Updated: May 25
Seventeen years ago today, my mom died. The little girl I used to be was going through hell, and I'd give anything to comfort her. I wish I could give her a glimpse of her future and let her know everything will be okay. If I could write that little girl a letter, this is what it would say.
To The Child I Once Was,
Her funeral is today. The shock has faded, and reality has set in. She isn't coming back. I know the pain you're feeling is excruciating.
You feel so alone today, even though dozens of people are around you in the same green velvet pews you've been sitting in your whole life. No one here understands what it feels like to lose their mother so young.
At the tender age of twelve, you already understand that nothing will ever be the same. Your world has been turned upside down, and you have no clue what's on the path ahead of you. Normal is a thing of the past.
At this moment, your grief feels like a fresh wound on your soul. But one day, your grief will fade like an old scar, getting ever lighter until you can only see it when you look for it.
There will be hard days. Days when you would give up everything you own in this world for just one more conversation with her. Especially on birthdays, first dates, and heartbreaks.
But also little moments. You'll think of her when you fold the corner of the bedsheet the way she taught you. When you see purple pansies, you'll be back in her garden planting flowers with her. Anytime you say 'ain't,' you'll hear her voice saying, "'Ain't' isn't a word."
At first, thinking of her will be painful. That's okay. Think of her anyway.
One day, you'll start to smile through your tears. Eventually, you'll be able to recount memories of her without crying. You'll wonder what she would have been like and what your relationship with her could have been.
During the hard times, lean on your friends and family. Your brothers and sister would move mountains for you, your nieces become your entire world the day they're born, and you'll find yourself smack in the middle of the most loyal group of friends you've ever encountered.
Life will throw you even more curveballs, but you'll keep knocking them out of the park with their help. So hold tight to them and recognize how blessed you are to have them.
At times, life is hard and downright unfair. Now it'll be more challenging than you ever could have imagined. I know you're scared right now, and that's okay. Courage doesn't mean you aren't afraid. Courage is being afraid and moving forward anyway.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have better days. I promise. One day, out of the blue, you'll realize that you've become an intelligent, adventurous, compassionate woman.
You'll look around and see the life you've built and the wonderful people surrounding you. You'll think of the phenomenal memories you've accumulated and know your mom would be proud of the woman you've become.
The good days outweigh the bad, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. So keep an open mind and heart, and live your life expecting extraordinary experiences.
All my love,
The Woman You'll Become