The only person who ever loved you is dead.
The thought had surfaced to her consciousness more than once before, but this was the first time she had let herself believe it. In her rational mind, she knew this was not true. There were many people whom she felt love from, whom genuinely loved her. But that love wasn’t the same.
How is anyone supposed to learn how to love if the purest kind—the love of a mother—was absent in the most pivotal moments of their life? How does one live a normal life if society’s definition was a shattered reality? What is left of innocence when maturity is forced in its place too soon?
The phrase “I want my mommy” took on a whole new meaning.
There were people who said they understood. They had lost an aunt, grandmother, friend before; surely loss is one and the same. Their attempt at empathy was always appreciated, but never taken seriously. They would say “She would be so proud of you,” but the words leaving their lips were not the same. The only person who could say those words could never speak again.
Her children would never know their grandmother. She would have to find someone else to shop for a wedding dress with. She would never know how her mother would feel, what she would think, about her life choices.
She stared at the scars in the ceiling, overwhelmed by the emptiness in her stomach, her heart. Her questions went without answers. There was nothing else to think. Nothing else to feel. Nothing.
Her heart went on beating. Her mind went on searching for answers. Her lungs went on breathing.
There was a time in her life when she was told to keep moving forward, even if the future appeared dark, bleak. She was told to take one day at a time, a cliche she often heard yet seldom believed. She was told all of these things, but she had never allowed herself to listen. Staring at those cracks that proved even cement can falter yet still stand, she gave her mind permission to listen. She allowed her heart to believe the encouraging cliches others had spoken. It may take years before those thoughts became reality, but vowed to remember the cement. She could scar, she could shatter, but she would still stand.
She allowed herself to believe that her mother would be proud, would love her, if she could say those words herself.
And she would let the living love her.
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