Does it hurt worse to lose your mother as a child or as an adult?
I know that may sound like a strange question to ask, but I was sitting here pondering on it. Such a thought may even sound depressing. However, I am not depressed nor am I sad. But after experiencing losing a mother at ten years old and then again at 27 years old, I sometimes wonder which hurt worse. I remember being traumatized after losing my mother suddenly to AIDS when I was ten years old. Up until she died, I had been attached to her hip. I still slept on top of her most nights. In the first chapter of my book, Pain, Promiscuity, Purpose: From Mess To Ministry, I write about that experience and how for a long time I thought she was coming back. At that time, I had been learning about Jesus’ resurrection in church, and I had believed my mother was also going to come back as Jesus did. Learning I was mistaken and that my mother was actually not coming back was somewhat traumatizing all over again.
Once my mother died, her sister, my Aunt Tricia became my mother. She was my mother until I was 27 years old when she died. It was like deja vu. The pain was unbearable. For a long time, I had to drink alcohol just about every day just to be able to sleep at night. Most mornings I woke up in tears when reality hit me that Aunt Tricia was really gone. And to be quite honest, I still have moments of disbelief, and it’s been five years. I’m still not able to put into words what losing her feels like. I was about 12 years old when I realized I loved my Aunt Tricia. She’d been in my life all of my life as she and my mother were very close, but it was a different kind of love now that she was my mother. I write how I came to that realization in my blog post, Aunt Tricia ❤. Before then, I was guarded with my feelings toward her. Looking back as an adult, I realize I felt like I was betraying my mother by loving Aunt Tricia. At one point I even felt like I was betraying my mother to consider that losing Aunt Tricia hurt worse than losing her.
Some days I think about my Aunt Tricia, and I burst into tears. I think losing Aunt Tricia affected me differently from how it affected me when I lost my mother because 1. I was now an adult and 2. because I had more time with her, 27 years versus ten years with my mother. But even that fact doesn’t minimize the love I have for my mother and how much I miss her. I cry sometimes thinking about her and how close we were. I cry wondering how she would be with my daughter. But I also cry thinking about how good Aunt Tricia was with my daughter. I cry wishing my mother had made it to my graduations. I cry thinking about how proud Aunt Tricia was at my graduations. I cry wondering how it would have been to grow up with my real mother. I also cry because I did grow up with a mother, and losing that relationship was devastating.
So I’ve concluded that there is no way to answer this question factually. As I wrote in, The Pain Of Losing A Mother, the pain is unbearable no matter how old you are when you lose your Mommy. Other than our love for our children, there is no greater love than the love we have for Mommy. Although I’ve tried many times to put it all into words, the best I could come up with is “ a part of me died with her. A part of my childhood is gone.” And although I’m grown and a mother myself, I sometimes miss the feeling of being someone’s “baby.”
Until next time,
Love, Mizz K ♥
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