Will You Wait For Me As I Cope With Losing My Mother?

When Love Needs Distance: A Test of Strength

Suffering and Healing | | , Writer
Updated On: June 1, 2024
 Testing times bring out the best in relationships


Testing Times Bring Out the Best in Relationships

Yesterday, I lost my mother. After a long battle with cancer, she passed away, leaving her four daughters behind. She didn’t lose the battle; she went fighting. I was with her throughout, making countless trips to the hospital, each time hoping for a better outcome. I put my studies and work on hold, hoping things would improve someday. Throughout it all, you were by my side. You stayed when I had to move cities, took care of my siblings when I couldn’t, and drove us to the hospital at odd hours, leaving everything else behind. I can’t thank you enough for that.

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The Support You Gave Me

For the ten years we have known one another, and the eight years we’ve been together, my life has only become more complicated. Yet, you kept things simple. A simple ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m always here.’ A mundane meal together or a phone call from hospital canteens. You kept me from sinking—not as an anchor, but as the quiet calm of a shore for a weary swimmer. While everyone else was settling down into marriage and certainty, you helped my life’s rocky boat stay afloat, promising to be there through all the turns and tides. We kept our dreams on hold, waiting for the waters to subside.

The Pain of Loss

Now, Mother is gone. The center of my world and the reason I wanted to be a better person every day. I know she’s no longer in pain, but I miss her, and I will always miss her. My world lies shattered at my feet, and nothing seems worth it. I know you want to be there, to hold my hand, and to cry in your arms. I might do that, but not yet.

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Needing Time Alone

Right now, I need to find myself in what’s left behind, and I need to do it alone. I may not talk to you for days. I may not laugh at your jokes or discuss your troubles. You’d want me to come out and talk, but I may lock myself in and cry for hours. At first, you will understand. But I can’t give you a timeline or an expiry date for my grief. As time goes on, you will start to lose patience—first with me and then with yourself for not being able to help me, for feeling so useless when someone you love is suffering.

The Challenges We Face

A couple in an emotional argument, with the distressed woman projecting her sadness onto the conflicted man in a dimly lit setting, highlighting their struggle and emotional turmoil.

I will be mad at you too. I may project other miseries of life onto our relationship or question every decision I have made that has led me here, including being with you. Will it be fair? Perhaps not. But what’s fair when life deals you such a hand? The loss of my faith in myself will seep into losing faith in any relationship. At times, you will become a reminder of the very sadness I am trying to discard. In moments of deep despair, even a helping hand can seem like the devil’s push.

The Passage of Time

Days will pass into weeks and months, and what once was a love grown from deep friendship may become a shadow of two people who are not sure why they are together anymore. Do we let our love fizzle? Did we fight the battle with our families only to lose the war within? This will be our struggle, darling—not a fiery climax where we face the world together or burn trying, but an ebbing flame, like a candle that has spent itself, with the wax melted as tears off its face.

Or perhaps the flame is not on its last leg but is ready for new beginnings, still trying to grasp the wick and alight. I know I’m asking a lot. There’s only so much one can commit to a relationship. Once a few years pass, the love should survive by itself and not need a test by fire.

What I Ask of You

You have given a lot already. Unconditionally. Yet I ask for more. I ask you to stand by me not as the pillar of comfort you want to be, but as a wall of strength.

I may not seek you all the time, nor even acknowledge you at times, but I’ll know you are there to stop me from falling out, from facing the world alone.

You want to actively help me manage my grief and try to put the pieces of my life together. But I want you to just be there, maybe hazy, distant, yet present. Because right now, I need to mourn alone, to find out who I am and what I am about to be. That’s not to say you are not a part of my life or that I may not put this relationship into a fresh perspective. The storm lasts minutes, but rebuilding takes years, and I need to rebuild.

Our Path Forward

You didn’t abandon me during the storm, so don’t lose hope now. We will want different things at different times. I may even want time apart while you’d want us to be together all the time. I may be moody and irritable, or just plain angry all the time. But it will pass—not as soon as we hope for, and not the way we want. We will take baby steps, not towards an elusive happy ending, but towards a magnificent everyday, built on love and a whole lot of patience. Patience to stand along the sidelines while the other makes sense of life. To be willing to let go of the smaller issues for the bigger picture. Stand by, even if the other may not stand with. What I demand of you, of us, is not the expected or the regular, the simpler or the easier way. But then again, we weren’t made like that anyway.


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