Friday, November 06, 2015


I am one week into the second decade of living without my mother.

This is my one-thousand-sixty-third blog post since she died.

I don't even know how to do any of that.

Ten years and one week later, it is just as hard as it was the first week. Harder, maybe, because the first week was so busy with details--flying home, having a visitation, family everywhere, scattering ashes, sorting and donating clothes, being sick. Now, ten years and one week later, it's regular life (and well past the time when we're all supposed to have figured it out and gotten over it) and it turns out that sometimes that's much harder without a mom than doing all those immediate post-death things. Sure, I hated sorting through her clothes knowing she would never wear them again. But now I have to cook, and make decisions, and buy my own clothes, and have experiences she will never hear about.

Ten years is a long time. A lot changes in ten years. There are so many things I wish we could have done.

I never exchanged a single text message with my mom. I wish we could text. It would be hilarious.

I have very few photos, because cameras had film and phones didn't have cameras. Usually phones were attached to walls. (heh.)

We never stayed up late posting stickers into Facebook messages.

She never saw me wear that geneva gown she bought me.

Neither of us ever said to the other "you can google that."

We never went wine tasting together, though we both love(d) it.

I will never know *for sure* what her Enneagram number is (though I have a pretty good idea).

We never got to discuss the relative merits of kale (and how gross kale chips are).

She never got to see me actually do something almost sporty, after all my years of complaining about how I didn't like things I couldn't read while doing. (13.1 in 2:57)

She never got to read my book.

We never binged on a Netflix show...never talked about Dr. Who or Downton Abbey.

She never came to my house.

We never used hashtags to offer commentary on our conversation.

She never saw affordable health care (such as it is, still....), and I think that is part of why she's dead now.

She never knew President Obama, or marriage equality, or lots of other things.

It's bizarre, really. I'm not convinced the second decade will be any easier...more new things she never got to experience, more of my own life I have to do without her. And yet...onward. Because life. (a "sentence" construction she never used.)


  1. These are exactly the kind of things I miss and wish and wonder about. I can't say that it's hard in the same ways, not after 55 years, since I did 't really know my mom, but I, too, wish that we could have texted and shared ... well, life. I'm really grateful when you write these posts, because they help me see what it will be like from my daughter's perspective, assuming I go first.

    I love that your mom bought your Geneva gown. The sort of gift that would probably never occur to a father, but would be such a source of joy and excitement to a mother.

  2. I was thinking and writing about this kind of grief yesterday. It's been even longer for me and it seems so weird that my mom missed out on so much. Still, I refuse to believe she's not here and experiencing some of it with me as I believe your mom is with you too.

  3. Thank you Teri, for writing about this experience of grief.
    Deep grace to you.

  4. This post has so much raw truth that it is beautiful and horrible all at the same time. I can't make it any different and I can't be her, but I do want to say that you are not alone. And you are loved.