The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.
I knew, in that instant, things would never be the same again. My mum, who has said goodbye to her parents, her in-laws, a sister, her best friend, and a husband of 30 years, could not possibly bear losing a daughter, too.
I know my mum; this will, and has, drawn her further into herself. She is very, very angry about a lot of things, and rightfully so. My sister should be here.
In the late years of her life, my mum deserved some peace.
It’s difficult to watch my mother grieve, mostly because I know I can’t fix it. I can’t make this better for her. It’s not going to be better in five years.
To be honest, it’s not a consolation to my mum that she has another daughter. There’s no, “At least we have each other still”, or anything like that.
My mum finds no comfort in my presence because I am not my sister. I am not her favourite daughter.
They say parents don’t have favourites, but of course they do. My mother loves me, supports me unconditionally, would do anything for me. But she doesn’t understand my ‘strange’ lifestyle choices, such as living as a divorcee and not re-partnering.
Mum thinks my skirts are too short, that I let my child have too much screentime, that I gave up a solid career for a less sure one.
Those things are all true. I have always been the rebellious problem child.
But my sister, in my mother’s eyes, was perfect. From how she presented herself to her incredible career, my sister was undoubtedly the light of my mother’s life. There’s one photo where mum is looking at her with a particular expression. I recognise it, because it’s the same expression when I look at my own child.
Beaming adoration and pride.
My mother has never looked at me like that. She just doesn’t enjoy me in the same way, and I’ve grown up accepting that to a large extent. I know we’re very different people.