It took quite a while to finally close off the Accepting Grief series, but I think that after years of working on my emotional health, I am ready to finally let go. My mother was my best friend, my hero, my better half, but she has been gone for about fifteen years now and I need to let her go. I’ve been playing with the idea of writing a book about my wellness journey which would essentially be the long version of this series and I definitely will do so even if it never gets published. My whole life has been about doing things for others but I am finally ready to start living for myself and doing what I love. For those of you who have been with me since the start of this series, you will know how abstract all the posts were, mostly with me addressing all of the factors that I needed overcome. This one is the final and most essential part.
It feels very weird to be writing this letter to you because the last time I wrote to you was when I was in sixth grade. You weren’t much of a letter writer back then, but I know you really enjoyed hearing about all of the amazing things that happened at school even if it was childish. I know you won’t ever get to read this, but for once I’m doing something for myself and not for you, my husband or my child.
You left at such a crucial time in my life, but I know you would’ve stuck around if you had the choice – it was always your intention for big sis and I to have everything that you didn’t have growing up. Well life turned out ok for me… I did go to university overseas, I did find a man who loves me more than we could ever have prayed for and I did get a great job. I wish you could’ve been there when I got my diploma, but I carried you with me in my heart. I wish you could’ve been there when I saw those two pink lines on the pregnancy test and reassured me that everything was going to be ok, but I carried you in my heart. I wish you could’ve been there when I went wedding dress shopping, but I carried you in my heart. I wish you could’ve been there when your gorgeous and sassy granddaughter was born, but I carried you in my heart.
I’m not writing this to make you feel guilty about not being there for any of those moments. Actually, it would be naive for me to think that this letter has anything to do with you or your feelings. No, this is my way of finally letting you go so you can rest in peace. I’m sorry to say that I never visited your grave and I never brought you flowers. In fact, I don’t even remember what the cemetery was called or how to get there. It doesn’t really matter because I know for sure that once your soul left your body, you went up to our Heavenly Father.
I don’t have many things to remind me of you because I was forced to burn everything when I was sixteen. I thought I would never forgive the people who thought it was okay to manipulate a child into giving up all memories of her mom and claiming it was necessary. What I did keep, however, was far more valuable and I will make sure to pass it on to my little angel – your granddaughter- so that the memory of you lives on. The physical things are gone, but what remains are the values, love and faith that you made sure to pass on to me. Mama, I got led astray for a decade, but now I am better and ready to continue with my life in the way we always prayed for.
Your son-in-law, he’s everything you would’ve wanted for me; kind, caring, intelligent, assertive, and handsome. You raised my sister and I all by yourself, and even took care of our cousins as if they were your own children. I want you to know that we all still love and miss you, but we are doing ok. Each and every one of us has fallen but gotten back on our feet because of the amazing woman that you were. The example you set for us is one that we will set for our families too. You were a great woman and will always be my queen.
I speak about you in the past tense now but I have to admit that I never truly accepted it until recently. You are gone, but your memory remains forever. For the longest time ever I feared death because of how you left us, but now I know that it is a path none of us can escape. I hope you don’t remember me where you are right now, because I would like to think that you are too busy singing praises. I do miss you a lot, but I have a family of my own that needs me to be present emotionally, not just physically, so that hole that you left in my heart is no longer available… I am giving that space to my wonderful husband and child.
Mama, I love you but I’m letting you go now.