Being Motherless: Reflections After a Year

February 15, 2012. One year later. The date reads the same, except for a difference of only one number; but, what a difference that one number can make. If that two were a one, I would be back there, on that day; but, instead I am here, where everything has changed.

Death is totally in the numbers. The time on the clock was 12:29 p.m. Her blood pressure stats were changing on the monitor, from hour to hour, 99/63 … 67/30….The phone number from the nursing home the day she got sick lingering on my caller ID. 704.… And of course, the exact date on the calendar when she died. 02/15/2011….

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There are the numbers of the days that slip into a count of the weeks, which amount to the passing of months – starting at a crawl but before you know it, fly by at a run. And pretty soon you arrive at a year. Before too long, not having a mother anymore is no longer your first thought upon waking. It becomes, perhaps, your second or third thought, until it hits you mid-morning or even mid-afternoon. Then, on some months, the 15th slides right on by and you realize later; oh my, it was ten months ago yesterday, wasn’t it?

As the countdown clock of 2011 wound down, I began to feel a strange melancholy ache about leaving this dark year behind; because, as much as I was ready to begin anew, it felt as though that switch in year meant I had to permanently leave my mother behind.

For my daily consciousness to no longer be in the context of my mother died this year, but to have to now be my mother died last year; or, knowing one day, sooner than I think, it will be three years ago … five years ago … ten years ago … infinity years ago….

In my mind’s eye, all this passing time seemed to make losing my mother matter less; because, I knew the world at large would see it as less of a loss, once a certain amount of time had gone by. So many people might think, she died last yearwell, really then, shouldn’t you be over that by now, shouldn’t you not feel the fresh raw grip of gut-wrenching sadness that you will never talk to your mother again, now that a full year has passed?

Because you see, death is also in the people you leave behind. The ones who show up and the ones who don’t. In addition to everything else you have to process, you have to process the little discussed truth that, with one singular death, there are going to be what is termed in the psychological textbook for grief, “secondary losses.” Or, in other words, the heartbreakers. These take the shape of the people who can’t turn and face with you the depth of your pain and the monumentality of life change that has just happened to you. The people you loved and trusted and thought you knew, before death. But then, after death, become someone you didn’t really know at all.

Life becomes that simple. Your life before death. Your life after death.

But there are always the ones who do show up, and show up in ways that will make your heart hurt with their love and support.

On Monday, February 14th, 2011– Valentine’s Day no less – I sat alone in an ICU room after having made the decision to have my mother taken off life support; knowing that, as impossible as it was for my head to understand, the next several hours of my life would be spent waiting for my own mother to die.

And then my friends came. Like a flock of support. They arranged childcare, got their husbands home from work and dropped whatever they were doing to be at my side, so I did not have to sit alone in a room, watching a monitor.

My own husband instantly stepped up and assured me that our children would be fine, that he would do whatever was necessary – including the last minute errands for Abby’s preschool Valentine’s Day party the next day – and made me feel filled with his love.

And my sister, the only other person who was about to endure exactly what I was, got on a plane and flew for hours – and made it in time to be together at our mother’s side. It was fitting, really, because sisters are like that, you know – at least the good ones anyway. They are just there, always. And in the end, through the final hours, minutes and seconds – while my mother’s heart ebbed – it was the two of us, alone, in the dark ICU room, in the pitch of night, making more than one off-color joke. And then, still, just the two of us after the sun came up the following day and we stood for the final time with our mother, holding her arm oh-so gently, as she passed away.

In the days following her death, I was blown away, and still am, by the outpouring of support and love I received from people, near and far. I cannot tell you how amazing it was to receive emails and cards and calls from people with memories and offers of help or just kind, genuine condolences.

My mother’s brothers, my beloved uncles who I adore, flew across the country and assisted me and my sister in cleaning out her room at the nursing home and her closet at my father’s home. And as they have done for my entire life, made us laugh and just feel better, for even tiny moments. My mom’s very best friend in the whole world, my second mother, called daily and we felt her love stretch across the miles.

There are the people who think to ask every few months, randomly, about how I am feeling and there are those who remember on the big firsts, like Mother’s Day, to say, “I know this must be hard for you.” And because I am human, and we humans like to focus on what we don’t have rather than on what we do, I forget sometimes to think more about those people than the ones who don’t make those calls to me, who don’t ask those seemingly simple questions. But I have learned that family is not only made by blood, but by those who surround you in times of triumph and trial.


Death is in the moments. The order of Chinese food just days after her passing that somehow contained lo mein, even though no one had ordered it. Except, that my mother ordered lo mein every time she ate Chinese food.

Or in discussing how to pick the right place to scatter her ashes, when me, my sister and my uncles almost simultaneously began talking about a small picture that used to hang in my grandmother’s house; one where my mom looked so young, happy and peaceful. A picture none of us had ever discussed with anyone else before, yet we all managed to bring up at that exact moment.

Life contains very few decisions that feel perfectly right, but deciding to scatter her ashes in the park where that picture was taken was one of them.


Or in the moment, a few months later, when we learned that the park was closed for the summer – but my uncle getting special permission for us anyway – then realized that is how she would have preferred it … private, with no strangers. We could practically hear her saying it.

Then, the moment of realization that the bag of trash you so haphazardly threw away in a trash can at a hamburger stand on the side of a mountain road actually contained her extra ashes; and the realization that no one would have loved that story more than your mother.

Or, that night at dinner, on my mother’s first birthday … without her, when her very best friend in all the world – in her very best blond moment – punchily, quasi-ordered a dessert on behalf of the dearly departed birthday guest with a request for the wait staff to sing Happy Birthday. And then, the staff showed up at the end of the meal with a piece of cake and a song ready. We all laughed until we cried at how we had been joking when we suggested it. But again, no one would have loved that story more than my mom.

And then, all the moments in between, the day to day, you watch life somehow go on. The checkbook still needs to be balanced; the kids still need to get bathed or be driven to school, and the grocery store still needs to be visited. But then, sometimes, out of the blue, out of the waves they call grief, a giant fist appears out of nowhere and delivers a knock-out punch to your soul; and it cries out, “Your mother is dead.”


It can be as simple as a song on your iPod that reminds you of the time when she – who would immediately turn off the radio when she got in a car – tried to argue that she loved music more than the average person. Or the first time that you see Tom Hanks on David Letterman and your hand reaches for the phone to tell her, because he was her biggest Hollywood crush.

Then there are the profound moments like when your daughter looks at you with tears brimming over the edges of her big blue eyes and says, “No else loved me or listened to me like she did.” And you know that she is right.

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So here I am. It has been a year. I don’t feel like I have crossed a finish line or won any kind of trophy, and I certainly don’t feel like I have achieved any sort of closure. I definitely don’t feel as though time has healed anything, because all that I feel time has done, for me, is pass by.

I still carry my grief with me. It is a part of me now. My grief is made of irreparable loss, of pain, of memories of red flashing phone numbers, the surprising grittiness of ashes, a hamburger stand on the side of the road.

If I learned anything, it is that no one can be prepared for a major death, and time can’t fix everything. All time does is allow you to find a way to accommodate grief, like a sudden and permanent limp that doesn’t stop you completely but will forever alter the way you move through the world.




Being Motherless: Reflections After a Year — 191 Comments

  1. Gut wrenching, and so beautifully expressed. My heart aches for you…and yet, I feel that your mom watches you through every limp and every tear, every minute and every ‘year’. I have a feeling your mom would be so proud of all you are and the power of your passion. May you at least find peace in knowing that.

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful and incredibly heartfelt comment. 🙂 I genuinely appreciate you taking the time to write it, and I believe that you are right. My mom was big on not wanting to miss out on anything, so I have no doubt she is watching now.

  2. Well, you know I can relate all to well to your words. I love how you describe accommodating to the loss as a permanent limp. I think that’s spot on. Everything feels a little different now that my mother is gone. I hope that the passage of time takes away those sucker punch moments and soon because I’m tired of them. I still can’t believe that we lost our mothers just a day apart, but I am glad to have had someone to walk through all these firsts together and share these crazy emotions, and a few (or maybe a lot) of morbid jokes along the way. I truly do hope that having passed this imaginary line in the sand of “getting over it” that we both experience more peace and if not, at least we know we can call eachother for a been there, done that pep talk. Much love to you today.

    • I have to believe in some way that the universe knew we would need each other during this time and so we were allowed to have this experience together, as sucky as it is, there is comfort in having a good friend to call upon who knows exactly where you are in the process. Like literally exactly.
      No matter whether tomorrow (or in your case Friday) comes and it is suddenly somewhat easier or it feels all of the sudden harder, knowing that you are here is really helpful.
      Thank you for that.

  3. Beautifully written. I’ve felt so many of those same things. My Dad passed away in 2008. I remember on the year anniversary thinking it hadn’t gotten any easier – and it really hadn’t. I still could not mention him (or hear anyone else mention him) without tearing up. It has gotten a little easier today. I still miss him dearly but am able to accept it a little better. Your mom would be so proud. Hugs to you. xoxo

    • Thank you Jenny. I appreciate you taking the time to read this and leave this comment, and I have to tell you that it helps to hear that, honestly. It gives me hope to imagine a time when it won’t always feel so fresh and raw, and I think that only people who have walked this path (and walked in on the young side like us) can provide that level of comfort, so thank you.

      • I found your words very comforting. I find myself reflecting on this passed year I lost my mom September 13,2012. With the anniversary approaching I can’t help but think could it be a year since I’ve heard my moms voice …or touched her hand or made her laugh. I’m at the angry stage of my grief my mom was everything to me. My best friend . I am the oldest of 4 and we were all close with my mom but the 2 of us had this sixth sense. Even as a child my dad was ill when I as very young and she useto stay up nights watching him. I would wake up with the feeling that she needed me and when I got there she would say you heard me. I felt numb when she died and now the numbness is wearing off and the pain is worse now then when I first lost her. You are right every day life does go on. But I always carry a heavy and broken heart and I think I always will. Most of the time I an be in a room full of people and still feel so alone. One day before I moved I was laying on my moms bed after she died and I was crying. All of a sudden the stereo in the living room started playing and in it was a cd we had left in there that my sister had made for my mom to listen to while she was going through radiation treatments it was my little niece saying you can do it grandma we love you and all kinds of encouraging things. I guess that was my lo mein LOL. I hope we all find peace but for now I haven’t found my acceptance. But your post made me feel less alone. Thank you for sharing. Gina

        • Gina
          I understand your feelings so much!
          My mum died 23rd December 2012 and like you I feel so lonely.
          Its strange that I have so many friends I find it hard to fit them all in but I feel lonely!
          I get this overwhelming feeling of home sickness and then I it hits me that I have no home to go to.
          I guess home is where our mums are and our mums are no longer with us.
          Like you I am finding it hard, yes I carry on, yes I laugh and yes I can fill my days but at the end of the day the loneliness sets in and I just want my Mum.
          The only thing that keeps me going is that my Mum would be mortified I wasted my time!
          We may feel lonely Gina but our Mums would want us to be happy so lets do our best!
          I wish I could give you a hug!!!

