Content Warning: Extensive discussion of suicide and its echos.
Hey Mum, it has been a while, huh? I’m really sorry I haven’t visited in quite some time.
It’s hard to visit a headstone when you move away.
Two years, bloody hell, how has it been that long? I can’t say that I’ve gotten any taller, but everything else is different now. There’s so much I wish I could tell you, Mum. But you took that option away from me two years ago. What must have been going through your mind, I’ll never know. But what I do know is that if you could see how far I’ve come, you’d wish you hadn’t left. I couldn’t always say that. I fell pretty far off the path after you left.
Do you remember when you pushed me in front of cars just to yank me back by my shirt so you could laugh?
Yeah, I’m jumpy around cars now – thanks for that.
It feels weird even calling you ‘Mum’, because you weren’t really one. You were more of a weird older friend who never really had their life together. I’d ask you to not take offense, claim that I don’t mean it to offend, but that’s not entirely true. Don’t get me wrong, I miss you, and if I could get you back I’d do it in a heartbeat, but you never were much of a mother.
You were the reverberations of an old grunge song, scraping across the damp graffiti speckled walls, filtered through club lights in the haze of smoke. You were danger, irresponsibility, an edge only gained through having your soul run over sandpaper.
But if I did get you back, you wouldn’t have to be a mother. I know you never wanted to be one in the first place. You wouldn’t need to worry about raising me, I did that myself. You wouldn’t have to worry about being protective, Fearless Leader has that handled. This time, if I had you here with me, I would do things differently. I was too young then, too young to understand the support you needed. You must have been so alone, I can’t even fathom.
Or perhaps I can, because in your escape from the loneliness, you left me alone.
Maybe if I had you back, you’d see that you weren’t alone. I was there with you, learning how to self destruct by example. Up until your last moment, I was there with you.
This time, I’d be the parent. I would set you straight, help you stand up again, put you on the right path, and make sure you knew that no matter your past, I was always going to be here. I’m sorry I wasn’t articulate enough to say those things to you back then. But can you blame me? You were my example. You were a kid just like me, exiled from a family, growing up in the shattered hopes of another. I understand why you were that way, but I’m not going to say that it was okay.
Since you left, I have fallen into the magical care of other ladies. Unlike you, they check up on me, they are protective and kind. They picked up the pieces you didn’t even bother to and helped put me together. I am humbled to be graced by these ladies, being the disastrous young man that I am, having been left behind in your wake. They have stood by me through things you would have faltered at.
I know why you did it, why you left.
It must have hurt so much, to hear your sickly son was nearing the end of his estimated time.
But Mum, guess what?
They were wrong,
and I’m still here.
That makes one of us.
Do I sound bitter? Goodness, I do apologize. I’ve never been all that skilled at emotions.
I wonder who I got that from…
I learned a lot of things from you, from my father, from my step mother. You’d be happy to know that I am nothing like you. That no matter what you did, what my father did, what my step mother did, I refuse to perpetuate the cycle of abuse, control, hate, and irresponsibility, you all displayed me. And I know that’s all you ever wanted from me, to be nothing like you.
You know Mum, I’ve grown accustom to black, to ties and suit jackets. I had to bury you Mum. You used to always tell me that boys don’t cry, so I didn’t. I still haven’t, not for you. But maybe it’s not real yet, maybe your funeral still hasn’t ended for me. Maybe that’s why I dress so darkly, tighten my tie a little too tight every day. I put on that suit the day I buried you, and never took it back off, not really. And I don’t think I’ll ever take it off. But don’t go thinking it’s out of loving remembrance, that’s not it at all. You thought you’d be allowed to fade from this world, that you meant nothing, that you were better off dead. It’s out of spite to show you, and everyone else, for the rest of my life, that you were wrong.
I hold my grudge, sure, but no one will ever hate you more than you did.
But with that said, no one will ever love you as much as I did.