze. I often have to remind myself that even though she will not be here, she embodies my spiritual aura every single day. I just have to take the time to find her.
I want to connect with all of the women who are living this and give them my list of forget me nots. As a fellow Virgo, I admit that making lists happens to be my secret obsession, so here goes feeling satisfied as I continue to cross these off.
These are 10 things I’ve learned after my mother passed:
- Life sucks without her- try to find her in another world. She’s there, I promise. You will strive to find a relationship with another mom to fill that void, but will soon come to the realization that you will never find that connection of souls with anyone else. This exact moment is where you will become aware of just how special the bond is between a mother and a daughter.
- Don’t take life too seriously- you too will end up on the other side one day.
- Laugh a lot and often- she lives on just to see you smile.
- Always floss before bed- I forgot for a long while, as no one was there to remind me I ended up getting a cavity (Thanks Ma!)
- Give yourself time to grieve, as you will be doing it for the rest of your life. Allow yourself to take a few days out of the month for an extra long shower and allow your tears to match the dirty water swirling towards the drain.
- Save your money and learn to adequately manage your finances- money isn’t everything, but it can buy you an amazing vacation to de-stress. You should ALWAYS take a time-out every month. Detox the world and regain your strength.
- Be domesticated! You are in charge of cooking and cleaning. You are now your mother’s chores. You are now the dirty dishes and unfolded laundry. Learn to enjoy the simple pleasures of housework.
- Never settle with a partner who doesn’t make you laugh. I never realized how much was missing in my love life until I met a man who puts me to bed every night with a little girl grin.
- You will immediately connect with other women who are motherless, no matter the age. I lost my Ma when I was 25 years old and I desperately ache for those who are experiencing the same loss. Be true to these women as they also have lost a part of themselves.
- Lastly, I learned just how beautiful I really am. I look in the mirror everyday and see her and feel overwhelmingly blessed to have the title of HER DAUGHTER. I never realized how breathtaking she was until she took her last breath. Carry on her beauty so that one day your daughters can say the same about you.