          • Gina, I just wanted to tell you that September 13th is my mother’s birthday, so that is a bittersweet day for me as well. I will certainly be thinking of you next week, because that first anniversary is just so hard. Sending you hugs.
            And to Margaret, thank you for your beautiful comment to Gina. I always appreciate seeing the support on this post for other people who are grieving. Something tells me it would make our mothers proud.

  4. I’m in tears. Such an eloquent way to honor your mother on this day. Despite the complexities and busy nature of life, some things are so simple: time keeps marching on and you will always miss her, no matter how much time has passed.

    Much love to you, friend. Today and always!

    • And the flip side is that time does in fact keep marching on in all the good ways, too. And the people who leave us behind would not want it any other way, in fact.
      Thank you for reading this and commenting, and I am sorry for making you cry.

  5. This is one of the most heartfelt and eloquent things I’ve read about grief…or…well, anything, really. It’s beautiful and heartbreaking. I had to step away from the computer twice before I could compose myself to write this. I haven’t been there yet, but I am here for you through and thinking of you and Laura today and every day.

    I know your mom is proud of all you have done this year as a mom, friend, and daughter. I know she’s watching over you. (I also know she will be laughing the next time we go to the movies because I fully intend to get some M&Ms and eat them one. by. one. 🙂 )

    • Thank you my friend. 🙂 You made today so much more bearable and even quite enjoyable (until the M&M confession, of course, ;)) and I greatly appreciate your friendship, both today and always.
      My mom would have LOVED you, by the way…and your children…LOVED them.

  6. I can’t begin to express how beautiful, in all of its sadness, this post is. I don’t imagine you ever really “get over” the loss of your mother. I don’t know this, but I just can’t imagine that I’d ever feel complete without mine. I can’t believe it has been a year. You continue to make her proud, you know. I hope you continue to experience those lo mein moments every now and again. No one needs to be reminded when the loss is such a permanent part of you, but I imagine those moments are welcome, and much-needed. I wish I had better, more poignant words for you, but I don’t. I’m at a loss. Which, I suppose is only fitting given what you are feeling. Hugs and love from far away, dear friend.

    • Thank you Stacey. Hard to leave a fellow writer without words, so I will consider this a job well done, then. 😉
      Those lo mein moments are very welcome, and I often wish for more of them.
      I genuinely appreciate your support and love, it is amazing because at times this I can feel it for sure. 🙂

  7. A most beautiful piece Ash! Enjoyed it immensely, even though I did cry for you, Laura, your Dad, & all of your family upon reading it. You are right, as far as grief & the passage of time, but no one can take away the life, & love your Mom shared with everyone. Especially her family!! Love you, & keep up the most precious art with words!

    • Thank you so much Scott. I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to leave this comment. 🙂 You are so sweet. I have to tell you that you were one of the people I had in mind when I was writing it as it meant so much to me last year that you reached out to us and sent a card and an old picture. So very thoughtful and kind.

  8. Ashley…I adored your mother and I think of her often. Amazingly, I think of her most often when I am doing laundry. Years ago, she told me that when the decision was made that she would be a stay-home mom, she decided that no matter what she did, no matter how mundane, it would be done as good as she could do it. I remember how she pulled out one piece of clothing at a time from the washer, shook it out, and placed it in the dryer. She swore that the clothes dried better and looked better when they came out the dryer. When I have a chore I don’t want to do, I remember her telling me that no matter what you are doing, do your best. The one thing I will always remember is how much she loved her daughters. I remember you and Laura coming home from school, going straight to your mother’s lap and telling her about your day. She looked forward to those quiet moments with her girls. I’m grateful to have known your mother.

    • Thank you so much Nicole for taking the time to write this very personal memory of my mom. I genuinely appreciate it, and it provides so much comfort right now. My mother loved laundry, and I often feel a little guilty when I mix the whites with the colors and wash them all in cold, as I know she is crying somewhere! 😉
      I do, though, shake the clothes before putting them in the dryer, so clearly that lesson of hers spanned a generation or two! 🙂
      Wonderful to hear from you, and I hope you are doing well.

    • Thank you so much my sister. I appreciate these very kind words, especially coming from you, and I most especially your help on this piece. 🙂

    • Thank you so much Beth. I appreciate hearing those words from you, because as a fan of your site, I know you are an amazing writer! 🙂

  9. So nicely done. Although I hadn’t spoken to my mother in months when she died, it still devastated me. I felt almost guilty for being so upset because we had been somewhat estranged when she died. However, there is something just not right about being motherless. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much Sosha for commenting. My sister and I talk about the grief you feel when you lose a mother with whom you had a complicated relationship. There is the grief for the actual relationship, the grief for the permanent loss of hope for what could be and the grief for being motherless. It is a lot, and I don’t think any of us should feel an ounce of guilt for feeling upset by knowing at what is a relatively young age that we are motherless forever, even though when our mothers were alive, we probably felt quite motherless then to. The permanence is different.

      • This. Exactly this. 🙁 Thank you for the article and your reply to this comment. I haven’t quite been able to put into words the different way grief is experienced by a daughter who has a complicated relationship with her mom. It’s still very fresh for me, only six weeks, but the feeling of loss, of something always missing, of the hope that died too, will be with me the rest of my life, I realize.

  10. My parents have been gone for 5 yrs. My dad died on Oct 13, 2006 and my mom on Dec 15,2006. Yes, 2 mths apart. Thanksgiving and Christmas really sucked that year and really haven’t been the same since. I still find myself thinking, “I need to call Mama and tell her that.” Or, “Daddy would love this pie. I need to take him a piece.” I’ll always miss them but am so grateful I had them for 45 yrs of my life.

    • Wow, Deena, that is A LOT. I cannot even imagine that amount of loss in that short amount of time. My goodness, that would be just incredibly hard to process. I am so sorry, too, that it happened so near the holidays, as if losing your parents was not hard enough, but to have it impact the holidays, too is very sad.
      I do feel that the temptation to pick up the phone will never go away. 🙁

  11. I’m pretty sure Pinterest led me here, so I’m not familiar with your blog. I just want you to know that I understand completely the loss and pain that you feel. Thank you for sharing it. It helps me understand my own grief. I lost my dad about 5 years ago. I still miss him profoundly. There is definitely that “before death” life and “after death” life. It changes a person. I’ve read something that said that the pain doesn’t go away, but you become stronger. I know that to be true. Eventually grief can turn into gratitude for having known the person. You will have sweet experiences where you can feel them. You will be okay. Know that you are not alone in your feelings. Time will help heal you. My heart goes out to you.

    • Andrea,
      Thank you so much for this comment, it truly touched me. I have to say that it is always comforting to hear from someone who is further down this road than me say that I will be okay, it helps somehow to know that. It usually makes me say to myself, well, okay then, I will be okay, because she knows I will be. So, thank you for that. I am sorry about your dad.
      I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. 🙂

  12. Well, I said I would read this at home and kept forgetting. So here I am at work, boo-hooing like a baby – when will I learn?!! 🙂 Of course, one of my favorite memories of your mom is her watching me cry! It used to just break her heart to see us cry. I just told Saba that this piece was the most beautiful thing you have ever written….maybe because it was so personal and maybe because I can relate to just about everything you said (not counting the part about actually losing your Mother, because I am fortunate enough to still have mine) – but because I knew your mom so well. She was my very best friend in the entire world, and I know I will never have another one. I have some amazing friends and friends I will have for life. But I know I will never have a female best friend. Saba is my best friend now, but he is a man and a wonderful friend – but not a girlfriend. In planning my wedding, the only really sad thing about it is your mom will not be there, and I do not have a best friend so be there for me. But…I do have her 2 lovely daughters and 2 lovely granddaughters, and I know she would be beaming if she could see them carry out their flower girl duties on that day. I loved Nicole’s comments about the laundry, taking out the pieces one by one – I laughed out loud because sometimes when I am in a hurry and I just pile the laundry into the dryer, I know she is somewhere shuddering that I am not taking the clothes out piece-by-piece! I was so reminded of that day in Denver – that whole day – and how perfect it was and how much she would have loved being a part of it – well, she was a part of it – LOL – but remembering the location and how the wind just picked up as we all, in our private moments, released our ashes into the wind – and the birthday cake story – and Bill and John making us laugh – and all the laughter we shared that day. It was simply perfect, if that kind of thing could be perfect. I love you so much and love the way you express memories of our mother, not only for those of us who loved her and knew her but even for complete strangers to take comfort in and in return comfort you. I will always love her and miss her and remember every part of who she was and who she wasn’t….but she was our “Da,” and we love her just the same. I hope she can see or sense all the wonderful things you are doing….no one would be more proud.

    • Have been wanting to reply to this comment since you left it, but it always makes me really emotional because I read it first. Today, I am just replying, because otherwise I never will, and that is not right, especially after you left such heartfelt words. My mother loved you, her Debster, as you know, so very much. Just as much as your life was enhanced by her, hers was enhanced by you. 🙂
      And certainly it is without question that my life and the lives of my children are better for knowing you, please know that.
      Last summer, I was so grateful to have you in CO, and I simply cannot imagine that experience without you there.
      I hope that she can see us all, because I think it would actually give her great pleasure to know how much we talk about her and think about her and how really seeing Tom Hanks anywhere doesn’t immediately make us smile even through our tears.

