I forgot to tell you

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Shaun Tan

You might have read, and may remember, that I not long ago wrote about the moment when I said “I love you, Mom”, then started to cry and after that felt so much better in my relationship with her.

This could have been kind of an awkward thing to say, considering Mom has been dead for a long, long time. For me, these kind of things aren’t awkward at all, but what do you say about the following?

A couple of days later… it is late afternoon and I’m preparing dinner. Suddenly, while chopping the veggies, I hear a voice in my head.
– Hi, it says.
– Mom???
– Yes. Does it feel very uncomfortable for you, that I’m here talking to you?

I understand she doesn’t mean the voice in my head per se, I’m pretty used to that, but that she is concerned since I earlier have found it very distressing even to think about her.

I reach inside and search for such a feeling.
– No, I say. I’m good.
I can feel she is smiling, and then she says:
– I just wanted to tell you, I’ve always loved you very, very much. And I still do.
– I love you too, Mom!
Then she is gone.

I can’t tell you how I knew it was Mom. It was not the voice, which was just like a thought in my head. It was something else. A feeling! A knowing!

Yes! I just knew it was her, and it felt divinely good.

Painting by Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan