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Mom, I Miss You. This Mother's Day and Every Day

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Flashback to junior year of high school. I grudgingly drag myself out of bed to the smell of eggs and pancakes filling the house. Rubbing my eyes, they focus on the picture that is my mother in the kitchen, who has already been up for hours making me breakfast before school. I see something else too, an emptiness in her eyes, and a look like she had been crying for hours. I asked her if everything was OK, and she reassured me she was just stressed about losing her job. She coughed and blew her nose from a cold she had been fighting for the last few weeks. When I’m getting ready to leave, she comes over to hug me. I brush it off, and tell her I cannot afford to get sick. She looks me in the eye and tells me with tears in her eyes that she loves me. Hurriedly I say “love you too,” and walk out the door.

I never thought this would be the last thing I ever say to my mom. Never would I have thought I would come home to ambulances filling my driveway, seeing my dad crying at the end of the road, telling me “I couldn’t save her. I’m so sorry, I couldn’t save her.”

The rest is a blur. Shocked faces, floods of messages, people wondering what to do and how to accept the fact that my mother passed by suicide. But how do you ever accept the fact you will forever be missing a piece of you from that moment on?

It’s been almost two years, but I can remember this day like it was yesterday. I’m sure it’s the same feeling for anyone who has lost a loved one. There isn’t a day that goes by without the memory of her passing through my mind, making me think of her and missing what I had. Making me replay old conversations, making me think of things I should’ve said or could’ve done to save her. They say time heals, but I think time just allows me time to practice hiding my feelings, not necessarily healing them. I don’t believe time heals, it feels like nothing does. I just get better at hiding it.

I never knew my mother had bipolar disorder until after she passed. I had no idea what it was like to experience a major depressive episode, or a manic one. Even after the grief and sadness following her death, I still cannot fathom the battles she fought every day. Hiding her diagnosis shouldn’t have been one of those battles.

Normally, Mother’s Day would be spent planting flowers in the yard and making her dinner with my sister and father. Instead, this Mother’s Day will be spent putting flowers at the cemetery. This month, Mental Health Month, will be spent raising awareness for mental illnesses in hopes that the stigma surrounding them will continue to deplete. In hopes that others do not feel ashamed or scared to tell people about their condition. In hopes that loved ones will be saved and that people will get the help and support they deserve.

This Mother’s Day, I may not be able to spend time with you directly, Mom, but I will spend all day honoring you. You always were looking to help others, to take away their pain. If only you could know that’s all I wish I could’ve done for you.

I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Photo via contributor.

Originally published: May 12, 2017
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