  13. Thank you for posting such beautiful words about your mom. I’m not sure how I even stumbled upon this post tonight. I lost my mother in 2011. I wrote on my blog, almost the very same paragraph as you about not wanting to leave 2011. As the clock approached midnight and everyone else was welcoming in 2012, I was desperately trying to hold on to the last few seconds of 2011. Life forced me to leave my mom in 2011 and move into 2012.

    • Jen, thank you for this incredibly kind and heartfelt comment. It made me cry. Your last sentence, especially, because that is it exactly…I mean, at last, that is how it felt for me, too. Thinking of you this year, as you continue to process this grief, because I don’t know about you, but I have found that moments of “year 2” have been even harder than “year 1”.
      I am so sorry about your mom. Being motherless is not a club that you would ever seek membership in, but I will say that it comes with an incredible amount of support from its members.

  14. Ashley,
    What a gut wrenching but greatly written piece. I lost my cousin when she was 36 and some friends and you hit on so many emotions I went through with each them. My thoughts are with you and what a great tribute to your mother.

    • Thank you so much Moksha for this comment. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin and your friends, I cannot imagine how difficult it was to lose someone so young. 🙁 Thinking of you also.

  15. I’m not sure how I found this entry, but I’m so glad I did. Actually I know how- I saw a comment on Jenny The Bloggess’ site, loved your Jessica Simpson letter, then poked around on your site some until I found this entry.
    I just wanted to say thank-you. It’s amazing how words can spread like ripples in the water. I lost my mom shortly after you lost yours, on March 21, 2011. I can relate very much to what you shared. Before death. After death. And life is never the same.
    I have a book on my kindle that I read bits and pieces of sometimes. I have not yet been able to read it for any length of time, I guess the feelings are still too raw, but she, like you, seems to just call it like it is. Grief is like “the dirty little secret” that nobody likes to talk about. (which is Crazy, because at some point or another, it’s going to happen to everyone.) Reading your entry was like reading a piece of her book, and both are like listening to myself speak through someone else’s pain and experience.
    So again I say thank you. I hope time eases your pain and that the memories make you smile.
    The book is “The Long Goodbye: A memoir” by Meghan O’Rourke. Maybe one day you too will find it helpful.
    “I will carry this wound forever. It’s not a question of getting over it or healing. No; it’s a question of learning to live with the transformation. For the loss is transformative, in good ways and bad, a tangle of change that cannot be threaded into the usual narrative spools. It is too central for that. It’s not an emergence from the cocoon, but a tree growing around an obstruction.” ~ Meghan O’Rourke

    • Christy,
      First of all, I am so sorry about your mom. I know you are pretty fresh from making it through the first year. Strange how it passes and then you find yourself still struggling, as if somehow you might have thought just getting through the year would enough. I don’t know about you, but I have actually found this year two to be more challenging in some ways.
      Secondly, I have to tell you that I felt an immediate connection when I saw the book you recommended. I have exactly one book about grief and loss since my mother died. One. And it was Meghan O’Rourke’s book. I then semi-stalked her a bit (no restraining orders were taken out or anything) because I just needed her to know how very much her book helped me. She was so kind and gracious. So, I am very glad to hear it is helping you, too. I recommend it to everyone I know who has suffered a loss.
      Finally, I want you to know how very much I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment here, especially on this column about this topic. I absolutely love comments about everything I write (I am totally a selfish writer that way), but honestly at the end of the day, the comments like these mean the most, because they are personal and they matter. So, thank you.

  16. My mother died on June 12th, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. after a depressing 7 month physical and mental demise . She was 92 years old and she weighed less than 71 pounds. The nursing home she died in was just 3 blocks away from the 2 story home she had lived in independently less than one year earlier. During her 7 month demise from health to death, she lost her cognitive and ambulatory status. The cognitive and ambulatory decline was an especially brutal assault from the cascading effects of chronic microvascular ischemic dementia. A once shart and feisty mind, she became confused and combative requiring chemical sedation; the medications rendered her mentally restrained. Her right leg had become contracted to the point that her knee almost touched her chest. She became confined to a geri-chair, was transferred with a Hoyer Lift and never walked again after Thanksgiving Day in 2011; the same day she entered the nursing home. My mother never learned how to drive so she loved to walk everywhere in her small hometown of Cedar Falls, Iowa. In just one year, the mother I knew declined, deteriorated and died.
    The pain that I feel is overwhelming. I count the hours, the days, the weeks since she died. Just 3 1/2 months later, I’m starting to feel she is slipping farther away as the “death date” is no longer one day ago, or one week ago, or one month ago. Moving forward should be healing, but instead, it’s hurting.
    I take comfort in the love, care and attention I provided her not only during health, but during illness. I take comfort in the love my whole family provided her. I take comfort in the staff that loved her. It’s just so painful when I think that just one year before her death, we enjoyed life in her house. And now, with her death, comes the death of so much other “mom-related” life… birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Soon, her house will be sold and then it will feel like her death all over again.
    Thank you all for listening. I am deeply grateful to be in a community of women who have shared, or are sharing, the same loss.

    • Susanna,
      I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of your mother. I genuinely appreciate you taking the time to leave this message. It sounds like you have had a very rough road for the last year and now you must learn to live with your new “normal”, which is very difficult. Allow yourself the space and time to truly grieve. You are so fresh in this process.
      Thinking of you and sending you hugs,

  17. My mom died on Memorial Day of all days. I’ve had a bad night. Probably too much thinking and drinking. I agree with everything. My mom died at home, in my “shift”.
    This helped me realize that I’m not alone. I miss her. She was only 50.
    I’m 30. A mom. I feel such a space that can’t be filled. Time is on no ones side.
    Here’s a hug. Thanks for your story.

    • Robyn,
      I am so incredibly sorry about your mom. 50 is so young, and being a motherless mother at age 30 is really not fair. I appreciate you taking the time to reach out, and I hope you found comfort here. I wish I could tell you that those feelings go away, but they don’t. Like with any permanent wound it gets easier to live with it, but it is always there. Lingering.
      Hugs to you.

  18. Thank you for beautifully writing the experience we all, at one time or another, share.

    I lost my mother when I was a teenager, 41 years ago, and lost my father a year and a half ago. I can tell you, while both unhappy and devastating experiences, there is a big difference of time, maturity, and the gift of a parent living another 40 years after the loss of the first. Time does heal in that you slowly move back into your everyday routine without breaking down. But, as with you, whether 41 years or 1-1/2, these little reminders will slap you square on the cheek, as if to say “remember me”. And these slaps can be painful because we are reminded we no longer have this person.

    Even after 41 years, when such reminders come, I will still have a little cry but time has helped me to recover more quickly from that cry. That will never end, and I wouldn’t want it to. Those reminders came fast and furious with the birth of each child, knowing my mother would never see them, never have the chance to watch them grow, love them as a grandmother would, love me for producing grandchildren for her. My way of honoring her was by keeping her memory alive to my children, and in turn that helped me in realizing that they have a love for a grandmother they never had the opportunity to meet. You’ll find throughout your life that circumstances will bring their memories to the forefront, or might be waiting in the background for when they are needed next.

    With busy lives, we need those slaps too. We need to be taken back to the parents we loved so dearly. Yes, I still cry, and I’m thankful for it. These lives they led, these experiences I’ve had, our memories together and apart all created the person I am today. I can’t change it, I can only honor it with tears, and moving forward with my own life.

    • Susan,
      I really appreciate you taking the time to leave such a thoughtful and beautiful comment. I can only imagine what the difference in the passage of time between losses must feel like. I am sorry that you are now without your parents.
      I agree with you so much about the way the memories sneak up on you. And I think they sometimes appear just when we need them the most.
      Hugs to you.

  19. Thank you for sharing your story.
    It will be 10 years this Jan 1 that we lost our mom. She was 46. I wish I would have recorded more of what I went through in the first years. I am the oldest of 4 kids so we all go through different feelings in regards to what we are missing/have missed of our mother.
    My sisters and I are always trying to honour our mother and keep her memory alive. What gets harder is the big things in life that you can’t share. Getting married, becoming a mother yourself. These have been the milestones that I would have been proud to share with her.
    I am just happy that I knew her for as long as I did and cherish the life she did have. We were all very happy in our lives when she passed so other than having her back, there’s not much more I could ask for.
    It does get easier, as it is part of life. Stay strong. Reach out. Cry and know that the sadness proves the love that was there. Take care.

    • Amanda,
      Thank you for taking the time to share with me this beautiful comment. It really means a lot. I can’t imagine what 10 years will feel like, because it seems like such a long time to live motherless. I will think of you this Jan. 1st and hope that you and your sisters are finding a way to make the day special while honoring your mom. Hugs to you.

  20. My mum died on Sunday 23rd December 2012 . She passed away peacefully at my home with me by her side. She was my best pal, it’s been almost three weeks since she left and it’s so hard. I miss her so very much it hurts. I read your beautiful words through tears.
    Thank you for sharing it does help to know that I am not alone in how I feel. x

    • Catherine,
      I know that saying I’m so sorry for your loss doesn’t help the pain any. I also replied later last year, found this poem and site after I lost my mama too. She was 50. It’s been 8 months and I truly miss her with all of my heart and being. There’s an empty space that can’t be filled. I hope my saying this doesn’t make it harder on you. I am saying this because I know how you’re hurting. It’s imeasurable. I don’t have a dad around. I subsribe to these updates bc it provides assurance to me thay others are understanding this awful pain. All I have is my 12 month older brother who is really suffering. You’ll start to notice as time passes you’ll adopt your moms energies. People will comment on how much you remind them of her. At first it hurts, then you’ll start to realize that you also are a legacy. Of her. For what it’s worth, I wish I could hug you. Cry with you. My advice is to simply cry when you need to, remember that she doesn’t want to be at sleep in death, she knows all you did for her and the love you provided at the end.

