“And something new is created when the person you love dies.
Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.
This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.”
I felt this intensely with my dad because, oh my god, I loved him so much. I lost the little girl whose daddy would stand up for her, make her laugh or just hold her hand while we watched t.v. together. Someone I never felt judged by. Someone I even felt revered by as I was becoming an adult. I lost so much when I lost him. And it crushed me. And not only did I lose him, I gained the responsibility of my mom. I needed to fill that support void for my mom when he died. And it was always so much pressure. I felt overwhelmed for 14 years. Constantly. And as other things entered my life, like my kids, it just became such a big deal every time I had to give up my time to help her with things I thought she should have been able to do herself. But couldn't.
And so, I hope the part of me that dies along with my mom is the person who was angry, tired and frustrated all the time. That's not who I wanted to be. I just always felt flooded with too much responsibility. Nothing ever felt like it was about me and my life. I felt like I always had to justify everything I thought or did.
Yesterday was my birthday. It was all parts bad. There was yelling and tears and plumbers who cut the drywall out of my bedroom wall so yet another thing needs to be fixed. And my mom wasn't there to force us to eat cake and mark the occasion. So we didn't. And that makes me sad. And knowing she will miss this spring, watching the flowers come up, makes me sad. And every song I listened to while she was dying makes me cry. And every time I see a store or a street or somewhere I was with her makes me cry. But remembering how much better I tried to deal with her in the last year gives me peace. A little.
Coming down from the intensity of these last six months, with all the drama and all the work and all the sadness, anxiety and insomnia I felt in knowing what was to come, that will take time. She had her faults and I sure as hell have mine. But that's okay. We're human. We're imperfect. I stuck it out, even when I truly thought I couldn't take just one more thing. I did the best I could. The hard times and the little, tiny glimmers of good times, that'll be our story.