Dear Mom.

[Ok – consider yourself warned – this is going to be a sad one. If you aren’t up for it today – move along.]

You died six months ago today. And my whole world changed forever. It’s strange how surreal it still feels when I consider you’re really gone, even six months later. I’ve replayed that day in my head a thousand times and it never ceases to feel like science fiction.

And we’re muddling through the best we can. I wonder if you realize how much everyone relied on you. You were the sun we orbited. You were my sun.

with Mom and DadI never realized how much joy I got from sharing things with you. Things really got their meaning when I told you about them. Now, something exciting or interesting will happen…and it sort of dies on the vine. I think about telling you – and can’t – and I think about telling someone else…and nine times out of ten, I decide it’s not worth it. And I let it go. Even awesome things have been lackluster since I can’t share my excitement with you.

I got a book deal. Everyone assures me you know. Something I’d dreamed of most of my life…happened! And I cried all day. Because your absence was unbearable. You’re the only person who has read every book I’ve ever written. You gave honest, valuable feedback and I relied on your opinion so much. What do I do now? You are truly irreplaceable.

You said you were amazed by my drive…by my fearless pursuit of my dreams. Well, your fearless daughter has developed a new fear. I’m so afraid of ever needing someone again the way I needed you, because losing that person…is a killer. I can hear you telling me that isn’t the answer…that our lives are worth living because of the people in them. And I know that’s true. But I really feel like over the last six months I’ve been testing the theory of whether or not you can die of a broken heart. Because sometimes…oftentimes…it’s devastating.

But you knew this all too well. And I didn’t understand. You can’t understand until it happens to you. But I understand now. I understand that underlying fissure of sadness you had most of my life – that you got from the loss of your father who you adored and your mother who was your best friend. Who were both gone by the time you were 38.

And I’m not unique. I realize that. People have lost their most important people, just as young, younger, under all kinds of tragic circumstances. And people survive it. And I will, too. Just like you did.

I may not know precisely what I believe, but I believe that you are at peace. That death is only sad for those left behind. I believe that you are with your parents, who you spent decades missing. I believe that, even if you can see us, our sorrow is not making you sad because you now have that wisdom that assures that we’ll be together again in what will seem like the blink of an eye.

All the goals I had – being a published author – being an attorney. My goal these days is to be able to say “I miss my mom so much” without crying. It’ll have to be a long-term goal.

Apparently the only thing bigger than your presence in my life was the hole left in it when you died.

People tell me to focus on the good memories, the happy times. But that’s not what we were. We were the constant sharing of every thought and every feeling. Every day. Sure, there were good times – but I don’t miss being able to take a vacation with you. I miss the 20-minute talk on my way to work. And the 20-minutMome talk on my way home. And the phone call I would have made to you when I found out  about my book deal. (The very FIRST phone call I would have made.) And the phone call I would have made to you when I found out about the suicide of a friend from high school. And when I won that motion in court. And when that dog got into my yard and attacked my dogs. And hearing your input on the sequel to my book that I’m working on. And hearing what you thought of the season finale of The Blacklist. Or you showing me how well your apple trees were growing in your yard. How will focusing on the good memories ever be a replacement for the million things you and I would have told each other about in the last six months? Or the next 20 years?

But I’ll make it through, obviously. I get my toughness from you. And I hope my own fissure of sadness isn’t too big. And I hope that I dream of you. And that after I heal some more, I hope I’ll believe people when they say “she’ll always be with you.” And I hope that I make you proud.

I miss you so much.

 

 

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  13 comments for “Dear Mom.

  1. June 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Six months. Wow. Probably a very slow six months and a very fast six months. And oh, what you wouldn’t give for another 6 months, or minutes with her, I know. I’m so very sorry. These things you miss, I can see in myself with my own mother. It’s not the trips, it’s the every minute of everyday being connected to our very best friend who’s been there with us and seen it all and been there waiting till we come out the other side. And you know what? This really isn’t much different, is it? She’s still going to be there waiting for you when it’s time for you to come out the other side. It’s just this time you have to do the adventuring on your own for a bit and see how much you can accomplish. Remember, eternity is forever. Eternity is a long time and you’re going to need alot of fodder to rehash with her when it’s time to fill her in.

    On another note, this is beautifully written (as usual) and I’m wondering if you shouldn’t do a little writing on grief for others to read. I know just this piece alone has helped me to appreciate the gift I have right now. Something to think on…..there are worse ways to work through things than putting your grief to work for you….

    • June 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      That is an interesting idea. I guess, because I’ve never been much into self-help type books myself, I have trouble seeing how it would be useful to other people…?

      • June 15, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        Well, for me, reading this and a few of your other posts, I’ve been reminded to be more patient when I might not be with my mother and to really make that time to pick up the phone and talk just because we can instead of just using IM or e-mail and to really just try and get to know her even more than I already do and to soak up every compliment and to write them down for a day when I’m going to need to remind myself of why she thought I was so great, etc. I guess you’re past this point now, but trust me on this….your writing is awesome, your words are powerful, and your emotions shine through…….it makes others pause and consider, you know?

      • June 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

        Pretty sure that qualifies as one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. Thank you so much. I will keep your idea in the back of my brain and see if it takes root 😉 (Since that’s usually how writing works…you get an idea and sometimes it just starts to grow like a weed requiring no nurturing whatsoever 😉 )

      • June 15, 2015 at 1:03 pm

        Excellent. Am glad to hear it. Things do happen for a reason…..you’ve had a door close and a window open very close together…..change is your world right now…..not the ride you thought you were taking, but still will be interesting and keep you engaged, I’m sure. Will be curious to see what you make of this new window being open now…..your world is rife with possibility…..explore it all!

  2. June 15, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    *Hugs* because I know there is nothing I can say to help.

  3. Greg Moore
    June 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Beautifully written, as always, Erin. You and I both share the blessing of having wonderful moms. And yes, I use the present tense although my mom also departed this current existence a number of years before yours, but also much too soon. But I would add that since that departure, an evolution has occurred because her presence has continued to be felt and her influence has continued to manifest itself not only with her own children, but with the other fine women who have joined our family and who had the pleasure of knowing her. And with some who never did. There are the traits inherited by blood, and there are the traits inherited by frequent and warm recollection of who she was when she was here with us. Her influence remains. These younger generations of good women do things “like Grandma Kiddy”, because of her loving influence and the example she set. Her presence remains, and with it the sense of which you wrote, that she is patiently and lovingly waiting for us. And so I believe it will be with you. That your mom will show herself in you and in your daughter and in your daughter’s daughters when they appear. How lucky we are to have that. How lucky we are to have such moms.

    • June 15, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      I know, Greg. I hope I am lucky enough to have your kind of lasting connection. It hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t!

  4. June 15, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Your mom sure was extraordinary, especially in the teeny tiny. As far as proud, you always did, and you sure are now Erin.

    I love you always.

  5. July 21, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I’m glad to see that you are continuing to grieve in your own way. Unfortunately, it’s the only way to heal. Take care.

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