How do I let go of the person I love the most?
As I stood there under the faint glow of the light above your hospital bed, your hand held tightly in mine, I watched scenes of our life together unfold hastily in my mind. With your and my entire existence reduced to a mere five minutes - or probably less, I watched you closely, unable to tear my eyes away.
There, I stood shaking and crying silently, forced to be the lone witness to your passing.
How I love the sound of that word. I could say it over and over again and never tire of it. I could see your eyes moving beneath those heavy lids held shut by coma. Your ragged breathing had started to slow down.
Suddenly, a rooster crowed faintly in the distance, breaking the silence to signal the dawn of a new day. Instead of looking forward to it, however, I dreaded it, knowing all too well that by the time the sun finally rises, you would have already gone.
The last few minutes we had left together seemed like milliseconds. I did my best to hold on to them as much as I could. Eternity came and went, and through it all, I just stood there watching helplessly as you struggled to fight death's embrace. I bent down, kissed you on the forehead for the last time, and whispered, "I love you so much, Mama. It's okay..."
Then, you gasped and that was it. Your hand quickly slackened in my grip. At that moment, I felt your life slip away gently, gracefully, and effortlessly. Just like a sigh.
You finally let go. But sadly, I haven't.
Sorry, I had to lie. I did it for you, so you could be free of the pain. Back then, there was nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the inevitable. Despite the unbearable hurt tearing through my soul, at the back of my mind, I was certain that time will come, and I too will be able to muster the courage to let you go. However, at that moment, I just wasn't ready yet.
Now as I sit here with my face drenched in tears, which never stopped pouring since I started writing, I can say that after more than two years, I have finally found the heart... to let you go. I say this despite the heaviness and emptiness that I know will always be here. You may have gone from this world, Mama. But that does not change who you are to me.
You are my mother; I am your daughter. You are my one true love, my forever.