Three Years: What you've missed

Baby me passed out on a young momma kwan

Baby me passed out on a young momma kwan

Three years (today) have passed since she was here last. There have been really good days since, and there have been some challenging ones. There have been days where the smallest thing reminds me of her and I catch myself smiling. There have been days whereI feel so empty, like a part of me is missing, knowing I’ll never be able to fill it back to the way it was. There have been days when I forget and don’t think about her at all (and I feel guilty about it once I realize). There have been nights when she visits me in my dreams and I try to make the image and thought of her linger before I need to get up.

Life has become divided in two chapters, the first, ‘with mom,’ and the later, ‘after mom.’ The right before and after mom portion has been a ride to say the least.

So much has already happened since you passed and every good moment is bittersweet. We’ve come so far and sometimes it feels like that means we’re further from you. I wish you could see how all your hard work, selflessness, and continuous life lessons have paid off. I wish you could see how freaking badass Rach is, and how she’s in film school (now surrounded by her kind of peeps), she has a great supportive circle and advocates for mental health, she teaches me new things everyday and inspires me with her strength through it all. I wish you could see how dad has been a freaking rock for us, how he’s honouring your halloween decor traditions (also scaring the kids in the neighbourhood) and constantly lifting our spirits. He’s done good, becoming more social, playing tennis on occasion, going on trips all over the world, and we’re so proud of him. I wish you could have seen me graduate and land a job that I love. To meet the incredible people who have entered my life because I know you’d approve. I wish you could see Team Ohana in full force (a bunch of misfits in spandex riding 250km) cross the finish line for the third year in a row. To see how your friends have become our family and how our family has become weirder and closer than ever. I wish you could be here for the milestones, the not so good times, and the everyday moments.

But on the ‘half full’ side, the people that are here have made this messy, unpredictable and glorious life full to the brim. Thank you to everyone whose been there through it at some point or another, we’d be seriously lost without you. Thank you for continuously showing up, in sharing your stories and memories of her, in fundraising, in your messages and hugs, in being a shoulder to cry on or comedic relief when laughter is much needed. Thank you. We’ve made the best out of what we were given, and I am beyond grateful for what we have made.

You might not have been physically here to see everything that’s happened in these past three years, but I know that we wouldn’t be where we are now without you. I know we carry you with us everyday. You are in our mannerisms and in our inability to remember names, in the empathy we feel when we see others in pain, in the books we read and the movies we watch, you’re with us when we spontaneously break into dance and in those moments where we slow down and take care of ourselves and each other. As Rach so eloquently put it in her poem, you are the sun…

And the sun you cannot lose
Its rays hug the ground and kiss every sea 
And while sometimes it rains
The sun never leaves
Sure there are clouds 
but the world is stripped bare 
Because my mum is the sun 
And the sky is everywhere.

Loss has taught me how to love deeper, to live fuller, and to notice and appreciate the little things, and the fleeting moments as they come. I read somewhere that grief is a result of love. I don’t want to stop feeling the grief for the loss of my mom, because it is the greatest reminder of her life.

Some things you’ve missed