Amelia Aratangi – Mourning The Living
To: My father.
I have lived without you my entire life. Since the 11th of January 2008, I have mourned the loss of you.
But how do you mourn someone who still lives? Would you know? Do you mourn me? Do you mourn
my brother? I was never your favorite; you saw too much of my mum when I gazed up at you. I used to
hate it, as it meant I was always the child put on the back burner, patiently waiting her turn to receive
your attention, only for you to give it all to your other kids. I am your flesh and blood, and yet I feel like
an outcast. I am half of you, and I hate it. I don’t want to look like you, I don’t want to act like you, I don’t
appreciate your traits and I do not wish to have your ability to not care. I do not want your selfishness; I
do not want your immaturity and I do not care for your apologies. I would however like to see you so I
can give you a photo of the young girl you destroyed and ask you if she truly deserved it. I want you to
really look at her, from the curls at the top of her head to the bright smile on her face and the twinkle in
her eyes. I want you to see the girl who had to grow up and get used to the fact that only one parent was
going to come to her events. I want you to see her bright persona and know that you were the one who
dimmed it, that you are the reason that girl, the one who used to dance in malls in rainbow skirts and sing
in public is no longer with us. I hope you get mad, mad that I have broken the silence you have become so
adjusted to, and you scream and scream and scream about how I am just like my mum. The young girl
who rests deep within the walls of my heart glows at the sentence. I hope your heart aches like the young
girl whose mother just told her that to her dad she was a burden, the unwanted and forever forgotten child.
I hope you feel embarrassed, but do not mourn me, for I am not your tragedy. I am not some damsel in
distress that needs saving or a shattered mirror that needs cleaning up. I am whole without you. Taken in
by womanhood and my mother’s arms, I am whole. The gap you left in my heart was filled by the
nurturing hands of my mother, the woman you mistreated. She mended my heart together each time you
broke it in two. She held the girl you destroyed in her arms and rocked her to sleep, her own eyes wet
with tears. As you open your mouth and tell me that I am too much like my mother, a smile creeps up on
my face and a thank you slips out of my mouth before I can stop it. Before I know it, the room shakes
with your anger. But nothing else matters when I have my mother’s DNA. She is the good in my system,
the DNA that I wish to keep. I will keep her, and she will keep me from removing you entirely from my
life because she does not want you to feel how I felt. She does not want you to know what it feels like to
be abandoned. She will mend my heart each time you break it without a complaint because she is not
selfish, unlike you.
For: My healer and the little girl we lost on the way.