nostalgia (noun): a sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.
I wake up at 4:00am in the morning by the voice of my elder sister, as soon as I see her red face and her puffy eyes I know something is wrong, very very wrong. Her lips open but words don’t come out right at the moment, I stare blankly and think about the worst… Thing is I was wrong, what came out of her mouth was THE worst.
“Mom is not with us anymore”
Instantly my eyes fill up with tears and I start crying without saying anything… What words can make up for all the things that fill my soul in that moment? None. None could, and none will. We must leave to Tegucigalpa right away–at the moment I was in San Pedro– she tells me to shower and asks me if I can do it by myself, I nod my head and go inside the bathroom. The warm water hits my body but somehow I’m still inside the nightmare. I summon her face to my mind while I get dressed, trying to make her come back but there’s no answer to my call.
Now in the bus station I see how everyone seems to keep on going, so normal, so ignorant to my pain. Can’t you see my whole world just broke down? Stop laughing. Stop talking. Stop… just stop. We get on the bus and I fall asleep, next thing that wakes me up is my godmother and cousin calling me. I expected them to call me to give me their condolences but as soon as they speak their voices break.
“Tell us is not true. It cannot be.”
It cannot be. Of course it cannot be. She’s strong and she’s… SHE IS MY MOM. She is supposed to be in my graduation, she’s supposed to get mad at me when I go out for the first time and come later than I said, she’s supposed to call me after my first day at work and go with me to eat out my first check, she’s supposed to meet the guy I’m going to marry and like him more than she likes me… she’s supposed to be here.
I arrive to my house and my dad opens the door his eyes red and his soul tired. All the house feels empty and nothing makes sense to me. Cellphones, telephones, the doorbell don’t stop ringing. Everything is a chaos and somehow we have to make it to the funeral in less than three hours. Who evan came up with this? Who was so nonsensical to make those who are suffering organize a social event? I put on the only black clothes I got in my closet and we head out.
People come every second. Some I’ve never seen before, others I know my mom disliked totally–this happen to be the ones with the longest condolences and biggest compliments to the woman my mom
was is–, some close coworkers, classmates and/or friends, and those who are mourning just like us and with us. The worst part of this are the hugs, with every hello comes a hug and with every hug I feel more vulnerable. I don’t want their hugs, I want her hugs.
People keep on trying to make me eat but the emptiness inside can’t be filled with anything. My brother and my eldest sister look busy with paperwork and my other sister is receiving the guests. I’m just there. Existing. Hurting.
Night comes and I feel tired but can’t sleep in the room of the funerary, I still can swear that every time I closed my eyes I heard as if someone was rapidly turning the pages of a book. My cousin and godmother take me to their house, place where I’ve stayed so many times I can certainly call it a second home. My cousin lays down in bed next to me and asks me the big question.
“How do you feel?”
“Tired, but I can’t sleep”
She hugs me and I close my eyes. When I open them again it’s morning already.
We go to the mass and then to the cementery. I stand next to my brother and sisters as the coffin is being lowered. I decided not to look at my mom even when they insisted on it.
“She looks beautiful, in peace”
No, I was not going to let that take over as my last memory of her.
Dirt is poured over. Tons of flowers cover the dirt. Tons of flowers, which is ironic: my mom didn’t like flowers.
We say our last goodbye and head back to that which we have to make home again.
I cannot really explain why I had to put all this memories down into words, maybe is the nostalgia that has been crawling inside me lately or that I know some people have lost someone close to them these days and this just takes me back to 2011. It’s already been more than 5 years and a half since this nightmare and somehow I never got to wake up. I have even come up to terms with myself that I never will and that this is something I have to live with.
Losing someone you love–the one person you love the most–is the hardest thing that can happen to you but it also teaches you a lot. Of course, I would change all these lessons learn for one afternoon with her but still… better make something out of it, right?
I would lie if I tell you that my life is miserable, that I’m sad ever since and that I never smiled again. I smile on a daily basis, I consider myself happy and I have a pretty good and blessed life. But that doesn’t mean I’m not broken, in fact I am broken and still a pretty big mess, every once in a while I cry a river and battle to get out of bed, and every day I think of her and miss her while her absence walks next to me.
But I also know she’s up there watching me. Probably proud since she was proud of whatever I did, even if it was nothing… for real. And I also learned to appreciate more the ones I love, to hug harder, to say “I love you” every time I can and to keep on moving: no. matter. what. She raised up a strong badass girl, so that’s the only thing I can keep up on doing to make all her efforts worth it. (Thanks God she didn’t care much about my grades, otherwise I would be in big trouble now)
So, if you’re suffering right now from a loss just know… It’s okay to play their favorite song on their birthday, get angry with them when you need a hug and they’re not there to give you one, get angry with yourself for not giving a better last hug, cry when a tiny thing triggers the pain of their loss and to never let go of their memory.
“A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved”