Who would I be if my parents were still alive?
Sometimes I think of my mother sitting at the kitchen table in my parent’s house. It might be a memory or just a daydream where I’m visiting. We are having a conversation but my gaze is directed to the tv. My dad is sitting behind his computer, reading some articles online. And then the story ends. There won’t be more than this.
While growing up, the biggest and perhaps most important part is the relationship with your parents. They shape you, teach you things, encourage you, warn you. And so did my parents, as long as they lived.
The death of my parents was the end of a chapter, while I had already started to write a new one. They died when I was 23, at a time where life was teaching me a lot. Every time I visited my parents, I discovered new sides of them, new habits. I noticed their way of communicating with each other after being together for 30 years. I started to see that they were just people, like anyone else, who happened to be my parents.
And then they left. It makes me feel incomplete to have lost them at this time. I wonder who they would have been if they knew the person I am now. I want to know who I would be if they’d still be here. How often would we talk? What words would we use? What is my body language, my love language? How often do we ask each other how we’re doing?
I’m not only missing them physically. I also miss the opportunity for others, my friends, to get to know me as the daughter of my parents. I wish they could meet my parents and see the origin of my habits, my personality. To make fun of our weird sides, and to talk about the flaws of our relationship, as adults.
It’s something unique, the relationship with your parents, something one-off. After they died, I had to make all of my decisions without them. The longer they are gone, the more I become a person that is mostly affected by other people around me. Sometimes I am afraid I will become less and less of my parents until the person I was when they were with me will be gone. Then I realize their death has shaped me more than anything in the world, a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life.