An open letter to my mother

6 months after I lost my mom to suicide I wrote a post titled When I See You Again. It has now been one year and one month since I lost my mom, and today while doing dishes I almost called her. I literally, for almost an entire second, believed that I could call my mom. I still get these excited thoughts of calling my mom to tell her the funny thing one of the kids said, or the awesome thing they did at school, or that I am exhausted and everyone is driving me crazy. The millisecond I spend with my hand reaching toward the phone is always followed by this sharp punch in the gut. A physical feeling of pain. It’s real. I can never call her again. This really happened.

There is so much I want to tell her, but since I can’t, I write. Writing is my outlet, my way of expressing what’s in my head and heart so it doesn’t consume me. If you read this and you haven’t lately, please pick up the phone and call your mom. If you read this and you have felt even close to what my mom felt, I hope this helps you to know how loved and needed you are.

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Dear Mom,

I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again…

I’ll tell you that I get lonely sometimes…during the days when Chris is at work and I want to talk to someone. You were the one I always called. Sometimes you just want to tell someone random things that have happened throughout your day, and have a conversation with an adult. Your mom is typically the only person you can call 3-5 times per day with nothing majorly important to say who won’t be insanely annoyed by you. I appreciated you listening to me all of those times.

I’ll tell you that Easter was hard, because I kept thinking about the Easter baskets you left on your kitchen counter for the kids. About how we were supposed to be having an Easter picnic on the beach last year, but instead you were gone and we were stunned. I still tried to make Easter special for the kids, but I literally thought of you the entire day.

I’ll tell you that Mother’s Day just passed, and Kaiper asked me if we could mail a card to you in Heaven. He tells me that you are in his heart, and that he feels sad when he thinks about how he hasn’t seen you in a while. It literally breaks my heart, but I try to listen and make sure he knows he can tell me anything he feels but never feels forced to talk when he doesn’t want to. That is an area of motherhood I did not ever dream I would be in so early in life.

I’ll tell you that I’m scared Alana has forgotten you, because she was only just turning 2, and she loved you so, so, so much. She was so tied to you as a baby. It’s really sad for me that she probably won’t remember you. Another reason you should have stayed.

I’ll tell you that the kids just turned 3 and 5, and I tried to make your macaroni salad for their birthday party, but mine is never as good as yours. I also have to search for the email you sent me with the recipe every time I make it, and it’s hard to see all of our emails. One of these days I am going to remember to print that darn thing so I don’t have to go through that every time Chris asks me to make macaroni salad.

I’ll tell you I cannot seem to remember to take a different route home from the grocery store, and the kids still say “Hey, that’s where Grandma used to live!” Sometimes that leads to more conversation about where Grandma is, sometimes it doesn’t. Grandpa moved to South Carolina and the kids think it’s sort of the same thing, except you can’t get mail there. It’s super confusing to them and I stumble through explanations.

I’ll tell you that Kaiper is graduating preschool next week, and he’s reading books. He loves books just as much as you did. We both do. I wish you could come to his graduation.

I’ll tell you that we had a huge hurricane. Afterwards, when I was alone one day, I drove by your old house and saw that it was virtually destroyed. I sat there staring at it, thinking you probably would have been glad because you hated that place. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

I’ll tell you that during the hurricane evacuation, I turned 31. Not knowing if our house was flattened or not at the time was a welcomed distraction to the fact that you wouldn’t be wishing me a happy birthday, for the first time and ever again.

I’ll tell you that I’ve been scared of a lot of things since we lost you. What scares me more, as painful as it is to say, is the fear that I’ll end up like you. That sounded way more awful than I mean it to be. When I was younger you told me how you had to go in and clean your mom’s apartment after she took her own life. You were close to my age when that happened. After you left us, I found myself sitting outside of your house, taking deep breaths, telling myself I could go in, I could do this. I could help my Dad clean up. I had to, I couldn’t let him do it alone. And I did. Since then, I have found myself being immensely afraid of every single bad thing that could possibly happen, all made up in my mind. I have never experienced anxiety before in my life, and now I feel paralyzed sometimes at the thought of all the bad things that could happen. You were always consumed with worry and fear, stress and focusing on worse-case-scenario. It leaves me to wonder if you were always that way, or if it was because of the trauma. And I love you to the core of my being, to the marrow in my bones, but I just can’t do that, I can’t be that. I cannot let this overcome me. I can’t and I won’t. I have to overcome. I think you would want that, in fact I know you would. It has to stop here. It stops here.

I’ll tell you that I’ve made some pretty amazing new friends this year, and some of my old friends have been so amazing to me, while others have probably been too uncomfortable to know what to do with me so they’ve distanced. It’s sad, and awkward, but I understand because I am too that person who doesn’t know what to say to people when horrible things happen. I guess I’ve learned that present silence is just better than absent silence.

I’ll tell you that I started writing my first book. You know that’s been a lifelong dream of mine. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but I am just doing it. I know it was a lifelong dream of yours too, and I’ve learned through you that we shouldn’t wait or doubt ourselves for so long that we decide we can’t. I can, and I will. And when it’s done I’ll write you one of those fancy tributes into the first few pages.

There are so many little things you’ve missed that I wish I could tell you, like today when Kai asked if we could play “Monipolio” (Monopoly). We would have both laughed. Or the other night when I told Alana to eat her dinner and she said she was “too full”, so I let her know she would get no dessert. She quickly replied “There’s still some room on the sides”, while rubbing the side of her belly. I laughed so hard, and wished you could too.

And one day, I still hope to tell you that I forgive you. I can’t yet. I haven’t. We needed you. I really needed you. I spent my entire life trying to make sure you were happy. You came so far and I hate that you gave up. It makes me angry. Some well-meaning people try to comfort me with the ideal that you’re at peace now because you suffered so much. I wish I could believe that, but I feel like I knew you pretty well, and I know you would take it back if you could. But you can’t. There’s no peace there.

For now, the last thing I will tell you is that I am happy. Even through the hurt and grief, I am still happy. I have an amazing husband and two beautiful children who light up my life so brightly every day, that only small cracks of the dark get through. I know that no matter what, I will always be okay. I choose to find the joy in every day. Sometimes it’s a harder choice, but I still choose it.  I’m working hard to turn what’s been so bad into fuel to do what’s good – I am working hard to reach more women, inspire and encourage them to change their lives for the better.

You won’t ever be forgotten, that’s for sure.

xo,
Jess





BeThe1To Prevent Suicide

When I See You Again

Hi, I’m Jessica! I am wife to Chris, and mom to Kaiper, Alana and our silver lab pup, Maui. We are expecting baby #3 right now, and excited to become a family of 5! I am a freelance website & blog developer, Co-Founder of Moxie Girl Fit Club, and aspiring author. I share about everything from parenting, how to make money from home, tutorials for my fellow bloggers, fitness and being a new homeschool family. Learn more about me here.

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