My name is Nefissa and there are two of me. There is the Nefissa I used to be before she died, and the Nefissa I became post-death. I lost my mother, Miriam, a year ago. She was 62 and I was 34 years old. She suffered from agoraphobia.

The last time she actually left the apartment was eight years before her mother’s death. When my grandmother, Zoila passed; that was the last time my mother stepped out of the apartment. She stayed inside the apartment for nine years straight.

Two years before that, my mother passed she fell on the floor and being a heavyset woman in her 60’s, she couldn’t pick herself up off the floor. My sister was there and she called my brother to come over and help her.

She struggled but she could still walk around the house. The last year and a half of her life, she decided that she didn’t need to walk anymore so my brother, and I took daily turns cleaning and feeding her. One day she took an afternoon nap, and never woke up.

I come from a family that is overweight on both sides. I used to be a big eater. Since her passing, I have lost weight. I no longer receive sheer pleasure from the eating process. Another way I have changed is that I no longer assume that my family will always be there. I don’t feel the need to get into senseless debates or arguments with family members because I understand the mortality of it all.

One day you are sitting down with a family of five in the dining room, and the next day it is a table for one.

Speaking of a table for one… I also have suddenly found myself not wanting to be alone. I never was one who felt the “maternal instinct”, and I never dreamy of kissing a couple of frogs to meet my prince. I actually used to resent people who needed those things…

Daydreaming about being in an apartment on my own has become a new hobby of mine. People who have never been alone desire to be alone. I cry a little bit now. I was never a crier. When I unlock my door, coming home from work, I shed a tear knowing that my mother is no longer there to greet me in the kitchen.

I have come to understand grieving people much more now. There were so many times that people have told me that they have lost someone, and I can recall how little it meant to me at the time. I now get flashbacks of the conversations I have had with these people and how the grieving process unravelled.

I recall the dysphoria they have felt, the lack of motivation or purpose and the outbursts of anger I have been a witness to. I now pray for them and I apologize for my lack of sympathy in my spirit.

Sparks of jealousy overwhelm me when I hear a woman or man in their 50’s or 60’s speaking to their mom on the phone either at work or passing by me in the street. Just imagine the joy I would have maintained if I had an extra 25 years with my beloved mother.

All good things must come to an end. It was nice venting with you.

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