Friday, September 25, 2015

Am I Still a Daughter?

As I read all the National Daughter's Day posts on Facebook, I was forced to pause and reflect for a second. I felt weird, being that I have no daughters of my own, yet I love three little girls (my nieces) immensely.

I also felt weird that I have spent 41 years of my life being a committed daughter to my mom, who is now gone from my physical presence forever as of September 2nd.

Does her physical absence somehow make me less of a daughter because I don't have a mom anymore?

Strangely enough, I do feel like I’m not fully a daughter anymore. I feel that I lost a piece of my daughter status when she slipped away from my grasp the early morning of September 2nd. I feel that as a daughter… A good daughter… I should’ve been able to do more to save her from leaving forever. I should’ve been able to do something to help her live without the physical burden of chronic illness and disability. In a way, I feel that my daughter powers failed my mom. And so, she left me, without me being able to do a damn thing about it.

It makes me sad to feel this way. But I get better every single day.

When Mama left me, I embraced the guilt of her pain, sickness, and even death. I punished myself for not making her life better. All of my friends and family told me to not beat myself up. They reminded me of how much I’ve sacrificed for my mother. But even though I knew all that they were saying was indeed the truth, I still felt like I should’ve done more.

Today, I don’t feel as guilty. But even in my dissipating guilt, I don’t feel that I’m as much as a daughter as I was prior to September 2nd.

I don’t feel motherless or orphaned. I just don’t feel like a fully functioning daughter anymore.

It’s strange. I guess this is just grief in all of its vivid, less than delightful colors.

2 comments:

MackDiva said...

You will ALWAYS be a daughter. It's one of the many statuses in our lives that won't change. The act of being born a girl makes you a daughter. Just like uterine duty makes you a mother. Personally, I think it's about the level of daughterhood you're operating in. For instance, having a baby makes you a mother. But if you give the child up for adoption, you're not an active mother. Now that your mother is gone, you're still a daughter -- just not an active one.

Fix America said...

The grief process is quite a harrowing and enlightening experience. Losing my parents took some time to work through. But when I lost my wife of over 24 years, I can honestly say that I 'lost' it.

It's been seven years, and included homelessness. It's been 4 years since I was able to pull myself together and face a new life alone. Like you, my friends told me that I did all that I could do, and I felt that I didn't do enough.

This morning I learned that a very dear friend lost her grandmother. Feelings welled up inside. That loss never completely fades away. And events like this one today often bring back the full emotions of loss.

I nor anyone else can offer more than sympathy and kind words. Understanding is not the same as experiencing.I will always by the son and the husband. That will never change.

You are and will always be your mother's daughter.