An Open Letter to the Woman Who Broke My Heart

Pam,

I know that you don’t know the last time that we were in contact, so allow me to tell you.  March 6, 2016.  It was your birthday.  I texted you to wish you a happy birthday because I never was able to get a hold of you on the phone without miraculous intervention. You never responded. Not so much as a “Thank you.” You stopped responding to me a long time ago. So long ago, in fact, that I never got to discuss with you my returning to college – let alone my graduating.  I graduated in May of last year. You never responded to that invitation either. So, you can imagine how unsurprised I was last month, when you didn’t respond to my deleting you on Facebook.

I know that what happened was a terrible, tragic thing.  I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain that you went through – that you continue to go through – every day. To lose a daughter is an injury no mother should ever have to endure. You did have, and forever will have, my most sincere sympathies.  I have tried on so many occasions to reach out to you, to grieve with you, to check on you, or to update you on important things in my life.  Each attempt has been met with resounding silence. At first, I believed it to be excessive grief.  You didn’t want to talk to anyone.  You needed to adjust to a new normal.  I understand this. Yet, even as you adjusted to this new way of life, and began venturing out again, my messages went unread, unanswered.

I have not heard your voice, nor seen your face in over three years.  This is the longest span of time that we have gone without speaking since I first met you when I was 15 years old. It has been so long that I cannot remember the sound of your voice. I cannot begin to describe the pain that this silence causes me. My heart is broken.  It is shattered into pieces too small for me to reassemble. I am lost – alone, trying to navigate the world without my voice of reason – the person I turn to for guidance.

Most days, I do my absolute best not to think about you. Everyday I make the active decision to not allow my hurt to disrupt my day. I push the pain that lingers in my heart to the back of my mind so that I don’t have to remember how very much I miss you.  This weekend, that coping method has been impossible.  I met a woman so very similar to you in so many ways.  Three years ago, I would have delighted in the presence of your doppelganger and told you all about it when we saw each other next. This year, it took everything that I could to keep my composure and not become the poor sobbing girl at the dinner table.

“Have you talked to Pam?” Grandaddy asked me when I visited him last month.

“No,” I sighed. And added silently, “That would require her speaking to me.”

I don’t know what I did. I will likely never know what it was that caused you to stop speaking to me. I’m not sure that you even know that you did. But every day, I wake up a day further away from the Sarah that you knew.  So much has happened in my life, so many things have changed.  There have been so many huge decisions that I remain unsure if I made the correct choice because I wasn’t able to talk them over with you and seek your guidance. This weekend has proven to me that I still miss you.  As much as I ever did. I miss your spirit, and your encouragement, the way that you could always sense when I needed an uplifting word. I miss your laughter and how much fun we could have just sitting in your kitchen drinking coffee. I miss your wisdom and your enveloping hugs. I miss you.  And I’m afraid that I won’t ever stop missing you.

You always used to say that I gave you too much credit.  Too much credit for pulling me up out of the mud.  Too much credit from pulling me off the ledge when all I wanted to do was jump off of it and make all of the pain stop. My response to you was always that you never took the credit that you deserved. I can say with absolute certainty that without you, I would not be sitting at this computer tonight writing this letter.  I would be in the ground. That’s the reality that you pulled me away from.  You saved my life. What you didn’t do was teach me how to live in a world without you. I don’t know how to do that. I hate that I have to learn how to.

My eternal love,

Sarah

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