#CosmoAfterhours: A tale of death, loss, and freedom

...and walking away from the shackles of a toxic parent.

#CosmoAfterhours: A tale of death, loss, and freedom

It was almost four o’clock on a Sunday evening when I returned from my mother’s funeral. I hadn’t met her in nearly a year, but here’s the kicker: I didn’t exactly feel sad when she died. It is a secret I’ve never dared to tell anyone. My mother’s words had a way of cutting me deep, she was sharp-tongued (she could slice through steel with those words of hers) and quick to anger.

Death Wish

It’s not like I didn’t spend years to win her approval. Like any good daughter would, I did everything she expected me to. But, it was like chasing a rainbow—nothing ever seemed to sparkle enough for her. Her snide remarks about my hair, body, clothes, and even the choice of my friends—she controlled everything. My relatives expected me to be grief-stricken but strangely, I felt a sense of peace. I was finally away from my mother’s oppressive grip.

I knew somewhere that it was wrong to feel this way, but I couldn’t help it. Come to think of it, I was finally free from my mother’s toxic influence. I have lost my mother, but I gained something far more valuable—freedom.

As told to Ria Singh

Illustration by Tanya Chaturvedi

This article originally appeared in Cosmopolitan India March-April 2024 print issue.

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