There are some people who are meant to stay in our hearts, but not in our lives. I don’t know about you, but the 31 days of December felt like a year all by themselves. It was a long month and a difficult one.
Last December 13, 2016, my family lost an angel and I’m only just now getting around to the point of being able to write about it. There’s so much I could say about all of this, and in other ways so little. What I’ve been through is nothing humanly new. People do it all the time all over the world. And yet I know that my experience is also deeply unique, as every experience of death is. I’ll do a poor attempt to express some of all this in today’s post and, although my personal processing of all this is not done (far from it), I only plan to write about about this one time. Some things can only be shared so far, and the rest has to come from within.
My step mother was laid to rest on a Wednesday evening after a robbery incident that occurred before us. We had a ceremony, where our big family, groups of people, and people she was so generous and kind to attended. I think she would have approved. Her resting place is somewhere special that she absolutely loved, next to her equally-loving father – my grandfather.
The whole death thing was surreal and as natural as death is, I was so very unprepared to handle it. From the moment I found out (a moment that stopped all time) to the moment I saw my mom’s body laid on the coffin (surreal, yet again). It was all so surreal, so very unnatural. And yet her spirit seemed to be still in the house. She was in the garden, in her room, in her clothes. She was gone, and yet not gone.
My mother and I had many disagreements over the years, that I cannot deny, but in my final goodbye to her I spoke of the things which I felt I had inherited and cherished; her love of travel, her love of good food, her kindness, her good looks. A part of her is in me, for good or worse and those things will live on until my own passing from this earth. All the rest, all the remaining pieces of our relationship. She was so easy to talk to, so easy to love, so hardworking, and loyal to the family.
I remember the last heart-to-heart talk I had with her about a boy that liked me. She would laugh at me when I would tell her I don’t know what to do, but then comfort me and reassures me that everything is going to be okay and that she was going to kill any guy that ever breaks my heart. I’ll treasure moments like that, I’ll treasure her.
Sometimes, I wish it was me instead then things would’ve been a lot easier for my family. Sometimes, I wish I had done something more that night, things would’ve been a lot different if she was still around. I wonder if she felt she achieved what she wanted during her time on earth, if we (her kids) made her happy. Death makes us question life in this way, asking ourselves if we are living our own lives to the fullest. Some say you should live each day as if it were your last. I don’t think that’s possible, or even advisable. No one can sustain that level of Adrenalin or intensity over the long term. But I do think you can attempt to live life with presence and love. To be present in the moments you’re given, to cherish the beauty around you, to love as much as possible.
The sky gained, too soon, a new star. RIP our angel – be free, be happy. I love you and I miss you terribly, Sandra Alvez Mazloum.