I start to hold my breath at the end of August until September 10th passes. When the anniversary of my mother’s death finally comes, I exhale bit by bit and sink into grief that still, 6 years on, can bubble to the surface unexpectedly.
Good or bad, I’ve created a bit of tradition for myself by writing about this time in our lives every year on this date. I make myself re-read old posts, I look at pictures. I dwell.
This year, I won’t be surrounded by my 3 little pillars of support. I’ll be across the world, meeting new people, taking on new challenges. I can only imagine how excited Mum would’ve been for me, how anxious she’d have been for news of my travels (I think I’ve inherited a little bit of her travel nerves). Yesterday, as I dozed for hours on the plane, I could think of little else but her. I was consumed by memories, drifting in and out of dreams that felt all too real. I woke up more than once in tears.
There’s so little I can say about how much I still miss her. How often I think of her.
But as more time passes, there are days where she doesn’t cross my mind. I hate admitting that. Maybe that’s where that stupid saying “time heals all” comes from. One’s ability to move on from the really hard things. I don’t want to forget. The thought of those fading memories is terrifying. What makes me saddest is that she can’t be with us as our family grows and evolves, knowing how proud she would have been. She was a true matriarch.
I will forever be grateful for the time we spent together before she died, but there are so many things I wish I’d told her before she left us. Things I wish I’d asked her. Taken more pictures. It may be one of the only things I regret in my life.
Mum, know that we are doing our very best to honour your memory. Today and every day.