it's so hard to believe

im sitting here, thinking i am free to begin writing again. school is out for the summer, and while i still have a classroom to pack up, my nights are free to read and write.  but as i place my fingers on the keyboard, my heart expands, filled with the pain of grief, and reminds me that my mom is gone and i've never started a novel without her being alive across town before.

i realized how many of my novels deal with parent-child relationships, and i always wondered how to paint the mom for the readers--for my mom if she ever read it.

now she won't.

my mom died this past march at the age of 64.  im 38 and i'm not ready to not have my mom. my kids are 9,7, and 3.  she was supposed to watch them make their first communions, graduate, get married.  i don't remember my grandpa that died when i was 2. 

now they won't remember her. and she loves them so so much.

i've started at least fifty blog posts in my mind these past two months.  i wish i'd actually written them.  my dad started seeing a counselor, and talks to dozens of people at church every morning, so he's spilling his guts numerous times per day.  im not a talker. 

but i am supposedly a writer. 

maybe writing would have helped to release the pent up grief i stuffed away to finish the school year, preparing 25 first graders to become second graders, to be an ear for my dad who can't stand his evenings in an empty house, to swallow my pride when the principal at my school told me she hasn't been able to keep up with me these past few months.

has everyone forgotten that i lost my mom?  it's only been two months.  i haven't even let myself believe it's real yet. i know it's real, but knowing is different than believing.

im wondering how long i can go on thinking that maybe she'll call or stop over.  that maybe it's not really forever.

the other day my three-year-old visited my dad and asked where nana was.  "is she still dead?" he asked.  exactly, i thought.  that's exactly it.  i made it two months.  i made it.  i'm ready for this test or whatever it is to be over now. i mean, i can't possibly live like this for the next 40 years of my life.  i can't be expected to. it's so horrible. it's so painful.

a few weeks ago my husband asked me what was wrong when he saw tears dripping down my cheeks.  what's wrong?  really?  i yelled, "how would you feel if you could never see or speak to your mother again?  starting right now, what if she just up and vanished from the face of the earth?  what if you went to her house and found her purse sitting at the end of the bed, her blue watch next to the Kleenex box in the bathroom, her flip flops on the floor next to the curio cabinet and two closets filled with her clothes--but she was nowhere to be found?"

the last memory i have of my mom is when i carried a box filled with what used to be her body to a small, hollowed out rectangular prism and then slid her inside before the cemetery man locked her inside until Jesus returns.

that's what's wrong.

so instead of typing away at a new novel, im writing this.

maybe it will help.


  1. It is a sad fact of human nature that few have patience or understanding enough to allow a bleeding soul time to heal. Broken bones take a long time to heal so why should they be surprised that it takes even longer for a broken heart to mend.

    Of course you are hurting. That you still function means your broken heart is also a brave, loving one. Over all your life, your heart and your mother's grew to be one. Now, one half of your heart has been torn away.

    You will heal ... slowly like the passing of winter. Some winters seem as if they will never leave. But no matter your winter, spring will eventually come. Your spring will come, and your soul will be enriched by the water of the tears you are now shedding.

    Your painful memories of your mother will slowly change to healing ones of love, hers for you and yours for her. Mourn for what you have lost, but treasure what you had ... a loving mother whose words and actions will always reside in the corridors of your head and heart.

    This new novel will still be touched by your mother's love and wisdom, for those things shaped the person you are now. Those words will spring from the essence of all the good that your Mother instilled in you.

    You are in my heart and will always be in my prayers, Roland

  2. "Is she still dead?" Yes. That's exactly what grief is like. So sorry. :'(


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