The day you died, ten years ago today, I died.
And hate took over my very living being, spreading through my body like a disease. It took over, and I questioned everything. God. Religion. Life. People. I didn’t know what to believe or believe in, and to this day, I still don’t.
Getting up every morning was a struggle. I didn’t want to go to school, but dad made me. Then I finally pretended to be sick and missed over a week of school. It was painful to go to school. It was painful to interact with people. It was painful to do anything, including waking up in the morning.
I hated going to school. I hated being around people. I hated being looked at like the “’poor-pathetic-thing- that-lost-her-mother.” I hated people asking me if I was OK.
I wasn’t OK.
I was sad.
I was confused.
I was heartbroken.
I was angry.
I was hateful.
I hated myself for not being able to save you. I hated myself for not being a good enough daughter. I hated myself for not spending enough time with you. I hated myself for not once, willingly, offering to stay with you at the hospital every time you were admitted. I hated myself for caring about stupid teenage crap and not caring enough about my mother. My mother—who would’ve done anything and everything for me.
I hated myself. And it spread through my body like a disease, killing a piece of me every time I silently cried in the middle of the night. Just like the disease that killed you. Just like you screamed in the middle of the night—screaming in pain. And I could to was lie awake at night listening to you scream and cry through the walls, not knowing what else to do.
I didn’t know what to do.
I was only 16—still a kid, barely an adult.
I hated myself for not giving an eulogy at your funeral. I hated being around relatives. I hated people for thinking they could help by taking me out for ice cream. I hated the childhood kids coming into the house, barging in when I was looking at pictures of you and telling me not to look at them because it would make me sad.
I hated people telling what to do and how to feel.
I hated, and hate took over my very living being, spreading through my body like a disease.
The day you died, ten years ago today, I died.
I don’t know if there’s a God. I don’t know if there are guardian angels. I don’t know if you’re reincarnated. I don’t know if there is an afterlife.
All I know is that you’re dead. And it’s been ten years since you’ve been dead. It took ten years to write this letter to you. It’s not the most pleasant letter I’ve written. There’s nothing pleasant about it. I wanted sit here and write nice, pleasant things. But all this miserable crap came out.
Aren’t I allowed to mourn on your death anniversary? Aren’t I allowed the miss you and be sad and totally hate this month?
I miss you. I would do anything and everything if I could spend one more day or even an hour with you once again.
Because the way you left me was not cool. Seriously, mom, what the hell? Do you know how difficult my life became after you left? Do you know how it felt to come home and not see you there? Do you how difficult it was to not hear your voice anymore? Do you how difficult it was to not hear you laugh, sing, and make silly jokes?
Do you know how difficult it was to live? To figure out how to deal with you not being in my world anymore?
You were a pretty kick ass mom. You told me secrets and gossip about relatives, made me laugh and encouraged me to find creativity in everything. You were silly and let me know it’s OK to be silly. You rubbed perfume samples on from magazines before going to parties, and when people complimented you on your perfume scent and asked what brand it was, you’d make up some ridiculous name because you couldn’t remember the name of the perfume sample.
When people mistook you for being Hispanic and came up to you to ask you something in Spanish, you totally tried to speak Spanish back even though you had no idea what you were saying and along the way just started making up words—possibly your own language. And the sad part is, I think you were actually convincing yourself that you were speaking Spanish. Then you’d get funny looks and people would walk away really confused.
You taught me how to say a really, really bad word without actually having to say it.
You taught me how to live. And laugh.
And your smile was so beautiful, it lit up the room. Your spirit was even more beautiful.
As I sit here writing this random letter into cyberspace, all I can do is wish you weren’t dead and that we could spend my birthday, next week, together. I wish we could laugh together, cry together, I even wish we could have an argument about something stupid for old time’s sake.
Next week I turn 26-years-old—still a kid, barely an adult.
The almost-26-year-old me is trying to be stronger, hopeful and learning to love & live again.
But the 16-year-old-me is still confused, angry, hateful, and heartbroken.
Today marks your 10th death anniversary. Today is a day on the calendar I can’t seem to ignore. It’s the type of day I don’t know what to do with. Do I sit around and laugh at funny stories or sit here and cry, trying to retain the fading memories?
It’s a type of day I should remember, but sometimes I wish I could forget. I dread this day. I try to ignore it. I pretend like it’s no big thing. But it is. And every year on this day I have to redefine my mourning process and figure out how to “’deal” this time around.
Ten years ago, today, my life changed. Ten years ago, today, I lost my mom.
Ten years ago today, you died. And I’m just starting to live.