I heard my mother’s voice this morning. The euphonious echo within my ear drew an end to my restless slumber. I heard it as clear as I can hear anything. It was as though she was right beside me. The sad reality is though, my mother is gone. At 09:25 on a Tuesday morning in November, my phone ‘buzzed’ to life with news that would irrevocably change my life forever. Through emotional tone and somber deliverance, my brother completed the almost impossible task of telling me that mom had passed away. There was a second of silence that seemed to last for at least an hour after having heard what he had to say. I think all the air that had once filled my lungs, collectively escaped me in one fleeting gasp. I’ve heard people say that it’s like being punched in the gut, it’s not – it’s more akin to having your heart ripped from your chest and discarded of in the cruelest possible way. Even that explanation does not do it justice. I hung-up the phone after thanking him for undertaking such a painful task in calling me, and began to feel my breath sputter like a struggling engine in the dead of a winter’s chill.
After several moments of futilely attempting to gain composure, I picked-up my phone, and called my psychologist. I struggled through leaving a voice message, explaining what had happened, and how my world had just been torn apart. After hanging-up, I recall stating these words aloud as I stammered from my bed, “no, mum, no, no, no, no, mum, no, please no!” I blinked hard a couple of times to ensure that this was not just another one of my nightmares. It was indeed a nightmare but, not an escapable one. It was, is, a living nightmare. My mom, mum, is dead. And I never got to say goodbye, or I love you, one last time. In an instant, she was there, albeit across the country, but she was there, and now, she isn’t. She is just, gone. Robbed from us. This whole thing seems unfair and like a bad joke taken too far. I have even called my mom’s phone a couple of times since, half-expecting her to answer, but she doesn’t… and it kills me.
My mom struggled for many years with a pain deep inside of her. I tell myself that no amount of ‘I love you-s’ or ‘I’m here mom-s’ could change that. But, there is also a part of me that says, ‘what if?’ … What if I had said it more? Visited more? Called more? Just, done more, could that have changed it? The answer is no, but, I am still fighting to convince myself of that. The only thing that I can say with absoluteness, is that I miss my mom. I miss Joan. My heart hurts with a physical pain that I did not think possible. Even writing this seems surreal. This just can’t be. I don’t want it to be. I am selfish, I want my mom.
I would give anything to travel back in time just for one more memory of seeing my mom perched up at the kitchen table, cigarette in hand, and tea in the other. Silently coming to terms with a new day, and doing so while comedically letting loose a massive and unrivaled passing of gas. A howitzer if you will. That smirk that painted itself firmly across my mother’s face followed by, “Whoop, bloody mouse!” is something I will always cherish, and now, solemnly miss.
My mother was not a perfect lady. None of us are. But she loved us in the only way she knew how, and with every little piece of my heart, I will miss her dearly. There were times where she was absolutely perfect. Moments where you couldn’t ask for a better mom. I can still hear her laugh, even though in the last years, I heard it less, and less…
My heart is broken today, and it has been for the last week. My mother’s obituary is due out any day now, and I am afraid to read it. I am afraid because when I do, it will feel like a further cementing of reality. A reality that I hate. A reality that tells me, my poor mum is no longer with us.
I am not sure what else to say. I write this as I wipe tears away. I can’t even take comfort in the fact that it is raining outside (if you know me, you will know how much I love the rain), but tonight, it just feels as though the world is crying with me. Mourning the woman that I had the privilege for 34-years, of calling mum.
Joan. My mom, I love you to the moon and back, and beyond. My soul is torn apart right now. It feels as though a piece of me has died, and I suppose that’s because, it has. On Monday, November 6th, I lost you. I miss you mom, and I hope that in some small way, you knew just how much I loved you, how much we all loved you, and how much we will continue to love you. Forever, and always.
Rest easy mum, there’s no more pain. Not for you.
Below is one of my mom’s favorite songs. My mom got sick when I was young, and she battled through. This song seemed to remind her of her struggle and survival. Now, it’ll forever remind me of her.