Wednesday, August 20, 2014


During my mom's lifetime.. I understood there were just things we couldn't do.
We couldn't easily go for walks.
I never went to the mall with just her to pick out clothes.
We never had solo lunch or dinner dates (early on because I didn't see the value in these things as a teenager, then was gone for college, and later because I couldn't physically transfer her alone).
I knew as her disease progressed there would be even more limited opportunities and that as the doors to these facets of normal relationships closed.. they would never open again.

I really didn't start to feel the loss of that acutely until this past Mother's day.
It was difficult to put my finger on, but I started to feel really sad about the relationship I never had with her, not in the "I wish we were closer" way (although that's intertwined) but the things we just physically could never do with each other.

As people announce pregnancies and plan for babies and talk about how instrumental their own mothers have been; what a constant source of knowledge and support they've been.. it fills me with an incredible sadness. Even if my mom were alive and I were giving birth tomorrow (no, not pregnant), she would not have been in a position to thoughtfully answer questions about, "OMG I'm having a kid, what do I do." It's just how it was towards the end. It's difficult to even explain, but cognitively she was very hit-or-miss: some days she could tell stories about her dad, other times you'd ask a question and the answers wouldn't make sense. So while I'm not as sad for missing the way it would have gone in reality, I'm sad for the way it would have never even been to begin with.

Even if she hadn't died, I never would have had that mother-daughter-grandmother relationship with her. That's reality, and it seems so fucking unfair. I can wish her back to life (and while her body would be here and she'd still have facets of the personality that made her who she was), it wouldn't change a ton for the better.

That's the part of it that's hitting me now, and that's the part that's hardest to live with.


  1. I read this and instinctively want to offer you my mom...or say that maybe M's mom can fill that void...but the truth is, they can't. It's just not the same. It's sucks that you were denied something a lot of us have so easily and often take for granted. I hate that for you. I know you're not a super sappy gal, but just wanted you to know that I am sad about that for you.

  2. Lo nailed it. So many of us take people in our lives and small, every day activities for granted. But for those who have circumstances that do not allow them to live their "ideal" life/self, there is such anger and sadness for what was "lost". And the destruction or damage of those hopes, dreams, or envisioned future, (whether you even knew you had them or not) is such a genuine loss and as you so well wrote, it's incredibly hard to cope with.

    Grief is tough enough already, let alone to add this level of complexity. :/ Just know we're thinking of you and walking with you as you navigate it all.

  3. Sending you so much love.

    My mom has Multiple Sclerosis so I went through some of the same things (never going shopping or out to dinner alone) but it sounds like what was happening with your mom was a much more aggressive condition. I wish I could say something that would take away the sadness, or lighten your load but I'm not sure what that could be. I'm around if you ever need to chat.

  4. What a beautifully written piece Kelly. My own mother died when I was young so I relate to many of the words you wrote here. It's funny…unless you have lost a parent you don't truly understand the void. It seems as though your loss (and your mother's loss) occurred slowly over time…which doesn't make it any easier.
    I know enough to leave this short. Just know that there are those of us who read this and appreciated your honesty.
    xo - Marion

  5. Oh girl, this just sucks so much. And it's funny - when you're around people with fully functioning and healthy mothers, it's easy to understand how they can complain about overbearing mothers and their stressful relationships... but then you realize that oh, hey, actually, the alternative IS worse. So much worse.

    Hugs. So flipping unfair.

  6. First off, this is beautiful. I completely agree with what Sarah said above ^ back when I COULD have gone shopping/lunch/etc with my mom, I was too cool for school to be seen with her. Not long after I was married, my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, and the things I was too cool to do before are things that can't be a reality at all now.
    I don't know if I'm saying the right things to you, and I'm sorry for rambling. Virtual hugs from NJ coming your way <3 I don't know if it gets easier, but I hope the pain/sadness lessens over time for you

  7. My heart hurts for you. I can't imagine how it makes you feel. Being pregnant now and not having my mom brings back sooo many emotions and a lot of struggles. Life just isnt fair :(

  8. Oh, Kelly. What a beautiful post. You're right. It's so fucking unfair. For me, this is the part of grief that sticks around the longest.
    This is the new wave of grief that I've had the last couple years. As I've gotten married, had a baby, etc., and my sister hasn't been there to do normal sister things. It sucks. I wish I could say something to take it away. Just know that I'm thinking of you and sending some hugs.

  9. I'm sorry love. If there was something I could say to make you feel better I would but I don't think there is anything. I'm proud of you for being able to work through these feelings. I couldn't do that.