Family In Mourning

Sometimes healing looks like mourning.

I can love you without accepting you.

My mother doesn’t blink as she says it; I stare back. These are words she believes. She trusts this is what God wants. Every thought and feeling whooshes from me before returning as the familiar slow-burn anger I always carry with me.

Her face is unreadable. Mine fights to match hers.

I need you to respect my name.

I need you to respect my pronouns.

I need you to respect who I am.

I want your support in my transition.

If you can’t accept me, you’ll lose me.

I need her to understand how much pain I am in, but I’m caged. I lash out. I hate her.

You’re the one who really mattered.

Accepting me is turning her back on God. Her tone flares fire then drops to ice again in heartbeats. How could I ask her to make that choice? I leave the table, and I leave her.

I’m selfish.

I’m making her choose between her child and her God, and she will always choose her God.

I need you to love me, not the idea of me.

Tears leak from my eyes while I repack my bag for the airport. My aunt wakes up to wish me safe travels. My mother acts like everything is okay. I resent her for it.

You lied. You told me you’d always love me. You can’t make love conditional now.

I cry in the airport over a soggy burrito that I want to purge with each bite. I hide behind blue lenses. The person in front of me does their best not to look at me as I sniffle.

I board my plane. I sit in the blue seat. I wish I was alone.

Sometimes healing looks like mourning.

Sometimes healing is mourning.