This time last year, on the 19thof June, we found out that the cancer had spread to your liver. The 18thof June would become the last day that I could believe, or pretend, that you would be in my life ‘forever’.
Today, I bleed.
In the space of a year, everything has changed. I have grown up so much, but so has everyone, no matter how old, who went through this with us. In a way, I’ve had to, yet I have also wanted to. I wanted to mature as fast as I could, understand the world as fast as possible, because I was terrified.
We didn’t know what living without you in our lives even meant. I wanted to learn as much as I could after you passed away to ensure I would survive by myself. I guess I wanted to become a wise old woman overnight so that I could deal with anything else life throws at me.
Yet, ultimately, that is not possible. You would say that we have to make mistakes in order to learn. But I also learnt that you have to just ‘be’ in order to learn to live. There’s so many things I want to tell you about what I have learnt.
This year, from 18/06/18 – 18/06/19, has been the most formative period of my life.
I saw you change. I saw myself change. I saw rocks crumble, and paper turn to metal.
I wish I could go back to 18/06/19 to hug you, and laugh with you. For probably the best day of my life, I don’t even know what we did.
But above this, I would give up everything to go back to 19/06/19.
I often think about the moment where our world collapsed. I imagine us hung in suspension. Our mouths frozen in smiles or laughter. Paused in everyday activities; eating, talking, shopping. In my head I picture my fantasy being destroyed by the Devil’s fist. Smashing it into a thousand pieces, to be lost forever in an abyss of inevitability.
If I could go back, I know that I wouldn’t be scared now. I could help and understand you and everyone else, a little bit better.
I would hold your hand. It’s a simple thing, but I wish I did it more. I would love you fiercely, and defend you mercilessly. But I would also just let you talk about how you felt more. Yet perhaps you wouldn’t share your fears with me because you wouldn’t want to scare me. There’s no way of knowing.
I know you always knew how much we loved you. From the 18/06/18, our love for you has shaped every day, in some way. We gave our all, and fought bitterly until the end. I think I wish to go back because I crave for one chance to love you and make you feel like you aren’t alone.
I cannot imagine what you went through. I can’t comprehend how you said goodbye.
I know you wouldn’t want me to think about it, but I do. You wouldn’t think of yourself as brave, but I do. You were the bravest woman that I know. You are the bravest woman that I know.
I’ll never know how you went through that.
You didn’t want the doctor to tell you how long you had left on the 19thof June 2018. But we had 90 days left with you. I would do anything to have those 90 days back.
Your daughter, with all my love,