Death is terrible. But it’s a natural aspect of life that we all have to try our best to prepare for. However, in spite of our best efforts, it’s very rare for us to ever be able to brace for the event of actually losing someone who is near and dear to our hearts.
In my particular experience, it was a pain that I just didn’t know how to cope with.
It was a few months ago when I was given the news that my mother had left this earth. I wasn’t able to be at her side when she breathed her last breath. I thought that she was going to be okay and that she would be able to recuperate from her surgery. She had already done so twice before with her previous cardiac procedures.
But she didn’t make it. She was gone. And it was on a permanent basis. She was never coming back.
She left this earth around an hour after my father had planted a soft kiss on her forehead. He held her hand for that entire hour as she gradually drifted into the afterlife.
I really tried my best to keep it together. I tried my best to keep a hold of my feelings and emotions. I tried my best to make sure that I didn’t allow my sadness to swallow me up whole. But it was too much for me. It was just so painful as I had to watch her casket be lowered into the ground ever so slowly. It felt like time was standing still and the pain was eating away at my insides.
I realized at that moment that it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much you might have been able to prepare for it; a loss like that is going to sting you. Despair took over my soul and I felt helpless. I felt completely powerless to the sorrow that was slowly enveloping my being.
In the few seconds that it took to lower my mother to the ground, a million thoughts and memories suddenly came rushing through my mind. I watched as my mother, my best friend, and pillar of strength lay lifeless in that ornate wooden box that would house her remains forever.
I recalled all the moments in my life wherein I needed her to be there for me – and she was always there without fail. She never disappointed me or deserted me. She never came up short when it came to giving me strength, guidance, and direction. But on this day, when I needed her the most, she couldn’t be there. And I had to live with the knowledge that she would never be there ever again.
It hurts me to think that perhaps I didn’t show her enough love while she was still alive. Maybe I didn’t spend enough time with her when I could have. Perhaps I didn’t show her the kind of appreciation that she deserved while she was still here. And it hurts me to know that I’m never going to be able to make up for any of it anymore. I won’t get a chance to redeem myself.
I know that it was such a challenge on her part to raise me as a child. I regret all of those times where I locked myself up in my room when I was mad at her even though all she wanted to do was talk to me and teach me valuable lessons that I needed to learn. She always found the times to attend all of the important events in my life – recitals, birthdays, sporting events, and everything else in between. She gave me everything that I ever could have wanted without spoiling me.
She was always trying to find ways to bond and connect with me because she never got tired of spending time with me. She stood by me even when I was going through a phase of not wanting to have anything to do with her. She was always there even though I made her feel like she was being annoying. She was always there… and now, she isn’t.
I know that it’s really selfish for me right now to wish that she was still here with me. If she were still here, then she would still be suffering and going through so much pain. And I don’t want that for her. However, I still can’t help but long for a few more seconds with her. I can’t help but wish for more chances to hold her hand and kiss her on the forehead to make her feel my love for her. I long for one more hug; another chance to let her know just how impactful she has been in my life.
I wish to just sit in perfect silence with her and relish in the time that we spend together. But I know that I’m never going to get that again. I can only find solace in the fact that we did share a life together. And even though that’s all I’m ever going to get with her, I should still be happy with it.