I wrote an essay about losing my mother on Autostraddle.
And so I screamed. I screamed for the woman who’d been my best friend. I screamed for the woman who will never sit beside me driving along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. And then I cried, calling for my mother while I drove with my hands in the ten-and-two position, keeping myself magnificently alive while I faced the fact that we would never live in the same time and space again, head on.
3 thoughts on “This Is A Dead Mom Essay”
Part of me wants to give you my entire back-story, so that I know you’ll understand that I understand, but thinking about it that way renders it silly, so i’ll just start without the back-story.
I can relate to this post very much. I lost my mom at 20 to her 6th bout with cancer (Non-hodgekins lymphoma.. made it to her brain the 6th time.) And her death was directly a result of the hospital having to move an actively immune-suppressed patient through an area of construction in the hospital. She contracted aspergillis fungus, pneumonia, and shingles. That meant no more chemo. She died 4 hours before her birthday, peacefully, at home, surrounded by everyone who loved her who could make it to pay their respects.
Plot twist. I was born a boy. I started crossdressing in secret at the age of 5. I fell asleep in one of my mom’s nightgowns. She found me in it when she woke me up. She did her best to explain what it meant to be transgendered to a scared 5 year old, and she did a decent job. One thing she said, I still remember almost word for word to this day. She said “Your dad and I will always love you and support you, but if this is a path you ever want to follow, know that society will have a hard time with your choice, and it wont be easy.”
This would have been 1987 when she explained this to me.
I spent the rest of my life until about 2-3 years ago, hating the girl in me that so desperately wanted out of the boy shell. All of the girls I had dated either were turned off, or neutral to it at first, some were mildly supportive — they all eventually became jealous. Jealous that they weren’t the only girl in the relationship — that was their role, how dare I not fulfill mine as the boy. I guess, what should I expect dating straight girls… But, as someone who fully identifies as lesbian, its not easy being accepted as a lesbian with a penis.
Over the last few years ive quit trying, and wanting, to kill myself so badly, and have started accepting who I am and what that means. Ive contacted therapists. Im going to see one soon. Im finally addressing something I have tried my hardest to repress and rid myself of for the majority of my time on this planet so far. I tried to kill the girl inside me and it almost killed me. I had to learn that I have to love myself — whatever I am, if I am ever going to be happy. I wish this was something I hadn’t waited so long to admit, accept, and begin to deal with.
Im sorry cancer took your mom way too soon. Please know that your words have touched me enough to write this jumbled mess of a comment to try to convey that I sympathize with, empathize, and understand those soul-crushing feelings, you’ve had to face head on. It never goes away completely, but it does get easier with time.
My mom was my best friend too. I miss her every day. She taught me how to cook, and sew, as well as how to fish. I know that she wants me to be happy, above anything else, no mater what gender that I present. I’m sure your mom wants you to be happy also. The first step on that path to happiness for me, was acceptance. Accepting the fact my mom was taken too soon. Accepting the fact that inside the boy-exterior, im a girl. A very repressed and fucked up girl, but one who’s secretly simultaneously frightened and elated that she may finally be able to come out of the closet, permanently. I’ve accepted that as a possibility, instead of it only being fantasy in my mind. I have to constantly work on accepting the fact that life isnt fair.
Keep your head up. Hold it high, and dont be afraid to tell your story to others. Tell it as often as you can stand and as often as reasonable. Each time you do, it gets slightly easier to accept, and it gets easier to talk about, and process. I hope you find acceptance, and happiness, and the things you ultimately desire. You deserve that and so much more. If you ever want to talk, vent, cry, scream, to a mostly random stranger who found your blog from AutoStraddle please feel free. the email is real.
I wish you nothing but life, love, and happiness.
P.S. Sorry for giving you most of the back story anyway. lol
thank your for that amazing essay – made me feel less alone! lost my mom to metastatic melanoma when I was 7 but I do remember her dying as if it were yersterday.. thank you!
Thank you Celeste and Cat, for sharing your stories! I am so deeply grateful for everyone who has shared their stories with me after reading mine. I am inspired and elated by your resilience and strength. ❤