      • Thank you for lovely words and taking the time to care. It was hard to read but brought me lots of comfort. Your mama must be so proud of you Robyn. I just feel so lonely even though I have heaps of friends. I have subscribed to receive updates to help me through. It hurts to read them but at the same time helps to know there are people like you who know exactly how I am feeling right now. Thank you with all my heart x

        • Catherine,
          I just want you to know that I am so incredibly sorry about the loss of your mom. You are so new into this process, and I know that it hurts more than you could have ever imagined. Joining the club of the motherless is incredibly hard, but please know (as you already do from sweet Robyn who left you such a lovely reply) you are surrounded by women who get it. We do. All of our experiences may have been different, but the feelings are similar. I am approaching the two-year anniversary of my mother’s death, and I will tell you that the rawness of the pain gets better. Time does not heal this wound as so many well-meaning people have probably told you, but it does lessen the intense emotional pain. You do learn to cope and there will be days (I promise you) that you will not cry. You will smile again, even when, especially when thinking of your mother. Give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel and allow the people around you to comfort your pain. Hugs to you.

  21. Thank you for sharing this, for sharing glimpses of your mom with us. I’ve not lost a parent yet but have had many loved ones die. You describe it so beautifully and painfully accurate. i am sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you Robbie for this comment. I really appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. I believe that the feelings of grief are universal to the loss and just vary in degrees depending on the relationship of the person who has died.

  22. You expressed that awful feeling of grief beautifully. After that first year of grief passed after my mom died, I almost thought the second year was worse. I’m not sure that grief gets easier to bear, but it changes over time. I still cry about my mom three years after she died. But the pain is less intense, and I’m sure you know what I mean. I’m glad you reposted this link on Facebook. It’s a beautiful way to remember your mom, and helps those of us who are motherless know we’re not alone.

    • Thank you Ginny Marie. So interesting that you said that about the second year being worse, because I could not agree with you more, actually. I feel like this second year has been much more of a stark revelation into this permanent reality. I do agree that the pain is less intense, for sure. Almost like a wound that forms a scar. Never gone, but changes over time. Being a motherless daughter is a club that no one wants to join.

  23. Such a powerful and moving piece. I’m here in years, nodding in agreement. You say it all so well, so perfectly. I’m sorry for your loss. I wish I could say those soul punches feel differently as I approach 3 years without my mom, but no. And as I type, one of “her songs” came on the radio. I get this, I do. Thinking of you and sending warm thoughts.

    • Thank you Michelle. Isn’t it amazing how the little moments and reminders can still just knock you for a loop? I will say that one of the most comforting parts of this entire process has been hearing from people who genuinely know. Not that I wish that loss on anyone, but when someone can say I get it, it feels like a hug. Thinking of you as well.

  24. xoxo.
    “Death is in the moments”. That touched my heart, because it is so true.

    I read the book “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed, who lost her mother at a young age. In the book she gives advice to other people, who wrote to her. Some people – as you write – think they should be “over it” after a year and what she writes is very powerful. It’s never over, because you will always be motherless. But you will move on and learn to have a place for your mother with the support of your friends and family – eventually.


    • I am going to order that book right now Kerstin. Thank you. It sounds like exactly what I would like to read.
      I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment.

  25. A beautifully written, touching post…and one that made me stop and think. It’s a wonderful reminder to cherish those moments with our loved ones…and to cherish our memories as well! Thinking of you today!

  26. Oh my…I am so sorry and am crying right now. My mom died almost 1 yr. ago and 2/15 was actually the last time she spoke verbally to me, so this hits very, very close to home. Wish I had something brilliant to say, but all I’m thinking is that I know exactly how you feel and I’m sending you hugs and love…

    • Oh Meredith, I am so sorry about your mom. I, too, am sending you hugs and love…something, I have no doubt our mothers would want us to do for each other.

  27. It has been almost two years and I am still completely devastated without my mother. Completely lost with no family of my own. Life has become a prison and sometimes I feel I can’t breathe. And every day, nobody calls to ask how I am or how I’m coping.

    • Anne,
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I wish so much I could give you a hug. Please know that I am thinking of you and wishing so much for some peace for you and for your strength. I can’t help but think when I read what you wrote that your mom would be so sad to know you are feeling this way. I have to believe she would tell you to talk with someone about your feelings, because she certainly would not want your life to feel like a prison. I don’t know if you are on Facebook, but there are excellent groups on there for motherless daughters. Reach out to friends and let them know that you are struggling. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, that this feeling will become more manageable. It will never go away, of course, but it will get easier to live with this loss.

    • I know just how you feel. My mum died suddenly on 26 March 2013 and her first anniversary Is fast approaching. I have my daughter, which I think God for, but I also bought a puppy about a few months after mum died. Misty, my dog, has provided me with great comfort and also makes you go out and people stop and talk to you more. Remember, your mum will be watching over you and would want you to be happy. I believe that I will see my mum again, in the meantime I will try and carry on, with her always in my heart, and enjoy life with my daughter.

  28. It’s the one year anniversary of my mums death today- and everything you said just rings true. thank you for posting exactly what I’m feeling. losing my mum has made me feel so alone in the big bad world – but your post has made me feel a bit less alone – thank you

    • Catherine,
      I am so sorry about your mom. I know that the first anniversary is very difficult, and I am glad that this essay gave you some comfort. Being a motherless daughter is extremely lonely, but please know you are not alone. Thinking of you. Hugs.

  29. Next month will mark a full year since my mother died. I “Googled” about what I should do on that day. Yours was the first item listed in the search engine results. I can’t thank you enough for writing this piece about your mother’s passing. I’ve never experienced a full year going by in such a haze. When I realized next month will be a whole year, I went to the bathroom and cried like a baby. To say she was my mom is so limiting. She was so much more. She was my mentor, my best friend, and she loved me for who I am, warts and all. She was quirky, hysterical, intelligent, and beautiful. She can never be replaced, therefore, I know I will forever have a “limp” as you so eloquently put it. Thank you, again, for writing this piece. I still don’t know how I am going to handle or what I going to do next month, but reading such a well written piece about someone going through the same thing is a comfort. Thank you!

    • Shalonda,
      Thank you so much for this beautiful and heartfelt comment. I know you are officially in the month of the first year anniversary, and I want you to know I am thinking of you. Please know that everyone who has lost a mother feels the way you do. It can be overwhelming and can feel very lonely. It is certainly a club that none of us wish to join. Hugs to you.

  30. Shalonda
    I wish I could give you a big hug I really do! My Mum died at Christmas so I have a way to go before the anniversary of her death so I have no idea how I will feel when that time comes. It is hard enough just getting through normal life now.
    I can only think that you should do whatever you feel like doing on that day when the time arrives and if that means shutting yourself in the bathroom for a good cry then so be it!
    I am sorry I have no words or suggestions to really help, I have not reached that stage yet perhaps someone will be along who can help you.
    I do know how you feel though and Iike you I find the posts on here helpful just to know I am not alone.
    I think the firsts are probably the worst, hang in there and try to draw strength from the lovely posts and people who have shared their grief on here.

    • Thank you Catherine for leaving this comment for Shalonda and for everyone reading. You are not alone. The stage you are in right now I found to be very difficult. It is hard to be out of the shock phase but still in the fresh, newness phase. Thinking of you and wishing you strength as you navigate this year.

  31. Beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes, I too have made it through a year since my mom’s passing. Though my mom passed more suddenly. She had some health issues her last 2 years, she went into the hospital for elective surgery and she never came out. As you said you remember those moments, I remember her smiling as she was wheeled into surgery, make plans afterwards and worried about spending too much time in the hospital. She never spoke to me again, I had to make the painful decision to withdraw life support 3 days later. I cherish all the moments we had, all the photos and am proud of the time I did have with her. It has gotten eaiser as you said, life must go one. Thank you for very beautifully written post….

    • Oh Stephanie. 🙁 I cannot imagine how devastating it must have been to lose your mother in that way. That seems especially unfair and cruel. As someone who had to make that painful decision, I know how hard it is. Am thinking of you and sending you hugs. The motherless club is one that none of us wish to be members of.

  32. I just recently lost my grandmother to cancer and found this. This was so wonderfully well written. It managed to put into words the feelings and thoughts in my head and those little moments you spoke of, are THE single hardest part for me. I just had a dream last night and woke up crying. Im only about a month into this journey and I feel like everyday theres something there giving me one of those moments. I plan to share this with my mother, as our “first mothers day” is coming up without her. I have religiously sent my mother flowers for mothers day every year since I was finacially stable enough to do so, even if Im not financially stable enough that year. But this year the same old thing doesnt quite seem appropriate. I know one thing for sure though, I dont care what I have to do, THIS year of all years, she is getting something on mothers day. I just dont know what I could possibly get her that says, I love you, its just you and me (mother & daughter, not grandmother, mother and daughter) now. Shes the only parent I have left. My grandmother was my other parent and best friend. I guess maybe what I should ask, is how did you get through your first mothers day?

    • Marilyn,
      Thank you so much for reading this and taking the time to leave this beautiful comment. I want you to know I will be thinking of you and your mother next Sunday as you face that dreaded first Mother’s Day. I will be honest and tell you that I think the anticipation of my first Mother’s Day was actually much more emotional than the day itself. The week leading up to it was very hard. I cried every day. By the time Mother’s Day actually rolled around I think I felt a kind of relief that it was just finally here. It was actually the 2nd Mother’s Day without my mother that was harder. My suggestion to you for this year is to spend the day with your mother if possible. Did your grandmother have a favorite flower? If so, perhaps you could send those to your mom this year. More than anything, I think you write in a card exactly what you wrote here…that you want her to know that you love her and know it is just the two of you now and that you are so grateful to have her in your life. Thinking of you and hoping next Sunday is peaceful. Hugs.

      • Thank you for your reply. It helped alot to find this blog. I have previously tried to discuss my feelings with friends & family and I dont feel like any of them could understand but also because I just couldnt put into words the way you did here. I unfortunately do not know if my grandmother had a favorite flower. I am having that struggle where I am regretting not bombarding her everyday with a million questions to learn more about her. To be honest though, she had the kind of personality that I think if I asked her now, she’d say something like she likes all flowers, or any flowers from me would be her favorite. She had a way of bringing people together, and filling up a room (not a feat that many people can claim). I just feel like theres not much to compare. I did however consider sending my mom white roses. I never send my mom roses, mostly because I am a fan of more exotic types of flowers mostly because they always reminded me of the flowers my mom had in the garden growing up. But I did a bit of researching and I found that although white roses are commonly used for weddings, they are also associated with honor and reverence. I am unable to be with my mother this year as she lives four hours away and I just had my vehicle break down, in addition to not having any vacation time from work having used it all for the funeral. But I thought the fact that I never send roses, the association with white roses, and just the simplicity of them, that they might be appreciated in a different way this year. When I had the idea, it almost seemed perfect.

