All posts in Grief

  • Two Years Without Mom

    Dear Mom,

    In the blink of an eye, it’s been 2 years since you passed away. I miss you, so, so much.

    I still get surprised by the grief sometimes; it catches me off guard, like a random rain cloud on an otherwise sunny day. But as April and May approached, it felt more like the storm on the horizon: no matter how bright the day, I could sense the approaching darkness.

    And so we are here – two years later, with another year of celebrations and loss and laughter and hugs and tears. You missed your 57th birthday, your 35th wedding anniversary, and so much more.

  • A Letter to Grandma, Four Years Later

    Dear Grandma,

    In what seems like a blink of an eye, it’s the end of 2016, and it’s been four years without you.

    I missed writing to you last year, and I know you’d understand: without you, without Mom, it was a year in which everything was off. The world still seems off-balance, and I’ve realized that it may always feel that way.

    I still feel your absence most profoundly at Christmas time – not only because it is when you died, but because my childhood was filled with so many fond memories of Christmas celebrations at your house. I drove past the house a few days ago, and it looked so empty to me, without your spirit lighting it up.

  • A Year Without Mom

    Dear Mom,

    Today, the tulips in Wisconsin are in full bloom, and it’s been a year since you passed away. The beauty of spring is tempered, like so many things, by your absence.

    I never understood what ‘profound’ meant until faced with the grief of losing you. It looms large, larger than I comprehend, and sometimes it seems like the vast, empty plain of loss will stretch out forever.

    There are so many things I wish you were here for – so many things you’ve already missed. New friends, a new house, new hobbies, hundreds of joyful moments. Babies and weddings and engagements. You’ve missed other moments of sorrow, too, of course, as sorrow comes knocking on everyone’s door, a shared experience among us all.

  • Yes, You Can Ask About My Grief

    “I don’t know what to say.”

    In the nearly six months since my mom unexpectedly passed away, I have heard this phrase numerous times. And this is the response I have said so many times:

    “I don’t know what to say, either. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.”

    I have often seen the “deer in headlights” look from both friends and strangers when my mom’s absence works its way into a conversation. I know it all too well (I have the same look when I enter unknown conversational territory!)