Dear Mariana:

Today is your birthday and I try to imagine how you would look today. Although I try to imagine you as more mature -- with grown-up features, perhaps taller -- in my mind you'll always be 14 years, 5 months and 8 days old.

You would have finished your last year at school… I remember how you proudly used to say that you belonged to the class of 2000, the new millennium. Who knows what school you attend now and what new things you are learning in your new life… because life doesn't end. It's eternal, but its manifestations are ephemeral, aren't they?

I've also learned a lot because pain is a very dedicated teacher. There is great truth in the words of one of my cyber friends: "The good thing is that you will survive… The bad thing is that you will survive." I've survived because it's the only thing I could do, and even if I closed my eyes and wished time would stand still; the truth is that the sun keeps rising every single day. Life's energy seems to be more powerful than all other kinds of energy. It follows its own course and doesn't stop for anyone or anything.

I can cry out to life, to the universe, of the unfairness of your death… My tears and screams disappear into a void I can't visualize or understand. Sometimes I feel that an abyss is separating us. At other times I feel you are so close that I could hold your hand. I have to invent the answers to my questions, in spite of staying awake so many nights, trying to unravel the thin veil that separates this life from the other.

I know grief is a lonely journey. It doesn't matter how many people surround me, I feel terribly alone. After you left, I started a journey towards my inner self that I could never have imagined. I have found pieces of what was left of me from the day your journey to eternity started.

I have found some of my old self, but basically I feel I am a new person now, very weak and small most of the time. At other times I have the great strength that only pain can develop. I don't recognize the woman I used to be.

I know I'll mourn for you every single day of my existence. I know my successes in life will not be enough to fill the void in my heart. Since you left, time has altered, and the memories and the experiences of our lives blend together. I can't separate the past from the present, but sometimes I get a glimpse of the past and I am under the impression that time is organizing itself again. The future, still blurry, is like luminous dots that suddenly appear before my eyes. Memories from our lives are like light and fleeting clouds. Others are like the clouds in a thunderstorm, heavy and dark. Those are my worst days, when I feel fate's cruel blows; when I feel nostalgic and yearn for past happy times.

I have learned that time, paradoxically, is my worst enemy because it separates us, but also my best ally, because each day I am closer to you. I hold on to the idea that we'll meet again. This is my hope. This is what keeps me going.

I would have loved to meet the woman you never became! I can't stop thinking about what might have been when I measure happiness in other people's faces, and I wonder if they appreciate what they have.

Mariana, I like to share my deepest feelings and my thoughts with you. I close my eyes and imagine that you are beside me, reading this letter, although I cannot see or touch you.

I want to believe that wherever you are, you are well.

I love you so much,
Your Mom


A gift from Roy, a friend from the Grief and healing discussion page


  < Letter from Nina


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