You're Going to Die

A 501(c)3 nonprofit bringing diverse communities creatively into the conversation of death & dying, inspiring life by unabashedly sourcing our shared mortality

Happy Birthday, Mom.

Happy Birthday, Mom.

This morning I told your grandson that today's your birthday. He abruptly replied, "Oh." And then, "You miss her a lot." I said yes & started crying, tears instantly streaming down my cheeks. He ran away & lay face-first into the couch & cried. I told him to come back & when he did, I held him in my arms. He said he cried, because I cried. I told him that it was alright to cry & that sometimes we love people so much that we have to. And with no prompting, maybe even to make himself feel better, he told me you're okay now & that you're in heaven & he's the first person I've ever believed when they said it... 

I told him that we're here because of you. And even now, as I type those words, as I type that truth, I'm crying, filled with feeling for it. When I told him that you were still here, that you're in us, pointing at his chest, he told me you are in all of us, our whole family. And then he added, "She's in everyone in the world." And as strange as it seems to type that out now, I believed him when he said that, too.

But I'm sorry I forget. 
You are working hard to be in my life all the time...
I want you to know that I'm present to that today.
And I'm practicing remembering you outside of me.

For after all, where are you in this world if I don't speak you?
Where are you in this world if I don't LIVE you?

You are the first reason I am here.
And now, it's my responsibility to be the last reason you are, too.
If I don't make choices to live you while I'm here, then you aren't.

And I hope my son tells people after I've died when it's my birthday. I hope that I live in a way that demands it.
Thank you for all of this, this whole life that I have.
You are reminding me, 
even now, 
that after I die, 
I'll be in this world, too...

Today, on your birthday, you are in this world, Mom...

I love you.