Monica, you were the sun; a necessary, yet dangerous fusion of elements that gave us light while mercilessly scorching the Earth below you. Though your rises and sets were never as dependable as your children wish they could’ve been, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. After all, I sat protected on the other side of a screen, watching as your family burned thoroughly under your rays. Without you, the South Side will be a bit dimmer.
Some may say that you brought out the worst in your family, but I beg to differ. There is no Frank Gallagher I enjoy more than the Frank he was with you. The complications and depth of your relationship gave Frank layers that he otherwise lacks. You made him cry, laugh and fall apart in the most delicious and delirious ways. I’ve felt sympathy for Frank approximately three times over the course of seven seasons of Shameless and you were the catalyst every time. I’ll miss watching your raw and destructive love unfold. From week long benders to botched robberies, you two had a blast. He just won’t be the same without you.
Aside from Frank, you’d be hard pressed to find a Gallagher that will miss you, but luckily I know where to look. Though John Wells’ writing in “Requiem for a Slut” would lead viewers to believe that Ian was relatively unaffected by your passing, you and your son had a complex, meaningful relationship. I’d like to think Ian’s low affect was due to him being in a state of shock from leaving the love of his life at the Mexican border and then subsequently learning he lost you. The circumstances would be difficult for anybody to cope with, especially a person who struggles with mental illness.
That being said, of course there were times where Ian despised you as much as the rest of his siblings, but there were also moments of tenderness where he grasped onto you just as any lost boy would when he found his mother. You embraced the person he was, even when he wasn’t in the most healthy condition and were the first person he called when he was released from the military prison. Though he may not realize it yet, your son will suffer this loss, even if he’s better off without you.
I’d be remiss not to mention how much your eldest daughter fucking hates you and with good reason. She was only a kid herself when you left her to raise your children. Her life was forever changed by your selfishness and inability (or unwillingness) to care for yourself. Your infrequent homecomings always brought with them a flood of tears from Fiona. As seasons pass, Fiona’s likability becomes stagnant or wanes. Regardless of how I feel about her at the time, an appearance from you always reminds me of why I loved Fiona in the first place. You bring to mind the sacrifices she’s made for her family and the strength she possesses. While Fiona may not miss you, I’ll miss watching Fiona react to you.
Thanks for blazing bright and igniting then incinerating everything you touched, Monica. I love you for that. Hope you’re lighting one up in heaven or hell, or wherever the fuck you went- nobody ever knows anyway. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. R.I.P you fiery star.