Two years and a lifetime have passed

Two years ago today, my mother died.

I have no idea how to follow a sentence like that.

I was awake and saw the clock flip from 3:05am to 3:06am. The “official” moment she left this world. It was a bizarre feeling. I cried. I smiled at thoughts of her. I wandered the house. Not really wanting to sleep but not really wanting to do anything else either.

I have gone through every emotion and questioned so much since she died. I have tried to figure out how one goes about living life without a mom and what the secret is to actually accomplishing that successfully.

I miss her. I started to ask myself what I would say to her if we could talk. Something tells me she would do most of the talking at first. I know the life I have “lived” the past two years has been…well, disappointing. She always told me she could never, ever be disappointed in me. I believe her. But I have been disappointed in me. It isn’t all bad. I have learned. I have changed. I have grown and I have regressed. I have learned to say no when it is right and yes when I should try something new and scary. I have also learned that sometimes when you take a rough, tough piece of coal and apply an immense amount of pressure, sometimes it just stays coal. Which isn’t all bad. That, too, has purpose.

Last year I had things to say. Thoughts to share. Now, I am in a different place. A place of pondering and re-evaluation. This year, I am sad, introspective and feel lonely. But there was a strange new feeling, too. I felt something almost like freedom. No, that is not right. Not freedom so much as something lifted from my spirit. I suppose you could say it felt similar to getting permission to move forward.

I have lost so much these past two years. But I have gained a lot as well. The feeling I felt was as if I was giving myself permission to live again.

I will always, always….until I draw my own final breath…miss my Mom. She was my best friend. She was amazing. She was funny, full of life and the perfect person to be my mother. We fit. We were exactly what we both had in mind when it came to a mother/daughter relationship. I will not stop missing her. I will never get over the empty feeling that something hugely important in my life is missing. But I will move forward. I will give myself permission to move forward.

Because of who she was and how she raised me, I am taking her with me. In my laughter. In my sense of humor. In my ability to laugh at situations where it may be hard to find any humor. Because sometimes that is what you and everyone around you needs. She is with me. Always with me.

After wandering my home, I checked on the kids as they slept. When I looked in on my daughter, the dam of tears broke free. There is something about your own children that gives you both strength as well as weaknesses. There was my daughter. A little girl who needs me as much as I needed my Mom. A little girl who I want to look at me as I looked at my Mom. To love me in the unique way I love my Mom.

With tears streaming down my face, I crawled onto her bed beside her and drew her into my arms and just held her as she slept. Her sweet little girl breath softly tickling my neck as she lay dreaming.

I felt the complete circle. Mom passing the torch. And somehow– for the first time in two years– something inside me began to feel healing as I took the torch that was passed to me and vow to honor all it stands for.

For Mom.

For my daughter.

For me.

24 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing and giving so much. Hugs.

  2. I’m so sorry you lost your mom. I lost a 15 year-old son (one of my very best friends), and would like to talk about it, but a blog site is so open to the world. Some losses are very difficult. And it just takes a lot of learning to know how to deal with the day-to-day memories.

    Cry when you want. It’s ok.

    Cas
    and hang in there.

  3. Oh Jenn, this is such a beautiful piece of writing, and thank you for sharing this experience. I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely these days but you should be proud of how far you’ve come. You’re a terrific lady and a wonderful mother.

    Take care of yourself.

  4. I cannot imagine what my life will be like without my mother. Like you, she is one of my best friends. I am so glad you are finding some healing and hopefully a little peace. My heart goes out to you.

  5. I cannot add anything new to everything that’s been expressed before — just send you a virtual :HUG:.

  6. My mom & I share that same relationship; I too would be lost without her. Thank you for having the courage to share your thoughts and feelings with us. You are an amazing woman!!

  7. ((Hugs))

    Very eloquently expressed.

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  9. A coworker and dear friend just lost her mother — yesterday morning, at 6:00. Hugs to you — and I’ll have a few to spare for my friend, too.

  10. That was just beautiful. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult that must have been for you, but it sounds as if you are using your grief in positive ways, which not everyone is able to do.

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I hope my daughters speak of me that way – someday.

