I remember, so don’t act like I have forgotten.

Dear Mum,

I read somewhere recently that every time you remember an event, you aren’t recalling the actual event. Instead, you are recalling the last time you remembered it. That killed me. Does that mean every time I think of you, I am just thinking of the last time I recalled a memory of you? There is something so removed, so aloof, so unnatural about that. I want to believe that each time I think of you, I think of you exactly as you are, as you were, just you.

People tiptoe around you now. Not everyone, just most people. They act like we should pretend we have forgotten because it is easier than recalling you and your death. I hate it. I want to remember you, daily. You were and still are the biggest influence in my life and that hasn’t changed just because you aren’t here. I want people to ask about you. I want them to the fun, beautiful, bright memories of you that we all share. I want them to acknowledge you. There is no elephant in the room. You are gone. Your influence, however, will never be gone, not for me.

You might just be my favourite and most inspiring subject.

I guess I have been dealing with the fact that you haven’t met him and that you never will. That is a real shame. He has that annoyingly brutal honest bluntness that you had. He also has that absurdly self-deprecating humour that you adored. He’s not what I expected but he is exactly what I think everyone wants in another human. He has your tenderness. You would like him. I think, in time, you would love him. I don’t even know why I am bothering to detail all of this to you. You see it all now. You’ve seen him, seen us.

To quote you ‘I miss ya kid’.

Love and love again,



One comment

  1. breathinsteven · September 13, 2018

    Hey you…

    This is beautifully and thoughtfully written – thank you. And maybe we should stop thinking about the science of memory and think more about the love in memories. Fuck science.

    And I too wish people didn’t tiptoe – but, I’m afraid I’m guilty of it as well… I wasn’t built for this experiencing-other-people-die stuff. I was supposed to be the one who died. Now, because of Kari and Alex, I advocate on the organ donation side – I’ve experienced so much of what you’re talking about. Recipients who tiptoe around donor families, not wanting to bring up painful memories, or hurt them in any way – and, mistakenly, not talking about the donor who saved their life to that person’s family. And being with donor families who want to hear their loved one’s name – OUT LOUD – and want them to be remembered, and talked about, and loved.

    You want people to say your Mum’s name. You hate the tiptoeing – they do it because they love you, or they’re uncomfortable and cannot bear the thought of hurting you. It’s a fucked up dynamic.

    Your Mum was an amazing, beautiful, fun human being – I so wish I’d met her – I so wish I’d hugged her. I know I would have adored her. And given her a run for her money on the humor and sarcasm front! And Teeny, I cannot even imagine how much your Mum adored you. And trusted you, and trusted your judgment. “You would like him. I think, in time, you would love him.” – I think she would love your squeeze a good deal sooner than you think. I’m certain she does love him.

    Like ships, people come, and people go – and if they’re very lucky, they leave beauty and meaning in their wake. She left you. She accomplished her mission with style.

    You take care, Christina. I never met you, yet – but I miss ya kid…

    Love, Steve


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