Sometimes the missing can be so conflicting. Who do I think about next? My mom? My brother? My dad? There are certain things that instantly take me to one of them and I weep. But sometimes - sometimes it’s a combination of the three.
At these times my sister and I simply say, “I miss the family” and that about covers it. Still it’s hard. There’s a guilt/shame feeling for not missing one as much as the others (when in reality this is the normal order of things). There’s unfinished business. Unanswered questions. Words left unspoken. And just so much life to share.
It’s been five years since I last sent my mom our back to school photos. Up until this year, I could at least send them to my dad - who would rave at how big the kids have gotten, tell me how proud he is, and remind me how much he misses living close. Before that my brother was included. Now - it’s left to my sisters.
But it stings some. The missing of them. The calls and photos unsent. The updates, funny stories, wild antics. I miss all of that every day stuff. I miss it x three - and though time does heal, when it’s the dark, quiet of night, grief reveals itself again.
And I have to sit with it. Acknowledge it. And let it move through. It’s not easy stuff - and I may not talk about it publicly as I once did, that doesn’t diminish the truth of it: loss is inevitable, it’s unfair, it hurts, but it’s life. I’ve walked some hard, tough roads in my thirty-six years, but I’m here. I’m still standing. And I intend to be for a long time yet.