This blog post was originally posted on atribecalledqueer.com/blog but has been moved to this website due to the personal subject matter.
TRIGGER WARNING: Vivid death details
As the 18th anniversary of my mother's death passed on January 3rd, I couldn't help but wonder it's still so painful for me. Her death anniversary. So, I figured I could write about it and hope for some catharsis. Here is the end result from the deepest place in my heart.
I have come to understand and accept that I will never completely get over my mother’s death. I will never forget the image of life leaving her body. I still remember the sound of the ventilator. The beeps of other hospital machines slowing down along with the assisted breaths of her body. I will always remember the doctor pulling out her intubation. Her head tilted back and her mouth agape. All of her children surrounding her. I stood frozen. Unable to comprehend or accept what I was witnessing. My mind was racing. Jumping from one thought to another, as I screamed internally for help. My mother was dying. I was losing the only parent I had. She was my world, and it was shattering. I will always remember (and unequivocally appreciate) my boyfriend at the time who was standing to my right. Weeping along with me. Tears fell out of my eyes so easily it was as if it was my natural state. I had no control. Every emotion I was feeling escaped my body through my eyes. My stomach felt like I had been gutted with a spoon. Slowly. Delicately. I will always remember how the emptiness in my stomach was so heavy, I felt I could vomit at any moment. Any wrong move and I would puke all over the hospital ICU floor. I will never forget feeling as if I was drowning. Like the drain stop of my life had been pulled and I was spiraling uncontrollably down down down. Then, along with the sound of a hospital machine beep, my mind would snap back to the image in front of me. Her head tilted back and her mouth agape. She took her final breaths. Deep. As if her body was trying to figure out what it was supposed to be doing. One of my sisters clung to my mother, wailing. Her heartbreak visible to everyone in the room. I wanted to run. Anywhere. Everywhere. But I was frozen. I will never forget how I wanted to tell my mother how much I loved her. That it was ok to go. That she would be at peace. Finally. That she could rest. That I will never ever forget her and that she meant everything to me. She was my world. But I’ll never forget how I couldn’t speak. Words meant less than nothing. How could I exist without her. My maker. My momma. I will never forget the things she taught me. The memories we created, both good and bad. I’ll never forget to tell my child how important, sweet, wild, free, and unapologetic their grandmother was. I’ll never forget her because she lives in me everyday. While I will never forget my mother’s death, nor will I fully get over it, what’s most important is that I will never forget her. Patricia Marie Gonzalez. Love doesn’t equate to how I feel about her. Neither does ‘I miss you’