No one can ever describe the pain of losing a child. I watched it happen all the time during this seemingly endless war. I came close to losing my own children many times, but I told myself that it wouldn't happen to me. That wouldn't happen to my three little lives. It always happened to other parents. Every time I heard about or saw another child lost to the war, my heart went out to the mothers and fathers struggling with the grief. I could only imagine the sheer pain they must be going through. And even imagining it made my heart feel as if it would be ripped apart.
I knew that I could lose any one of you--my children, my flesh and blood--at any time. Did I ever really believe it would happen? No. I think if I believed that, I never would have been able to let any of you out of my sight. Any mother wants to think that she can protect her children. And with you three, that was harder to do. People were after you all of your lives, using you for their own ends, or to try to get to your father and me.
That is something that I regret. You never really had a normal childhood, did you? I don't want to count the number of times you were kidnapped. You grew up so fast...too fast. I wish I could have been there more than I was. The time I did have with you was precious, though. I loved watching you change and grow and learn. And you, Anakin, were always learning. That mind of yours could absorb so much. Your life was too short, but infinitely beautiful. You lived life to its fullest. There is so much about you that I will never forget.
I remember the way you would wrinkle your nose in your sleep when I would come in late to kiss you good night. I remember you running around with one of your father's shirts tied around your neck, pretending to be a super-hero. I remember you sitting on the floor and taking apart one of Jaina's mechanical toys, and the way she would exasperatedly make you put it back together.
There are so many memories--I hold onto each and every one of them. Sometimes I fear that I'll lose them, and you'll be completely gone. I keep holos of you, so that I will never forget your face. I touch them, recalling your warm skin, wishing that by touching an image I could ensure that you are alive and well. It brings me so much joy to look at them and think of the wonderful man you were turning into, but it hurts so badly at the same time. The thought that I'll never get to see you get any older, never see you get married or have children of your own brings regrets all of their own.
Life goes on despite your death. Sometimes I don't understand how that's possible. Sometimes I'll find myself laughing or enjoying myself and I'll feel guilty. I've been told that it's just accepting your death and moving on, but how can I do that? Doesn't anyone understand? How can I live life without you?
I don't think anyone but a mother could understand the unique bond between a mother and a child. I was the one that carried you for nine months. I felt your first movements. I felt the first signs of life in your tiny body. I went through the pain and joy that is childbirth. I held you when you first entered the world, red and screaming. No one but a mother knows those secret joys.
I kissed you when you scraped your knees. I saw the wonder in your eyes when you learned something new. I remember when I had to let you go to the Jedi Academy for the first time. I cherished the stories you told me when you would come back to visit. I wondered what you would do with your life when you got older. I feared for the choices you might make.
As you got older, I watched you become more independent. When the Yuuzhan Vong invaded, I watched you forced into battle at an age when all you should have had to worry about was learning to be a Jedi and an adult, and how to fit into the universe. Being a Jedi is something that's hard enough to deal with as a young adult. I saw you thrust into adulthood. I saw you faced with decisions that no one should have to make--not even the great Luke Skywalkers or Han Solos. I watched you change into a man before my very eyes.
I wish I could freeze those happy moments. I wish you could have lived a normal life.
Sometimes I think if my choices had been different, you would still be alive. I think about my own mother, and wonder if she had thoughts like this. When she gave Luke to Owen and Beru Lars, did she feel the pain of losing a child? Luke might not have died, but she gave him up knowing she might never see him again. Did she feel the way I do? Did she blame herself?
I would do anything to bring you back, my son. I wish in my heart of hearts for one more second--one more stolen moment. I want one more minute to look at you, to hold you, to tell you that I loved you. I want to tell you that I'm proud of you. I want you to know that you made a difference. I want you to know that you changed my life before I even saw your face for the first time. I want to tell you that you made my life better, more fulfilling.
But I can't. I can't go back. There's a part of me that still doesn't seem to know that you're gone. I'll wake up at night and think that I'm going to see you, or I'll hear something and think, 'I need to tell Anakin about that.' There's a hole in my heart that will never be filled. It's a part of my heart that was yours, and yours alone.
You will live on in my memory, and the memory of others. I know that people hundreds of years from now will hear your name and know who you are. That will be a time when the pain surrounding your death will be a thing of the past.
For now, though, my son, when the pain strikes deep, I will always remember the times I shared with you...the special memories that are mine, and mine alone. For now, I will let it be enough that I had any time with you at all. I will let it be enough that I had the opportunity to know you, to be part of your life.
For now, I will let it be enough that I had the honor of being your mother.
I will always love you, Anakin.
Original cover by obaona. HTML formatting copyright 2003 TheForce.Net LLC.