I’ve been walking around in a daze since I heard the news. My life is set on autopilot, just going through the motions. I’m not sure if the reality of the situation has even fully hit me yet, which is a scary thought when I consider how devastated I’ve felt since then.
Not long after, we gathered to celebrate her life. I wanted to speak. I wanted to stand up and tell everyone all about her. I wanted to tell everyone how great she was as a person and as a mom. I wanted everyone to know how generous, kind, and funny she was. I really wanted to.
Other people stepped up to speak, but I didn’t. I sat there clinging to my daughter, trying my hardest to keep her calm and stay strong for her. I didn’t completely succeed. I couldn’t stop all my tears from flowing and I certainly couldn’t ease the hurt she was feeling.
When it was over, I thought about why I didn’t step up to say all of the things I wanted to say. I told myself it was because I was trying to console my daughter, or that my brother had done such a good job when he spoke. While those things were true, neither of them were the real reason. No, the real reason that I couldn’t say those things was that it meant that I would also have to say goodbye.
But, how do I do that? How do I say goodbye to the woman who gave me life? How do I say goodbye to the woman who loved me since before I was born? How do I say goodbye to the woman who sacrificed so much, not only for me, but for all of her children and grandchildren? How do I say goodbye to the woman who was instrumental in me becoming the man I am today?
I can’t do it because there are no words. There are no words to tell her how much I love her. There are no words that can explain how much I’ll miss her. There aren’t any words that can adequately describe how much she has meant to me, how much better my life was because she was in it. No words can ever explain how much light she has brought into the lives of everyone she met.
Without the words, how could I say goodbye? How could I say something worthy of her? I can’t. It’s not possible.
Maybe, someday, those words will exist. Until then, I’ll have to settle for keeping it simple: I love you, Mom. I always will. There will never be a day that goes by when I won’t miss you and you will forever be with me in my heart.