My Mother: Beautiful, Loving, Missing for 17 Years

First Person

My Mother: Beautiful, Loving, Missing for 17 Years

Illustration: Ahmed Sikander

T

hree years ago, I was randomly scrolling through Facebook – my attention caught in the lives of the smiling faces on my timeline – when a notification alerted me to the reality I’d been ignoring for a long time. A close relative had responded to a status I’d put out earlier that day wishing my mother on her birthday. Her comment read, “I hope she is happy in heaven.”

I vividly remember being shocked, angry, and agitated at the comment. It had inspired a bunch of well-wishers to insinuate the same thing: that my missing mother was dead.

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