I’ve known for a very long time that I am okay with dying. I felt comfort in knowing that one day I will be dead and all my troubles have faded. I’ve also known that I am as a matter of fact not okay with anyone close to me dying. It’s not them that have to deal with the fact that I’ve lost them. It’s me. Dead people don’t exactly grief as well as the living do.

This morning I realized, my mother is probably very okay with dying. I am not okay with her dying though. My mother is a smoker, and for a few months now we’ve been arguing about me wanting her to stop and her accepting that she will always be a smoker. I tried to convince myself it’s probably because second hand smoking is worse than putting the cigarette between your own two lips. But the truth is, I don’t think I could deal with another passing of a parent.

My dad died from cancer and to me that seemed like a big enough wake up call to stop doing things that are bad for you. At the same time it also meant “enjoy your life”. My dad would always say “If I knew I was going to die this way, I would have continued to enjoy my Bacardi”. That doesn’t mean I’m going to pick up the bottle and drive myself to drink, but I am most definitely going to enjoy myself.

I think my mom feels the same, she wants to enjoy herself, and the cigarettes make her happy. But I just couldn’t bare the pain of losing the one who is most supportive of me. I feel that because of this we have grown apart and I will never be able to fully accept her for her, even though she is a beautiful, caring, loving mother with just one small flaw. I’m pretty sure my mother has concerns of things I do and whether they are damaging to my health or not. But I don’t think she feels a need to comment about it since we are all adults here.

I sometimes wonder how my siblings feel about this or even think about it. I know that because of her smoking, and my father’s previous smoking, none of us smoke now because we know the damaging effect it has on us and the consequences it brings to those around us. With that being said, I will never allow myself to smoke because I will never want anyone to feel this way about me.

Completely alive and breathing, Kamla.


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