I think the single thing that’s hardest to deal with when you lose someone close to you is the void their lack of presence leaves in all things they impacted in the universe. The things you cant do or say or experience with this person. And the gap between “you cant right now” and “you cant ever again” is too large to be measured in any defined metric.
As I come up on 6 months since my mom is gone, the constant reminders of these voids circle through my head and drain down into my soul like daggers.
From the first morning after she passed, the reminders began as I tried to spare my father some of the grief of cleaning up a life of 37 years spent together. No, she won’t be needing the bifocals I got for her to read with a few months before. No, she’ll never be able to tell me the stories behind the pictures she kept in her datebook, why she chose those ones of my brother and I. She won’t need that brush, or pen, or rosary anymore. No, she won’t be able to watch the TV by her bed (before she passed, she’d developed an affinity for Family Guy).
She wouldn’t be able to tell me how she was trying her best to get around, and how I could never again tell her not to worry about it, how she was going to get better, and go see some SI Yankees games, something we’d done quite a lot of.
Then my birthday came – and a gift I could never thank her for. How she never got to see her youngest son turn 30 – and for that year, we’d have that statisical anomaly where I’d be exactly half her age – the novelty would be over when she turned 61, of course…
Then came gifts from Amazon – that she’d ordered for my dad, before she passed. The Christmas where no one said much – the empty chair at the table, where we enjoyed nothing better than the family getting together to hang out and have fun.
My parents anniversary came and went – no gifts for them for putting up with each other for 38 years. No chance for a trip to Atlantic City, the only escape my parents enjoyed much (collectively they hadn’t flown anywhere since my dads mother died in the 1970s).
More recently, I can’t tell her how awesome Citi Field is, how cool it is that Omir Santos, who we watched play for the Staten Island Yankees 5 years ago, was now starting for the Mets, and how they’d signed Wily Mo Pena, the first SI Yankee to ever make the majors. Novel facts that would ellicit a moan of excitement and understanding, a sound that lives only in my memory.
Can’t tell her how a bunch of amazing New Yorkers came together to help the hungry. Or how it snowed the night she died, as if she was pulling the chains – she loved snow like little else.
And now with 50 million Mothers Day emails filling my inbox, how I can’t send her flowers or a card, and say I love you in it, or take her out to eat at one of her favorite places, or thank her for helping me be who I am, the drain spins again and the daggers fill my heart. Little things, big things, all voids.
And as time goes on, the list will grow, and the voids will be there. And I can’t ever fix that.
I miss you, mom. And I hope you were reading this.