Through these moments that I sit still, my mind races, my body’s numb and emotions slowly begin to process. From the moment I woke up today to the moment I went to my bed to go to sleep, I’ve been thinking about her. Glancing at the picture of her on my wall brought forth sadness. As that tight feeling in my chest entered my body again, I find myself in a moment where I’m short of breath and trying to pace myself through it.
I told myself that I’d try to start going to bed earlier each night as a form of self care but often that wouldn’t be the case. As I try to ground myself, I feel that tight feeling again and I weep for her. Holding my stomach as if I was latching onto the memories of how it felt to receive hugs from her, knowing that when nobody else cared, she did.
Feelings of loneliness enter my mind but are challenged by the fact that I hear the television on downstairs which reminds me that there are four guys who are with me throughout this...My dad, my brothers and my uncle. Despite what other people say, nobody else will know how I truly feel. The feeling of having a mother leave this journey and begin her journey in the spirit world far too young is one that can not be described.
I try not to be angry at people when they offer their advice about the situation I’m in because I know they do it with good intentions so I remain silent and accept it. Part of me doesn't want to be silent, it wants to scream at the top of my lungs just to get it out as a release and to feel something. Doing whatever to try and calm myself, I took a shower and prepared myself for bed. I found that texting my girlfriend helped and she calmed me for the time being.
As I write this out, I’m laying in the dark and typing this on my phone. It helps to process my thoughts. I’m currently calm and carry hopes that I will be able to have enough sleep for my radio show in the morning. The current time is 11:13 PM and I’ll need to wake up at 5:00 AM in order to make it to the station for my 6:00 AM show.
Today is January 21, 2019. The show went okay, ran into some technical difficulties which were resolved but my anxiety was still present throughout it and after arriving at my home I went back to bed for some much needed rest and self care. The one thing people don’t know that happens behind the scenes as a public figure is that anxiety becomes a very real thing at times that can hit you like a ton of bricks depending on the circumstances. I’ve been learning to cope with it and I find that cooking, writing, going for walks and going to the gym helps a lot.
As I write this I’m laying in my bed again after much reflection throughout the day. It’s been exactly five months now since my mother passed away and I can’t help but think of how much I miss her. Anger is also with me right now because I am angry at this enemy that I’ve made that has affected many that I love, including my beautiful mother...that enemy is cancer.
Thoughts roam my mind on why certain foods, cigarettes and other things that are bad for us all, which can lead to cancer, are normalized in society. These thoughts are followed by why I need to be diligent with my health and what I consume. I am now reflecting on a new insecurity and fear that I have now. To protect myself and my family from this enemy I want to do as much research on cancer as possible and hope to help others who have been affected by it or who have had loved ones left behind after their passings but only if I could find the strength to.
Trying to channel my emotions into something constructive has been difficult though but I’ve slowly been doing it and have found myself in a position where I’m almost done my second full length album which brings a feeling of only wishing that my mother could hear it. It’s helped for the time being but when people say that it’s “day by day” it really isn’t, everyone grieves differently and for some, it’s ever fragment of a second, taking things moment by moment, not knowing if you’ll be able to function or completely shut down.
Whenever I performed, my mom would always be rocking away close to the stage and that’s one of the things I’m going to miss the most. I made a commitment to myself the night she passed. That commitment was for every performance I do, will be to celebrate her life and the life she has given me. Knowing that her spirit is still with me I find that I often will get small reminders which bring both sadness but calm me at times as well.
What people need to understand is that silence, listening and just being there holds so much versus offering words of what they feel people need to hear during times like these. Unless they’ve lost a mother than they shouldn’t be offering their advice or two sense, but when they do I respectfully listen to what they have to say although at times it may upset me. The point to make is that if I wish to talk about it with them then I will, other than that it’s nobody else’s business. Writing this is to try and put this into perspective for people who don’t know this feeling and I hope that it will help with healing for those who are facing similar challenges.
I talk to my mom regularly, every night in fact, and there isn’t a day that passes where I don’t think about her. These past two days have been very hard for me but I’m working through the motions of it and I’m grateful that pieces of her are still with me through my two younger brothers as well as her other half, my father.
“Mamawi”, the title of my first full length album, has a stronger meaning for us as a family now and through that I know my mother is carried with us. Every time I see a “Mamawi” hat I think of how my mothers face lit up when I gifted her one while she was on her hospital bed. That memory is the last sincere smile I had from my mother and will forever be embedded in my heart. She was someone who was known for bringing people together and she continues to do just that.
As I continue to write, it is now Monday, a start to a new week and I am sitting at home alone in my basement. Do I continue writing? Has enough been said? As the thought of silence revisits my mind, I accept it and acknowledge that as each moment passes I am learning to live without my mother in this physical world but will always carry her spirit with me. I now think about how the dishes need to be done then think of how the simplest task can become the biggest challenge some days. I've tried to add lyrics to some other songs I was working on as well but found myself with writers block.
One thing that I'm accepting right now is that it's literally taking things moment by moment, forgetting the small things like gossip and the negative energy's that other people will dish out. For the people that wish to support and understand what I'm going through, I welcome them, but for those that don't then I wish them the best. All I know is that this is a beginning of a new journey, at the age of 26, where somedays I will be able to lift myself up and some days I will fall, some days I will be strong enough to lift my family up and for the days I am unable to they will be strong enough to life me up in return.
With the dawn of a new day I will continue to smile, to cry, to laugh, to weep, to dance and to sing in honour of her. Moment by moment, acknowledging that tomorrow isn't promised to anybody so I need to make today count, that's what she would want from me.