1 year later. A letter to my Mother.

Blessed are they who will mourn in sorrow;
they will be comforted.
Bless us, O Lord, when we share their sorrow;
bless us, O Lord, our God.

We are the light of the world;
may our light shine before all,
that they may see the good that we do,
and give glory to God.

I took up journaling a year ago to have an outlet for my grief. In addition to writing how I felt, I also wrote endless letters to my mother in hopes that the words I wrote on paper would reach her. I picked the above because it has spoken to me for many years, since attending church with my mother as a child and when I think of her, it's what my heart says to me.
Dear Mami,

Well, I made it. A full year without you and I am still breathing. I remember the day leading up to your death, asking God to take my life in exchange for yours. In those hours, I did not care who I would leave behind nor who would miss me. All that I knew and felt deep in my heart was that your life was worth more than mine. That night I had a horrendous panic attack brought on by the inevitable. I knew the call was coming soon, I just didn't know when. Papi called me, the afternoon of May 17, 2016, to tell me that you had died.

Were you able to see what happened next?
Gone was any ounce of will that I had and I just wanted to die. Anything to be with you, no matter what the cost. I didn't get out of the bed for 2 weeks, I lost 20 pounds, I neglected to take care of myself and I chose not to attend your funeral.

The last time I saw you, was in a video chat you, Adriana and I had the day before. It is what I see whenever I think of you, not you in a coffin. I don't want that memory, not now, not ever.

I moved to Florida 8 weeks later to collect your belongings, take care of Papi and try to move on. 12 months have passed and those feelings are still fresh in my mind. This is so painful, too painful, to bare. I hate living in your home without you knowing that this house that Papi bought for you so many years ago will never truly be my home. It is on loan to me for the time being until I figure out my next step. Your home, this life, it is not the end game for me.

In your absence, I have met some wonderful people that have suffered loss and without them, I don't think I would have been able to operate with a clear mind. But even with the support I received from the strangers that have become my extended family, I still cannot overcome this sorrow. I know you would have loved each of them and maybe I found them because you guided us together. Who knows how these things play out?
Before you left, you knew my plate was full and now it is overflowing. There is too much on it and it is spilling over with nothing else to relieve it.  I am completely and utterly lost without you.

My heart and soul has this dark cloud that looms over it whenever there is the slightest bit of sunshine trying to creep through. I often joke that I am dead inside but behind every joke, there is truth.

And now, a year later, I have to figure out how to spend the rest of my life without you. I have to raise these 3 kids without you. I have to be a wife, not having a clue as to what to do sometimes, without you. Live in your house, cook in your kitchen and take care of your husband without you.

But you know all of this, that is if there is truly a something else after here. So I'm asking you to help me get through the rest of my life without you.

Con mucho carino,

Tu Nena

I try to find my mother in every day things or even in myself. A few days ago, as I watched my children, I saw her in them.
Adriana has her generosity, her love of meeting new people and her shyness.

Daniel has her light, her laughter and those amazing hugs.

Chloe has her sass and the ability to make anything beautiful.

Together they are my mother in all the best ways possible.


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