  33. Thank you for the beautifully written tribute to your mom and the reminder to reach out to my dear friend who lost her mother two months ago and will be marking her first motherless Mother’s Day. Hugs.

    • I am so sorry I missed this comment somehow Mo. I hope you reached out to your friend, because I am certain it brought her comfort. Thank you for this sweet comment.

  34. I googled “is it normal to be so depressed in the weeks leading up to the first anniversary of my mother’s death,” and this site was one of the first ones that came up. Thank you for your beautiful post about your feelings about your mom’s death. I also feel like time has just passed…there is still so much pain…especially in the quiet moments. It is still two weeks from the anniversary date, June 16th, and I am already feeling such depression and anxiety about it. I still cry all the time too. I miss her so much….her voice, her touch, her love… Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for making me feel not so alone.

    • Oh Sandy, I am so sorry. The days and weeks leading up to the first anniversary were very hard for me as well. I actually found the anticipation of the day much harder than the day itself. Please know you are not alone, and while no one wants to be a member of this club…the motherless club, many people are. And we all support each other, even if it is just with a virtual hug. Thinking of you.

    • I also was googled ways to honor my mom on first anniversary of her death and found this blog. I lost my mom as the result of a car accident on 3/8/13 when her heart stopped, and although emergency personnel got it restarted, she lay in a coma for 4 days never waking up before I finally had to make the heartbreaking decision to remove life support, and with having no siblings to help along the journey of grief and no father in my life, it has been an excruciating first year. I do have a wonderful husband of 17 years that has been by my side thru it all- even stayed with me as I sat with mom when she took her last breath, and he has been my rock and is the only family I have left. It has helped me so much to read all of the posts on here, and certainly helps me to not feel so alone in my grief. The descriptions of those moments of hearing a certain song on the radio or wanting to reach for the phone because I want to share something with my mom really hit home with me- I get all of it. Thank you all for sharing your beautiful insights on what it truly feels like to not have a mom anymore. ❤️And hugs go out to each of you.

      • Sending you love and hugs today Bren. The first anniversary is very tough. I hope that you spend today thinking of your favorite memories of your mom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Everyone here definitely gets it. This is a club no one wants to join.

  35. I want to thank you for your honesty. I sit here today shaken to the core because I too am motherless and approaching the 2 year anniversary. I’ve managed the last two years without her but it has really been tough. There are times that I feel so desperately alone. Even though my husband and kids are here, I miss my best friend. The grief is just like you said, a wave that comes and knocks you back. Sometimes it just feels like a restlessness that I can’t place. I know she is here with me and people say to talk to her. It’s not the same…post death is just another world. I guess our only choice is to live the life’s we are given and squeeze every little joy we can out of each and every day!

    • Well said Jennifer. The last thing I believe our mothers would want is for us to remain sad forever…they would want us to continue to enjoy the good moments in life…and I like to believe that in those moments my mom is watching and enjoying them, too. But, at the end of the day, it is a hole that will never truly be filled. Hugs to you.

  36. I just want to say thank you so much for being able to express so eloquently what I haven’t been able to put into words. I went on Google to look for other people’s experiences about the first anniversary, and yours was the first that came up. What a beautiful and heartfelt piece.

    I haven’t been able to express that feeling of not wanting to move away from the ‘first year’ stage. I’m scared of moving away from it, scared of growing up and becoming an adult and doing motherly things, like marriage, children, independent life, without my own. She was, and always will be, my very best friend.

    Next month is the first anniversary of her death, and it doesn’t actually feel like a whole year has rushed past so quickly. I definitely don’t feel to be quite the same person as I was just over a year ago. Death definitely changes people, however, not all of these changes are for the worse.

    So thank you again for your beautiful essay. None of us would wish this on anyone, but it’s very comforting, despite the darkness of the situation we find ourselves in, that there are others who are going through the same thing we are, and that we can rely on and take comfort from each other as daughters whose mothers are just that little bit farther away. 🙂

    • Thinking of you Anna as you approach this very difficult first anniversary. I found, personally, that the anticipation of the day was actually worse than the day itself. You are definitely surrounded by love in this space and by other people who *truly* understand how it feels.
      Your last sentence was perfect in every way. 🙂

  37. Wow! thank you for writing this! My mom passed away March 15 2012 and the one year mark has come and gone. This morning I woke up on the verge of tears and couldn’t shake it. So I googled one year loss of a mother and found this. You fully captured what I feel and it was immensely comforting to read your story to know I am not alone. I just wanted to let you know that your experience is helping people! Take care, and thank you again for sharing in an open forum!

    • Oh Dalina, thank you for this beautiful, heartfelt comment. I am so sorry that you woke up the other day feeling so sad…I am now through year 2, and it still happens from time to time. It is better, though. Easier somehow. Less raw. I am thinking of you and sending you hugs.

  38. Hi Ashley,
    I lost my mother on September 14th 2012 – its coming up on the one year anniversery and I’m feeling more emotional now than ever. I wish i had someone to share this with but my dad has already passed and with no brother or sisters its very hard. My fiance is at the stage where he thinks i should be over this. My 2.5 year old daughter keeps me going but I till fold when the giant waves come as well…Still have moments when i can hardly believe shes gone forever. Thank you for sharing your lovely story.

    • Pauline, I know you are heading into the time of your first anniversary of your mother’s death, and I want you to know I am thinking of you. I am so sorry that you are feeling pressure to be “over it”, especially because as you have no doubt already learned you never get over it. It does get easier and less intensely emotional over time, but it never goes away. Wishing you peace and comfort. Hugs.

  39. I just recently passed the second anniversary of my mom’s passing.She was and still is truly my very best friend.She left me on May 11th, 2011.I wish that I could say that it gets easier as time goes by, but it doesn’t. At least, not for me.I miss her more today than ever, and it gets harder and harder to cope.Most of your friends will not understand, and there will be times that you feel completely alone.These sites can be a wonderful comfort, as you get to relate to people who feel just as you do.They have all been through the same loss as you have They do truly understand! My heart goes out to each and every one of you.I also truly understand!!

    • Oh Gloria, I am sending you virtual hugs and comfort. It is nice to find people who do understand exactly how it feels to lose a mother, because not everyone does. Please know that you can find that understanding here anytime you need it.

  40. It will be twelve months on the 23rd December since my Mum left. I wrote on here shortly after her death and return now and again to read and it is comforting to know I am not alone in how I feel.
    I miss her as much if not more as the days pass. I think about her all the time, especially at night while I am lay in bed when the world stops and all is quiet, I can be alone with my thoughts and memories of her.
    I think how unhappy she would be for me to feel like this so I do try and get on with my life.
    I have laughed, enjoyed myself, moved house and started a new job since she left but then like you say right out of the blue I remember she is no longer here. I am brought to a standstill when I realize I can’t share my news with her!
    I have on a few occasions tried to ring her ( stupid I know! ) but of course there’s no answer just a voice saying the number is not recognized. I sit and stare at the words ‘ringing mum’ on my mobile and just cannot comprehend how she cannot be here anymore and never will be.
    Christmas is coming and with it a year since she left. Everyone’s planning, Christmas adverts are appearing on the TV and I go over and over in my head her last few months and my last memories of my mum, my best pal!
    I just desperately want to talk to her but I know I can’t and I never will again and it hurts so very much.
    But I guess you all know that!
    Thank you to everyone who has wrote on here, you are all in my thoughts often.

    • Coming up and preparing for the first anniversary of losing your mother is so overwhelming Margaret. Having to do that at the holidays is particularly difficult. I want you to know that I really appreciate you sharing here…it would actually make my mother smile to know that women all over the world were being comforted by each other in her honor. Sending you hugs.

  41. Hi Margaret,

    Your words rang so true to me, that I just had to write. I lost my mom, and best friend, about 16 months ago. My heart still breaks each and everyday when I think about how I will never see her again…never share any of my news with her again, never get to feel her arms around me again, or mine around her. I can so relate to trying to go about my life, and then, all of a sudden, everything comes to a halt when I realize she is not there any more. I miss her so much. I can’t imagine anything ever hurting more than this pain of missing her. Like, you, I know she would not want me to always be sad, so I try, to go on and have fun, but I know that it can never really be the same ever again. I have never actually tried to call her, although I have thought about a few times, but I did accidentally hit the “mom” button on my phone the other day. When I looked down, it said, “calling mom,” and I just about lost it. This time of year, with the holidays coming, is absolutely the worst. I used to love this time of year, but now I just want it over with. Sad, but true. Anyway, sorry to be so depressing. I wish I had some words of encouragement for you instead. All I can do is try to move on and hope that things will somehow get easier. All the best to you, and no, you are definitely not alone!


    • This totally made me cry Sandy. I kept my mom’s phone number in my phone for a long time. I even thought of dialing it every now and then. Having to erase her address from my Christmas card list was also a gut punch. Thinking of you and sending you hugs.

  42. Sandy
    Thank you for your lovey reply. I didn’t find it depressing at all I found it comforting to know that someone else a complete stranger can be so kind and understand exactly how I am feeling.
    Maybe in time things will get easier for us, I hope so. I find myself clinging on to memories because I don’t want time to make me forget them if that makes sense.
    Like all on here, I guess I am struggling more than usual as Christmas approaches.
    Thank you for your beautiful reply and support which I read as soon as I woke this morning.
    It made me cry but once I’d managed to pull myself together it made the start of the day a lot bearable.
    Your Mom would be so proud of you!
    Hugs x x

    • The support is here. Today and always. And there is some comfort, even if it is just small, in knowing that someone else out there gets EXACTLY how you are feeling.

  43. Margaret, Thank you for saying that. More than anything in this world (other than having my mom back), is that I make her proud.

    To everyone here…thank you for being here…thank you Dose of Reality for starting a place for all of us who are experiencing the same feelings can go for support and words of understanding and comfort. I remember finding this site right after my mom died, and it was so nice (not the right word) to know that I was not alone in how I felt…because grief is a very very lonely place…and I really didn’t think anyone could possibly experience the depth of pain that I felt.

