Mother’s Day without a mother
One afternoon my siblings and I came home from school and my parents weren’t there. They should have been back from the hospital by now, where my mother had a routine procedure on her neck. I wasn’t worried – I was 11, the age when your parents seem invulnerable.
And even if that age seems infinitely far away, I still remember very clearly everything that happened after that. I was sitting on the living room floor doing homework while my siblings were watching TV on the sofa when my dad walked in the door and said, “I have something very difficult to tell you guys.” He looked pale and shocked. “Something went terribly wrong with Mom’s surgery. She’s not coming home.” I remember telling him that wasn’t funny. But he quickly made it clear that it wasn’t a joke.
At first I didn’t cry at all. I felt numb and confused throughout the day. It wasn’t until we were all sitting around the dinner table and couldn’t eat a bite that it hit me with full force. We all cried profusely and held hands. We didn’t eat until the next day.
Later I understood more details about my mother’s death. During the surgery to use a laser to sever the blood vessels in her neck, one of her arteries was injured, which ultimately led to a heart attack. She was only 43 years old.
My mother was my favorite person in the world and I was used to doing everything with her. She walked us to school every day and picked us up again. At the weekend we drove into town and went shopping together – not without stopping for a cake in the supermarket cafe. At home we watched some tearjerker series for hours. Every picture I drew as a child was for her. She was the one who taught me to seek the joy of life in small things.
And even if my father did everything in his power to distract us, after her death my world just seemed empty. Everyday situations suddenly became terribly difficult, like seeing my friends or even strangers on the street with their mothers. Because they constantly presented me with a future that I could no longer have. My friends even started feeling bad about celebrating their relationship with their mother.