  12. Recently I have been thinking a lot about how hard it will be when my mother dies. She’s 66 and in great health, but I know that it is something I am going to have to deal with in the next 25 years or so and it scares me to death. I don’t know where I will be without her.

  13. Oh, my. How do I even begin to tell you how I feel. I lost my grandfather 4 years ago, and like you, I feel that tremendous loss. I don’t ever want to lose my MOM, what would I do? You wrote something that was so moving and poignant. You are right, you have been passed a torch that you must treasure, hold it high the way all great mothers do.
    Take care

  14. I lost my mom two and a half years ago. Only three years ago did we learn she was ill. I won’t pretend to know exactly what you’ve gone through, because I think it’s just so different for each of us to navigate.

    Having said that, I have read your blog for a long time, though not commented. I have no doubt that while you may have a couple of your own second-thoughts about where you’ve gone in a personal/emotional way since your mom died (and who doesn’t? It’s a scary, strange road to lose your mom and it seems that no one gave us the damn handbook!) that she is with you always, and she’s bustin’ her buttons with pride over the woman that you’ve become, and the mother you are to your children.

    You are an inspiration to many women in need of strong female figures in their lives. Adversity truly does make us stronger women, partners, parents and friends.

    My Best Wishes to you,
    Mara

  15. I understand your loss. My own mother is still living, but when I lost my precious grandmother it was so hard. It has taken me years to come to ‘grips’ with her loss. I still miss her so much.
    I wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing your expericence.

  16. You said that beautifully. I’ve never read your blog before but it’s sort of funny that I should have found it today. My own mom died 1/21/2006, five months after I had my only child, a daughter. So I totally get you there, too. I decided a couple of weeks ago to take up running and run a marathon in her memory, all proceeds going to lung cancer research (she died at age 53, a never-smoker). Just an hour ago I received my donation page from the LUNGevity Foundation. In any case, I’ll be posting to my own blog on 1/21 with details, if you’re interested in checking it out.

    A big hug to you and my most sincere condolences, even if it is two years. You’re never grown-up enough to lose your mommy, in my opinion. All you can do is try and be a good one, too. {{{squeeze}}}

  17. I will try not to be too long here…Im not much of a reader..esp other peoples pers things…I stumbled here tonight…in an almost comical way….I lost my mom, not to death, but I do know about it…I lost my daughter three years ago today, and while it seems that at times…things start to heal, certain days seem to bring up those damn thoughts…best of luck to you….

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  19. I lost my mom to cancer in April of 2006. I live in TN and she lived in CA, I didn’t even get to go to the funeral because I couldn’t afford the plane ticket to get out there. I totally understand where you are coming from. I wish there were things I could have done differently so she wasn’t alway have to worry about me. Thanks for sharing your feelings and know that there are those of us out there who can sympathize.

  20. Just wanted to extend a cyberhug!

  21. I lost my mom 5 years ago when i was 15, i’m almost 20 now. she passed away from cancer.
    it hits me sometimes that i miss her so much, but i block this thought because if i start thinking about it i will break into tears and God knows when will this end.
    sometimes i win, other times the thought wins like its winning now. i just cant help it, she died at a youg age. she died at the time where i needed her the most. i thought that i will get over it y time, but it really just keeps getting worse and worse. i love mom.
    only one thing keeps me positive about this. this thing is that when God takes something from a human being he will give something better back. when? no-one ever knows, but i know one thing for sure, God knows when the perfect timing is 🙂

  22. hey i started reading your blog at the time your mother died. alot has happened since then and i havent been on to read in a long time. wow i cant believe it has been two years already. i recently lost a mother it was the hardest thing i have ever been through i actually was with her when she died i talked to her up until her very last breath. anyway i love reading your stuff you really funny!!!!

  23. I just lost my mother 2 months ago. Your blog really hit home as to how I’ve been feeling. I didn’t think so many emotions could be experienced at once. Her death was so sudden that I need to find answers for her dying. I feel like I have lived and relived my life over and over again the last two months. All the memories just keep coming. I miss her sooooo much. I never realized how proud I was that she was my mom. I too hope my kids have the same “feel good” memories of me. My sympathy to you and all the daughters who have lost their mothers.

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