  44. My mom died June 12, 2012.

    I remain in excruciating emotional and physical pain despite all the “healthy” things I’ve done trying to move forward. I remain in excruciating physical pain despite the love, care and attention I gave my mom before, during and after her death.

    At the time of my mom’s death, she was 71 pounds, her right leg was contracted in half with her knee touching her chest, her mind was imprisoned from the cascading clinical effects of micro-vascular ischemic dementia, and her soul had been long lost. Having never learned how to drive, her signature trademark was the “German woman who walked everywhere”. Having always had a sharp mind, her signature trademark was being feisty and funny. To see dementia and nursing home limitations rob her of her ability to walk and to rob her of her astute mind, was a criminal departure from life.

    The 7 month journey to her death was tortuous, as she went from living alone in a humble two story home, to a globally progressive, mental and physical decline in a nursing home facility.

    She had always wanted to grow old and die in her own home; but due to a multitude of physical, medical and familial variables and obstacles, she died at the very nursing home she begged us not to put her in. Her nursing home was 3 BLOCKS from her life long home. Even through the wicked imprisonment of dementia and over-medication, she knew she was not “home”. The tortuous screaming and confusion, will haunt me the rest of my life. The tortuous “over medication” to chemically sedate her, will haunt me the rest of my life. The repeated falls and subsequent bruises, from trying to go “home”, will haunt me the rest of my life. The administrative decision from the nursing home to transfer her to a more restrictive facility where she was further chemically restrained due to the increasing dementia will haunt me the rest of my life. Not just her death, but how and where she died will haunt me the rest of my life.

    Though she was steadfastly surrounded by family love, her soul knew she wasn’t at home, and she died exactly how and where, she didn’t want to. I did everything humanly possible to make her wish a reality, but opposing forces were stronger than me. I did everything humanly possible to make caring for her at home a reality, but opposing forces were stronger than me.

    Instead of declining and dying at home, where I could have taken her out to her garden everyday, where I could have cooked the food she loved,where I could laid her on her sofa, where I could have played her music boxes for her, where I could have brought in neighboring dogs to pet, where I could have eased her transition to death…… her end of life was medicinal restraint, facility food, and regulatory processes that dictated the end of physical therapy which catapulted her physical decline.

    Though she experienced some incredible kindnesses from the staff, the nursing home could have never matched the care that me, my husband and daughter could have provided in what was inevitably going to be a short journey.

    Though I decorated her room with all the simple things she loved, with photos, music boxes, quilts, crosses, flowers…………… could have never matched being home.

    A week before her death, and against nursing home regulatory process, I put her in a cumbersome geri-chair with four small wheels, and literally pushed her down 3 blocks of bumpy pavement, and situated her in her yard, so she could see her flowers a last time. Her look and response were vacant, but I have to believe her soul knew where she was. If I could have safely picked her up and taken her inside her house, I would have. I feared if I took her in and she fell, it would be counter productive to the peace I wanted to give her. I also feared that seeing the inside of her house, might unleash an inner pain that transcended her demented mind. If I could have, I would have defied the nursing home, and never taken her back. If I could have, I would have put her on her sofa and let her live her last week there.

    Nursing home staff, family and visitors have often hailed me as the most attentive and loving daughter they had ever seen. But in the end, I was not able to honor her last wishes to decline and die at home.

    I am forever haunted.

    • Susanna,

      I wish I could give you a big hug. I am not even sure what to say to you, but I can say that I can tell you loved your mom dearly and that you did everything humanly possible to care for her and comfort her. I think there are always things that will haunt us…different for everyone, but they are there. You just have to know that you did all you could, but most importantly, you were there for her and loved her. I honestly think that in the end, kindness and love are all that matters, and you gave that to her. She would be proud you and she would want you to stop beating yourself up for things you could not change. You did your best, and she knows it. My mom died four days after your mom, and there are definitely things that still haunt me too, but I know that she felt very loved and I think that is what mattered to her the most. I hope that you can find some peace in knowing that you showed her she was loved very much. Take good care of yourself..she would want that. ~Sandy

      • My mother also died after a long stay in a nursing home. The very last place she would have ever wanted to be. It was quite difficult to watch her go further downhill there, but I also knew it would not be safe for her anywhere else.
        Based on what you said in your beautiful comment Susanna, you did everything in your power to care for your mother as best you could. She knew that. You did not fail her, even if it feels that way at times.
        Please know everyone reading this is sending you healing thoughts as you move through this period of time. In many ways, your loss is still so new.
        Thinking of you and sending you love.

  45. Susanna
    Sandy speaks for me to. x
    Mum came to live with me for the last 18 months of her life but like you I am still tortured by things I did or did not do.
    It was hard, very hard, I know at times I was very short with her, a fact I regret very much now.
    I used to think how much easier my life would be if she was dead, I used to think of all the things I could do if I didn’t have to care for her, I used to be so desperate that I could have thrown myself into the road, I used to think of the life I could have if it were not for her.
    And she is gone and I have what I wished for. I would do anything to have her back!
    Point is Susanne, we all have regrets no matter what our circumstances were.
    I know myself it’s so easy to think back and wonder what if or if only but we cannot change the decisions we made in the past. Decisions that were based on what was right at that time.
    You loved your mum and she loved you. You showed her love and kindness right until the end of her life and that is what really matters.
    You must now hold onto that and like me and lots of other motherless daughters somehow find peace.
    We cannot change the past but we can change our future by accepting we did all we could for the mums we loved so much.

  46. Hi Susanna,
    I can understand how you feel.I lost my mom on May 11th, 2011.She passed away of cancer. I also feel that I didn’t do all I could have.She was my mom. I should have been able to save her.My husband was also very ill the same time as my mom , and I felt torn between the two.I tried my best to be there for them both, but I often feel that I failed my mom.My husband was also fighting cancer, and the doctors held out little hope.I thought I would lose them both.Both of them fought hard and did not want to leave me or my son.My mom lost her battle after only four months.My husband was lucky and is doing very well today.I often think that my mom helped save him.She wanted him to be here for me since she knew that she couldn’t be.She wanted to make sure I was taken care of.I can’t help think that I just wasn’t there for her when she needed me.I tried my best, but I just don’t think I did enough.That thought will forever haunt me.Believe me Susanna, I can truly understand how you feel.It is over two years now and I am still haunted by feelung I just didn’t do enough.My mom was everything to me and I miss her so very much.At times, the pain can be unbearable!

    • Oh Gloria,
      That must have been such an overwhelming experience for you to have two people you love facing such difficult battles. I honestly cannot imagine how trying that must have been. You have to know that your mother did not feel you did not do enough. She, too, was blown away by your courage during that time. Thinking of you and sending you hugs. I am just so sorry.

  47. I am here again I’m afraid!
    With the first anniversary of my mums death fast approaching on the 23rd December I am struggling more than I ever thought.
    I am not sleeping, I am a whisker away from tears all of the time. I am constantly thinking back 12 months reliving everything I can think of.
    I just cannot comprehend how she is not here anymore and never will be. The thought that I will never see her or speak to her again fills me with absolute horror.
    I know it will probably get easier after this year but at this moment in time I just can’t envisage living the rest of my life without her in it.
    I am tortured, I try to think it’s how life should be, our mothers should die first. I think of those that have lost young ones and try to find some acceptance through that but it does not rid me of this dreadful feeling of loneliness.
    I hope I can somehow get through the next few weeks and maybe I will feel better.

    • Oh I really understand! When the first anniversary of my moms passing was approaching it felt like it was happening all over again! Yes it get easier but knowing that doesn’t seem to make ite easier for the moment. Just after the anniversary I felt like a weight had been lifted! Although with holidays here I fell another weight as this was our favorite time together! I will say that self care….taking time to allow yourself to grieve in which ever way is helpful to you, is best. Remember it is ok to cry and even hide under the covers if need be! I found relief in getting outside to a nice quiet natural area like a forest or beach ( where I am we have both close by) but you can go anywhere that is serene for you. Also reach out to close fiends just to spend time with, that can also give you comfort! I wish you the best and please know that you are not alone in your grief!

      • Oh Margaret. 🙁 Having to face the first year anniversary alongside the holidays is simply horrible. I will say that in my experience the lead up to the anniversary was actually harder than the day itself. And as Dalina said, there is a sense of relief when that day passes. I think you should give yourself permission to grieve in the way that you need to for as long as you need to. I wrote this piece about the holidays months after I wrote Being Motherless. So, it will show you that the pain continued.
        Please continue to check in here and let us know how you are doing. Thinking of you.

  48. I am still here and struggling but something happened the other day that I am finding a lot of comfort from.
    I was lay in bed the other night thinking about mum when a friend send me a text message. As I was reading the message I thought what a shame it was that my mum never got the hang of sending text’s as I would have been able to read them over and over.
    I have on quite a few occasions when the yearning to hear her voice became overwhelming tried to ring her only to be told number not recognized.
    I started to wonder if I had any old voice mails from her so I checked, couldn’t see any so I checked deleted voice mails and my stomach turned over to discover a total of six.
    After a lot of hesitating and crying I listened to them all, they are from the last few weeks of her life. They are quite cheerful messages most starting with the words ‘Hi it’s Mum’ and ending with the words ‘See You later Love’
    I have listened to them a few times now, it feels so good to hear her voice once again.
    It is what I have yearned for all year and now I can listen to her voice anytime I like. I have found myself actually smiling and drawing great strength from listening to her familiar voice.
    The fact that she also sounds poorly also reminds me that she was ready to leave.
    I do wonder if it is healthy for me to listen to these messages but all I know at this moment in time is how much comfort I have got from listening to my mum’s voice for the first in almost a year.

    • Hi Margaret,

      Just wanted to say that I also have a few voicemails left by my mom the during the last month of her life. I have them saved in several locations (computers, back-up drives) and I listen to them every now and then too. It is comforting to hear her voice. I completely understand the hesitation in listening to them, because it is painful, yet, at the same time, a comfort. I will keep them forever and when I feel like listening to them, I will! Just wanted to let you know that I can so relate to this.

