It was three years ago today that my mom died. It’s been a pretty full time. Throw in all the missing, sweet remembering, anger, acceptance and a bunch of impossibly unfair questions like, “Why did you leave me?”, and there’s been a sizable emotional roller coaster looping around.
Mostly, though, these years have been full of things like diapers and preschool pick-ups and remembering to let the dog out. Because, you see, life doesn’t stop. While it would be gorgeous to hole up in grief and and allow it to swallow you at the times you need swallowing, it’s hasn’t been in the cards.
This continuance of daily life has taught me two truths: I am still here and so is she.
She is still here, not in a creepy Walking Dead way, but in the way that while she lived, her personality was so large it still prevails in her absence. Growing up, I hated that my mother had an opinion about everything I did. Now, I couldn’t be more grateful for the vigor of thought and sentiment she poured into every corner of her life–and mine. Her energy for living was God’s prep work for allowing me to still carry her along after she’s gone.
There isn’t a day that goes by I can’t hear my mother chiming in on something. Going about my day-to-day, I find her voice; I know exactly what she would say and how she would say it. I can hear her laugh, echoing full and happy; my mom loved to laugh, to find humor in things, to smile.
It astounds me so very much that while she’s no longer on this earth, she’s still so present in all that we do. My mother always believed firmly in angels, and now she has become one–one who weighs in on a lot and laughs often.
She’s still here.
And so am I. My here is mostly filled up with the stuff of my own children. And while I wish she was here in a more in-person way to walk through it with me, it would be a loss to miss the present for the mourning. It’s a pretty beautiful present too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love all the parts; I won’t be writing love poems about fighting through my son’s Kindergarten homework any time soon. But the best way I can honor my mom’s life is to throw myself into my own–all of it, the good, the bad, and the moments my daughter tells me my butt is “humongous” included.
It’s a sweet life, and I need to live it. Live it big enough and large enough that someday when I’m gone, I can still be so clearly present in my own kids’ lives.
In the meantime, my mom is dead, but she’s still very much here. And she’s probably scanning this post with loads of opinionated feedback to share, so I’d better go listen up.
****This post is dedicated to my beautiful new baby niece. While your grandmother never got to meet you, Peyton, she will always very much be part of your life and we’re all going to do our best to make sure you know her really, really well. She’d have it no other way. xoxoxo*****
First image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:22970718, copyright:arkusha
Second image credit: depositphotos.com, image ID:22785832, copyright:pavila1
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Janine Huldie says
Beautiful post and even though I still have my mom, I lost both my grandmother and grandfather in recent years and like you not a day goes by that I don’t feel their presence in some shape or form. So, on that level, I do very much agree and relate. Hugs Meredith and thinking of you today, my dear friend.
Thank you, sweet Janine.
The Dose of Reality says
Stunningly beautiful friend. You have left me in tears. You captured exactly how it feels, both the bitter and the sweet. Sending you love and hugs.-Ashley
Ashley, I know you get it–too well. xo
Kathy Radigan says
What a beautiful piece and tribute to your mom my sweet friend. Thinking of you today and sending love1
Thank you, Kathy!
Love you honey.
JD @ Honest Mom says
I totally understand this. My dad lived largely, too. I’m amazed at the ways I still see him around me — he died five years ago in April. And every time I watch Downton Abbey, I think of him and wish he could have seen how this show from his beloved BBC has taken the world by storm. 🙂
Oh gosh, JD. This probably sounds silly, but will be watching the finale this week in honor of your dad. xo
Really beautiful, Meredith!
Thanks for reading, Ali!
Chris Carter says
Oh such a beautiful post Meredith!!! I am so sad for you, and yet you shared such a powerful perspective here- one which will bless many who have also lost a loved one. I’m so glad your mom is still here. I bet her opinions would be full on LOVE and CONFIDENCE in all you are doing in this life.
Chris, your kind encouragement always means so very much!
Kathy at kissing the frog says
I totally get this. As complicated as our relationships with the people we love are, they are necessary and remembered and appreciated. I love you. Prayers for a peaceful and comforting day.
Kathy, you always get it perfectly. xo
Jen Kehl says
My dad died when I was 18, and he is still with me all of the time. Obviously Isaiah doesn’t know him, but I still share with him Grandpa Myles’ wisdom.
We are lucky to have had our parents long enough for their thoughts and wisdom to become part of us!
I love that you so proactively share him with your son!
This post is beautiful.
Sisterhood of the Sensible Mom says
Beautiful post. I can’t tell you how much light your words bring to me. Hugs, my friend. <3 Ellen
I love you, Ellen.
I love this, especially when you say “Her energy for living was God’s prep work for allowing me to still carry her along after she’s gone.”
What a gift that has been…xo, Anna.
Amy Flory - Funny Is Family says
Hugs to you today. You’ve explained that quiet, lifelong grief perfectly.
Your hugs are wonderful, Amy.
hollow tree ventures says
Beautifully and perfectly said, my friend.
Thanks for all the encouragement, friend.
Peyton is dang lucky to have you as her aunt. xo
I love you, Steph. xoxox
i’m sorry for your loss and happy you have made your peace with it over time. certain days are always hard when there has a loss of someone loved.
So true, ksbeth. Thanks for sharing!
Lisa @bitesforbabies says
What a beautiful post! I need to read this…I just lost my grandmother…today. She is the first person close to me who has passed. I thought it before she passed and I think it even more now, that she IS with me and her presence will always be there.
Oh Lisa! I am so, so sorry. Yes, she will always, always be with you!
Stephanie @ Mommy, for Real. says
Absolutely beautiful, Meredith. Sending lots of love your way today. xo
Thanks, sweet Stephanie.
Julie Conner says
Love this Mere. So beautiful. You said it all so well. They are with us, we carry them in mind body and spirit. Thinking of you today and sending you deep healing prayers and love. XOXO
Julie, you are the best. Love you, friend.
So well said & a wonderful tribute to your mom and who she was & continues to be through her legacy. Know she’s looking down from above w/ pride on the life her daughters continue to live and all her precious grandchildren too : )
Thank you, Kari. You are always in my prayers too, sweet friend.
Melissa @One Mother to Another says
This is beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful all at once. I still have my mom, but it brings me comfort to know that, when she’s gone someday, I’ll still be able to hear her voice loud and clear. What a lovely tribute to her memory.
Aw, Melissa, thanks for sharing this and for reading!
Erasmo Roque says
Your thoughts gave me a strong support because I lost my wife almost 4 years ago. She also was for me my best friend, lover, and at times my second mom. Thanks for mean of your post.
Erasmo, I am so sorry for your loss. This must be so incredibly difficult. Love and prayers…