I am. Not mine perhaps, but other people’s. People I love. People who love me. Five years ago my mother passed away. And with her died a whole world. The world I took for granted, that solid ground I was stepping on thinking it will always be there for me to step on, the unconditional love that I finally realized how privileged I had been to have.

I am afraid of death, I am afraid of people dying because I am afraid of the irreversibility death brings with it. After my mom’s sudden death I found myself trying to make sense of what was left, trying to put together the world that fell apart. I let anger take over, I let it stomp its ugly big feet all over my thoughts and then I felt guilty for allowing all of that to happen. I did not allow myself to grieve as much as I felt like grieving because that meant acceptance. And accepting what you cannot change, accepting what hurts, well, that’s not a simple one-step deed.

My mom’s birthday has since become a day of pain. So has the anniversary of her death. And my thoughts are of course running ahead of me here and I think of myself as a mother and of my sons. I want them to celebrate life and not death. I want them to look at it with the acceptance that takes them further down the road not with anger but with joy. Gratefulness for what they had when they had it not anger for what was taken away. So here I am, honouring my mother by looking at her life, not her death, by celebrating the joy she brought to my world and not the pain that I’ve felt since I lost her. And that means that spring bells will return to being just spring flowers and not “the flowers that were in bloom when my mom died”, the blue sky will not make my eyes tear up because of that painful thought that my mom will never see the blue sky again. That means remembering how good it felt when her hand was caressing my hair and how I should just caress my sons’ hair while reading to them because that touch matters more than my letting anger take over the time that could be spent building the memories that will help them smile long after I’m gone.