      • I remember as I was cleaning out my inbox a few months after my mom died, I found an old email from her. It had been years since she had been able to send email, but seeing it brought me comfort. I still have it in my inbox to this day. I think getting to hear your mom’s voice, especially as you said in a way that reminds you that she was ready is comforting. Thinking of you.

  49. I know some of you follow the comments here, and I wanted to tell you that today, on Christmas Eve, I am thinking of all of you. May the holidays bring you some joy, as well as the longing that I know still exists. It means the world to me that despite being in a club none of us wish we were a part of, we can comfort each other through this process. I put this post post up yesterday, which I am sure you will all relate to, as well. Hugs.

    • I follow the comments and would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has contributed on here.
      It was a year ago yesterday when mum died and I survived the day. We went for a walk and at the exact time of her death we had a little toast and a cheer for her life.
      She is constantly in my thoughts as she always is, just more so as Christmas fast approaches but I will get through because that is what she would have wanted.
      Thank you all for being just here!

      • Hi, I follow these comments too and I am not sure how I would have ever got through my first year or Christmas (last year) without the people on here. I still struggle, but, as one of you said above, I get on with things because that is what my mom would have wanted. I can hear her voice in my head saying it…just like she did when I was heartbroken in other matters of my life. It means the world to me to have somewhere to go to express my thoughts on losing the most important person in my life. I appreciate all of you. I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas. ~Sandy

  50. Hi,
    I also follow these comments.I look at this site often to see how everyone copes with their own personal loss.It does help to know that I am not alone in my grief.There are so many people out there who have suffered the same loss as I have.I lost my mom to cancer in 2011, and I miss her more now than ever.People say it gets easier, but it doesn’t. You just learn to cope with the loss.You have no other choice.I am near tears as I write this, as Christmas was my mom’s favorite holiday.Christmas was her day! I will get through it though, as best I can. I do wish alll of you a peaceful Christmas and New Year! Love and Hugs to everyone!

  51. I came across your blog entry after trying to find ways to honor my beloved mother’s year anniversary of passing on February 4, 2014. Losing my mom has felt very lonely because there hasn’t been anyone in my life that has experienced this loss besides my own siblings. I read your words and they echo what my heart has been saying since the moment she left this earth. 28 years with her was simply not enough and I can only hope having children of my own will somewhat help the void I feel though I know it won’t completely fill. Thank you for sharing. This has touched me very much and I pray that you continue your strength. God bless

    • Thinking of you Mary and hoping that you made it through the 4th of February okay. Sometimes I think the anticipation of the anniversary is almost worse than the day itself. Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death and all the feelings remain the same as when I wrote this. Hugs to you.

  52. I’m just a mess reading this. It’s beautiful and raw and perfect. I’m so sorry for your loss and my heart hurts for you. I was a stranger to grief until last May when I lost my grandmother. I still can’t even write about it. I try but the words get lost in so many tears. This is every word I haven’t been able to type. She was a like a mother to me. I pass her nursing home ever day to and from my home. It’s still so strange that I’m not stopping in with a bag of green bananas. Prayers for comfort and peace and an outpouring of love over you today! Thank you for such a beautiful post! I needed that cry! 😉

    • Thank you for this beautiful comment Adrienne. I am so sorry about your grandmother. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to drive past the nursing home each day. I am sorry I made you cry, but I do agree with you that sometimes crying is helpful. 🙂 Sending you hugs, too!

  53. Ashley I missed this beautiful piece last year. My heart goes out to you. What a beautiful way to pay tribute to your mom and to let others who are traveling the road of grief a voice. This is my first year after my aunt, who was very, very dear to me. Her birthday is in a few years and I find myself traveling back, thinking about going to the store and getting her something I knew she would like, and making sure to have stories about the kids to make her laugh.

    Thank you so much! Sending love to you! xo

    • Sending you love and hugs, too Kathy. I am glad you are sharing the stories of your aunt with your children. I tell my girls stories about my mom all the time, too. It helps…them and me. 🙂

  54. I am sorry for your loss and I hope as the years pass you never forget the warmth of your mothers love. I lost my grandmother 11 years ago, she was my idol, the reason I strived always be better. The pain i feel knowing she is not here, still has not become any easier. Thinking about her beautiful smile or her gentle loving heart still brings me to tears. I know she’s up there gazing over us with a smile on her face. Time may not heal all wounds but time teaches us to be stronger than we ever imagined possible. Much love to you.

    • Your last sentence totally made me cry Willow. You are so right. Thank you for this beautiful comment, and I am really sorry about your grandmother. Hugs.

  55. My Dad died in June of 2012. He was 52. I was 27. I still have to tell myself not to set a place at the table for him when we invite my Mom over for supper, and I still occasionally expect him to walk through the front door. Sometimes I experience something and the first thing I want to do is to call my Dad and tell him – the man who was a single parent to me – his only child – for 8 years of my life until he remarried, giving me a ‘Mom’ finally – and then I have to tell myself that I CAN’T call him, and my first emotion is childishly tantrumy. “But I WANT to call him!” It doesn’t get easier than that first day when I realized that even though his life was over – mine wasn’t. I was ‘ok’, and I would be ok – but it changes, and gets harder during some moments – like the birth of my daughter almost exactly four months later – when it feels so horrendously wrong that they aren’t here. Anyway, this is a beautifully written reflection. I get it.

    • Oh Samantha. 🙁 I am just so sorry. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to lose your dad and then so shortly after have a baby. Thinking of you and sending you hugs.

  56. Thinking of you too. What a lovely tribute. My dad died at 52 10 years ago from cancer, and I still remember nearly every second of that long, long day. The first year was really hard. It was all so raw. I wouldn’t say that it gets easier over time, just different. Sometimes it hits you in the gut how much your parent has missed. (In our case, my dad missed all three of his kids getting married and all of his grandchildren.) I remember my first day back at work after my dad’s funeral when a colleague who had just lost her mom said, “The death of a parent changes you. You’ll never be the same. Now you truly feel like a grownup and a child still needing your mom or dad, all at the same time.”

    • That comment from your co-worker totally made me cry Jessica. It is so true. That is exactly how it feels. I am so sorry about your dad. I do think that time helps, because it is less raw. But then you realize all that they are missing. Hugs to you, too.

    • Thinking of you Susie. I do think there was something very healing about being there with my mother when she died, so I know exactly what you mean about that.

  57. Big hugs to both of you today:) I’m sure it is a very hard day as year two is no less difficult than year one. This post is absolutely beautiful and gut-wrenchingly sad at the same time. Your mother sounds like she was a very special person and I’m sure her absence in your lives is profound.
    I lost my mother on August 25, 2011 when I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first and only child. Learning to live without my mom has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, but I don’t think that’s true. The grief just gets more familiar and that somehow makes you feel more comfortable in its presence. If you feel up to reading it, here’s a post I wrote about losing my mother.
    Please take care!!

    • Oh Jennifer. Your words just broke my heart. I cannot imagine the pain you must have experienced. Thank you for sharing this with me. I am sending you love and hugs.

  58. Oh my goodness, this is beautiful and so heartfelt and like you took the words right out of my mouth! Feb 16th 2014 will be the 1 year mark for loosing my beautiful mother , who was my very best friend! Mom had cancer, we knew it wasn’t supposed to go away but she felt and was doing so amazing , so if you were to tell me that I was going to be motherless before the sin came up the next day I don’t think I would have believed you! So many things happens so fast and she had not been doing quite as well for the last two weeks bit i sure didn’t think this was it!
    I had spent the last two years taking her to the hospital for chemo and radiation and she had a hospital stay and rehab for a broken leg in there ! Leg never worked right again and she could not be as independent as she once was and that bothers her more then any of the treatments!
    The day before she died was bad and I knew time was getting closer but still until that evening I didn’t think she would die early that morning!
    I am so thankful that she didn’t have anymore says like that last own it did make me so sad to see her in pain and when we got that under control, she did better!
    So feeling that feeling of knowing your there to be with your mother as she dies is a feeling I can’t describe ! I just know I miss her more then words can say and there area till so many times I still need my momma! My 3 babies need their NyNy!
    I can’t believe 1 year tomorrow !
    Love you mom!

    Prayers to you and your family on your anniversary day too !

    • I am so sorry Laura. I will be thinking of you tomorrow. The first anniversary is so difficult. It still feels so fresh in so many ways. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and leave this beautiful comment. Thank you. Hugs to you.

  59. This is beautiful, and raw, and heartbreaking. I cried all the way through. You shared your mother with us perfectly, and you described the feeling of losing a parent with piercing accuracy. I’m can’t believe I’d never read it, and I’m so glad stupid Facebook showed me your post tonight!

    • Thank you Amy. I know that you totally get it. And I guess it is only fair that I got to make you cry since you have made me cry writing about your dad. Hugs to you friend.

  60. No one prepares you for what a death will feel like – and I am so grateful you had loved ones around you who showed up. I will never forget the people who showed up for me when my father died. My love for them is etched in my heart forever. Sending love to you today,. Ashely. xo

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  64. Just checking in because it has been a while. My Mum died 23rd December 2012 and today 3rd May 2014 it is just as raw.
    Not one day has passed by without thoughts of my lovely Mum, my best friend.
    I am STILL finding it so difficult,I am getting on with my life but I miss her so much is actually hurts.
    What makes it worse is that I don’t feel like I can be honest with people, after all she was my mum. She was elderly, she had been ill for a long time and her dying was just a part of life.
    I think back to when my mums mum died and I honestly cant remember her being like I am unless she hid it from me.
    I ache I honestly ache so very much for her every single day, she was my best pal and I miss her so very much.
    I still can’t believe I will never talk or see her again.

    • Thinking of you Catherine. You expressed it all her so thoughtfully and honestly. That is exactly how it feels even after so much time has passed.

  65. This was beautiful. I feel like you wrote my pain and all that I’ve felt the last 10 months. I miss my mother terribly and the grief can be so heavy. Im glad to know I’m not the only one going through this. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you Chanie. I wish I could tell you that it will get better or easier, and in many ways, it will, but at the end of the day it is just really, really hard. Sending you love and hugs.

