Two years ago today, my mom, Solange, passed away. She was mummy and Grandma SoSo. The void of her physical presence is like an aching, gaping hole that will never be filled. The pain isn’t as intense as when she first passed, but I feel it. You can read about my experience here. My solace is that she is no longer in pain. I’m grateful for her love, sacrifice, and everything she taught me.
I’ve been toiling with the notion that I am, in fact, an orphan. One of Merriam-Webster’s definition of orphan is “a child deprived by death of one or usually both parents”. Both of my parents and my stepfather are deceased. I’m hesitant to put too much thought into the term orphan, but I heard someone refer to another adult as an orphan the other day and it got me thinking. I imagine that orphans who grow up without their parents from an early age feel alone in the world. I had my mom for 44 years of my life and I’m grateful. However, as the youngest of four children, I am not alone. As a child of God, I am not alone.
Our mom’s passing has brought my siblings closer. My brother, Patrick, visits her grave every Sunday and sends us (my sisters and I) a picture via group text.
I love these texts. Visiting my mom’s grave at the cemetery is how my brother and sisters honor her and manage their grief. I live in a different state and manage my grief (and everything else) through writing.
In the past few months, my mom missed four of her grandchildren graduate: two from college (Nicholas and Saiye), one from high school (my son, Caleb), and one from middle school (my daughter, Elise). At Caleb’s graduation in May, my sister, Gina, reminded me that our children are SoSo’s legacy. My mom missed the news that my niece, Gabriella will be going to graduate school at UCLA in the fall. She missed her nephew, Emmanuel having another baby. Our lives are going on without her and it doesn’t seem fair. Life isn’t meant to be fair. But we have each other, her DNA, memories, and love. We miss you and will see you again one day in paradise.