I usually don’t post on Saturdays. I take the weekends to recharge my brain, be a lazy bum and maybe cook some Jambalaya. But today I broke one of my golden rules of blogging and flipped my laptop open and perused the Internet.
My traffic has been down so I’ve been stalking Google analytics to figure out how I can improve my numbers. One of those secrets is partnering with other websites (that’s another blog post). As I was checking out who has been talking about GorgeousInGrey, I came across a referral from BuzzFeed.
My eyeballs instantly did a happy church dance as I clicked on the source link. Turns out, it was an article from a writer I met over the summer, Anita Badejo. I suddenly remembered our meeting over kale salad (it’s so gross to me) and delish Parisian inspired bread at Le Pain Quotidien.
During our meeting we talked all about my brief relationship with blogger, Karyn Washington. You might remember her from a post I did back in April that went viral within hours. In the article I wrote I shared screenshots of our email conversations and I let the entire world know that I also battled depression and even thought of suicide in the past.
That post led to this post because I instantly became the poster child for depression. And you beauties know what happened next. The Internet trolls took this opportunity to slay everything I knew to be true about who I am.
I’m happy that Anita’s BuzzFeed article about Karyn has finally been published. But all I keep thinking is, have we (the Internet) forgotten about her. It’s the same question I ask when I find myself enjoying life and then I’m interrupted with thoughts of my mom.
I think about Karyn a lot. I remember the day the world found out she committed suicide. I was a wreck that morning, and the thousands of Facebook status updates with the news of her death was not helping. I had saved all of her emails because my intention was to check back on her. But I was too late. Recently, after looking back at our messages again, I let go of that guilt and realized that I did all that I knew to do for someone who was a stranger to me. I truly believed that I had given her a few more moments of hope during her darkest days.
The same is true for my mother. I was by my mother’s side up until the last two weeks of her life. But while I was there I woke up one morning and I felt so empty inside. I had lost myself somewhere. Everything I knew to be normal had been abruptly taken from me. Most of my days were spent watching her body melt into nothingness and helping her swallow the thousands of pills that she took to make her comfortable.
So I left my parent’s house to head back to New York. I told my mom I loved her and that I would be back in a few weeks. When she was first sent home for home hospice care the doctors said she just had a few weeks to live. It was three months later and I had started to think they were lying. I never made it back to her to say goodbye. While my dad and my grandmother held her hand as she took her last breath I was in New York…living my life.
The guilt my darlings was so real.
I’m sure Karyn’s friends and family, and anyone who has ever lost someone close to them, have this same guilt. It wasn’t until recently that I began to address the guilt by telling myself the truth. I had loved my mom the best way I could. I had been there for her as much as I could, and there was nothing I could have done differently to save her life.
The same is true for Karyn’s family and friends. I hope they haven’t adopted those demons as their own. I hope they come to find peace in the moments they did have with Karyn.
That’s all I have when I find myself missing my mother beyond anyone’s comprehension.
People ask me how I cope with my mother’s death all the time and I tell them… I LIVE!
I also spent a few months writing my thoughts in my first book, Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died. It’s my love letter to everyone struggling with grieving.