  66. So beautiful! I came across this while looking for a poem I had written and posted online in memory of my Mom. She passed away 6/8/1995, 19 years ago yesterday. I know people say that it gets easier as time passes, I just don’t feel like it does . Maybe it’s because I was 15 when she died, but every year at this time, it just hurts so bad. Maybe this year it’s because my grandpa (Dad’s Dad) passed away a week and a half ago. I think it’s because I’m not able to remember her voice, her smile, how her perfume smelled.
    They are right though. You will be ok because life goes on and we have to go right along with it, remembering the good times with those we loved and cherishing the times with the ones we still have. 🙂

    • Shanna, I feel terrible that I somehow missed this comment. Thank you for sharing about your mom. I cannot imagine how difficult it was to lose your mom at such a young age. Sending you love and hugs.

  67. Thank you for putting into words what apparently many of us are feeling. Especially with regards to time- I feel sad with time passing because it’s that much longer since I last saw my mom. But even with the one year anniversary this week, we are keeping a sense of humor and love, buckling her ashes in the back seat and moving her over to my home for a visit from my dad’s. Feeling much less alone today because of this. 🙂

    • Thinking of you this week Isabel, as I know that first anniversary is so difficult. Thank you for sharing what you are doing to make it easier (I bet your mom would have loved it!). Hugs to you.

  68. It was very hard, yet important for me to read this. For the past month, we have been in the midst of major health concerns and problems with my mom.

    My mom has always been the strongest person that I have ever known, so seeing her weaken has definitely taken it’s toll on me.

    It must have been hard for you to write this, but thank you.

    • I am thinking of you friend. Watching the reality of our parent’s health (especially our mom’s) fail is extremely difficult. Thank you for reading and commenting. Sending hugs to you and your entire family.

  69. My heart aches for you after reading this! My mom will be 92 on Wednesday and I cherish every moment with her. It will be the saddest day of my life when she passes. She is my best friend. I know her days are numbered so I try to make our times together very special. Hope you are doing a little better since this post. I can only imagine the depth of your grief.

    • You are so sweet to leave this comment Pauline…and how lucky your mom is to have you for a daughter…and vice versa I know. 🙂

  70. Just another note of thanks for writing the words we all know to be true in our hearts, this club of motherless women. I lost my mom suddenly to a heart attack on Nov. 9, 2013. She was 63, I was 34.

    Yesterday was the one-year mark and like you I found the lead-up to be harder than the actual day. That was a pleasant surprise. Actually the hardest day for me so far (that I didn’t expect) was my birthday.

    It has also been hard to manage expectations on support from friends and family. The hardest times are when I feel so lonely and I look at everyone whose moms (and even grandmothers) are still living, and I think, “You have no idea.” I guess the upside is that this process had taught me the kind of support that feels best, and how I can be a better support for someone in the future.

    • I am sending you belated hugs Cynthia, as I know that you had the first anniversary last week. My sister had her birthday just a few weeks after our mother died, and I remember her saying that she found it much harder than she expected as well.
      Isn’t it amazing how much different you are in the way that you support friends who have experienced that loss…I have found the same thing to be true.

  71. Hi, very well expressed. I can relate to this, the feeling is really very difficult to handle at that exact moment but realizing that we are still surrounded by other people that cared so much for us is a great relief. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for reading and leaving this comment Lynne. Being surrounded by love does really help. Hugs to you.

  72. Thank you for sharing your life and mum. It’s a year on for me and my mums birthday tomorrow. Everything is so raw. I have been searching the internet and I have no idea what for. You have given me some comfort. I can’t help but feel like I am cracking up. It is so true….life before mum died and life after mum died. I only wish I could write such a fitting tribute for my wonderful mum too.

    • You just did Angie. Thinking of you and sending you love and hugs across the miles. What you said about your mum was beautiful.

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  75. This summarizes so much of what I have felt. My mom passed away in May of 2014, and saying “last year” feels particularly painful. I was with my mom when she died in ICU, like yours, and understand the pain and trauma of it. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting Hannah. Am thinking of you as you head into the months leading up to the first year anniversary. I know it feels so hard.

  76. Thank you so much for writing this. My mom died January 18, 2014. I found this by Googling “my mom died a year ago” hoping to find something to relate to and make sense of all my feelings this week. I relate so much of this. My mom died in ICU with my family and I surrounding her after complication from the flu took over her body at just 55 years old. All I can think about this week is being in that stupid hospital and just waiting. Waiting for this year of knock-out punch moments to start. This year I’m getting married and I feel so unprepared for dealing with those sucker punches that are going to come at some very inopportune moments. Somehow it feels better knowing that you and all these other commenters have had these similar experiences and survived it all. I hope it also has helped you to write this and have people relate to it. Maybe I should talk about it more, myself! thanks.

    • Oh Zaundra, I am so sorry. I know you are hurting so much right now and heading into these next several days will be so difficult. I appreciate knowing that this provided you with some comfort…it is very therapeutic to hear from people who related to these words. Sending you love and hugs for your wedding, as it is truly a time to celebrate, but will no doubt be marked by grief. Please keep talking about your mom and that experience…it helps.

  77. Big hugs for you. My mom has been gone for four years now but the Alzheimer’s took her away 14 years before that. The hurt and missing them fades slowly with time but it never goes away completely. The first year/s are always the hardest.

    • Thank you so much for this comment…I am so sorry that you lost your mom, especially to such a cruel disease. Am sending you love and hugs.

  78. I really feel you understand, maybe the only one who does. My mother died on March 19, 2014. It was very sudden as everyone thought she would live for another ten years, at least. A combination of a blocked artery to her lower bowel and an ER doctor in a small town hospital who “kept her overnight for observation” before sending her the next day to a hospital where she could be correctly diagnosed through a CT scan ensured that she would not survive. The first year anniversary of her death is arriving soon and I don’t know what to do. It still hurts so much. I hated moving into 2015 because somehow 2014 was a always a year in which I still had a living mother, even if it was only for 2 1/2 months. In 2015 I am completely motherless and broken and lost. Everyone says the first year is the hardest. What does that mean? Does it mean that on March 20, I am going to start to feel better, to not wake up with the first thought being that my mother is dead? I kind of doubt it. And I would like to commemorate the anniversary of her death somehow, but I can’t quite figure out how. If I lived close I could visit her grave, but that’s impossible. So what do I do?

    • I cannot imagine how devastating this loss must have been for you Gwen, especially knowing that it could have been prevented with better medical care. I am thinking of you today and hoping very much that you were able to think of your mom today and smile at some good memories. I know it was so very hard, too. Sending you love and hugs.

  79. Gwen
    I am typing this on the 20th March the first anniversary of your mothers death. I hope you are ok and that you found a way to commemorate the anniversary today. My mother died 2 and a half years ago and I am still shattered. I miss her so very much every single day and by now I have realised I will feel like this for the rest of my life. BUT it does get easier. By easier I mean I manage to get on with my life, sometimes I can even smile when I think of her but then sometimes I just sit and cry. I also cannot visit her grave due to the distance and I find that hard. I wake up some days and I would love to just get in the car and go see her but alas life gets in the way. My heart goes out to you today and everyday, I have no answers for you I just wanted you to know that you are not alone today on the first anniversary of your mums death. I understand x x x

  80. Hi Everyone,
    I haven’t posted on this site in awhile, but I have been reading everyone’s post. I feel all your pain and my heart does go out to each one of you. I do understand the unbearable pain you are all going through. I lost my mom almost four years ago. On May 11th 2011, my dear mom left me. She was my life, my best friend. I know that people say it gets easier with time. I don’t know if that is true, but I still cry over her loss. I still miss her every single day. My heart still feels broken. I guess you just learn to cope and deal with the loss. You must. You have no other choice. I do visit my mom’s grave often. It helps me to see her gravesite and bring flowers. I will always miss my mom as all of you will. She was our moms and that is special.

  81. My date fast approaches, 04/06/14… I’m starting to have anxiety just thinking about the closure of a year. Found you with a random google search. Thanks for letting me know that someone else felt exactly the same way.

    • Am so glad you found us here Jennifer…knowing that other people “get it” is tremendously helpful. I will be thinking of you and sending you virtual hugs on the 6th. I, personally, found that the week leading up to the 1st anniversary was actually harder than the day itself. I hope that is the case for you as well. I am just so sorry.

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  83. What a beautiful testament to your mother! The one year anniversary of my mother’s death is 3 days away and your post summed up my feelings beautifully. Thank you for sharing!

  84. yesterday was the 2 year point since losing my mom. I have cried everyday for 24 months. All of the important events in my life are now either before mom died or after mom died. I felt like I wrote this myself. I completely relate to the waking in the morning and no longer having it be the first thing that comes to mind, but the second or third, it is ALWAYS my last thought of the night. I think to myself “Another day without my mom. Damn, this is going to be a long life without her.” I also sometimes will be going along fine, in a good mood until suddenly like a slap in the face my brain say “STOP being happy, your mom is dead!” those slaps are becoming less painful and fewer, but they are still there. I like reading articles like this because it makes me feel less alone, like someone out there understands me, Thank You

  85. Thankyou for this article. I have had many of the same thoughts as in the article and in the comments. My mum passed away 1 month ago tomorrow. Every morning except for the last 2 mornings she has been my first thought. The last 2 she has been my second. I am glad that this article mentions this and that it will get better. I am still feeling very upset though. I long to talk to her. I cant believe that she is gone. I know that she is gone but my mind is having trouble processing this. Often I see or hear something and for a split second will think… must tell Mum or must call Mum, and then I remind myself that I cant. My mum loved christmas decorations so it is very upsetting for me to walk into the shopping centre at the moment seeing the pretty decorations. I do not wish to put decorations up at home but I know that Mum would be VERY disappointed so I will do it, but maybe not as many as usual. I know that things will never be the same again but I will learn to move on.

  86. The 1st anniversary. Of my mums death will be on Jan 28 th . The last year is a haze having spent most of it trying to encourage my dad to live. In and out of hosp, drinking, crying ( dad that is). I wake up every day and think of mum. You carry on , life goes on…. Yesterday I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness, hopelessness. I went to mums house and felt better ( dad in respite at mo). I imagined mum in her chair telling me not to be so silly. It was getting easier , rightnow mum may as well of died yesterday. Boss has arranged my appraisal 2 days before 28 th. He did it late last year and gave me a bad one for being ‘ distant’ . Hell mum had just died ! Glad its not just me who wonders if how they feel is normal !

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