I don’t remember her at all. I was four when she died. I recall standing in the kitchen hugging a woman’s leg. I suppose you could say I remember her but that wasn’t her. That was her leg. I remember going to my uncle’s house one day and there was explaining why. They told me that my mother was in the hospital. I don’t remember clearly.

I asked why Mommy was sick and nobody could tell me the truth. Or they tried to but I just didn’t understand. They said something about her heart. They said it wasn’t working right and the doctors were going to fix her. I asked how they would do that but nobody could answer.

I cried sitting in the wooden chair of my uncle’s kitchen. My grandmother was there too. She rubbed my back and tried to console me but I remember that I couldn’t stop crying. Finally I stared at the floral wallpaper to distract myself. I disassociated from what was happening; I stared at the daisies thinking they could take me to a different place; a happier one.

It didn’t work. They got the call. My mother was dead. I only have small memories like holding her leg in the kitchen or looking up and she had flour on her apron; she was making apple pie. I remember the smell of the pie. She only used Granny Smith apples.

I don’t know why God took her. Later I found out it had nothing to do with her heart. She had taken her own life and I didn’t know why. All knew there’s that she had an illness that I would later find out was bipolar

She was sick and I didn’t understand for a very long time. When I finally got it I was able to process my grief
in a real way. I was 25 and I went into therapy and talked about losing her and how it made me feel. It hurt me deeply and I don’t know that I will ever recover from it or repair myself. The stages of grief – they are not linear they are squiggly lines and they don’t make sense.

I will miss her even though I didn’t really know my mother. I am happy that she is no longer in pain but I am sad that I never knew her.