On Being A Motherless Mother

Shortly after my mom died, I found myself in a bookstore on the self help aisle looking for answers.  It was there I first saw the word “motherless.”  I remember it stinging.  I remember feeling a little bit of denial, like it wasn’t a true word in my life.  I remember putting the book back on the shelf and walking out of the bookstore, because I was clearly not ready to address the reality of my motherless situation.

But, it was real.  And because the universe is never quite fair enough to us and the ones we love, Sarah joined me in this club almost 10 years later.  We often imagine our moms at our age, sitting together with us in their laps, loving life and basking in their first time mom glory…talking about smocked dresses and monograms…haha…sound familiar??  We imagine that not for a second did they consider the idea of not being here for us…to bounce our babies on their laps, to love our lives with us, and to bask in the glory of grandparenting.

When you lose your mom, you think about her every. single. day.  A day later, a year later, a decade later, and beyond… The thoughts never go away.  A few weeks ago, a very close friend of Sarah lost her mother to cancer, and it’s brought these daily thoughts of our moms to the forefronts of our minds.  And even though we’ve been there, neither of us can find the perfect words for her.  There is nothing we can say or offer to make things better, so we thought that maybe in sharing our stories…our journeys…we can virtually hold hands with all of the others out there in this most UNFAIR club.  We’ll let you know how we got here, what has happened along the way, and where we stand today.

How I Got Here

Car accident.  When I was 20, my mom and I went on a trip to Seattle for the Bat Mitzvah of one of my cousins.  We were high on life.  She loved being able to travel to be with relatives she didn’t get to see all the time.  My grandparents and some other close family members were there with us.  When the accident happened, we were even out doing one of my mom’s favorite things…shopping.  We were walking along a busy street in Downtown Seattle filled with shops…Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Bloomingdales, I remember a cute little store with kitchen gadgets and accessories, and the Louis Vitton Store.  My mom looked in the window and the rainbow signature LV pieces were on display.  She said something like, “Ohhhhh, that’s what everybody wants now!”  And that was the end.  I felt what I thought was someone pushing me from behind.  Maybe an aunt or uncle spotted us and came running up to surprise us.  But the next thing I knew I was on the ground.  And what I learned shortly after was that a man had a heart attack behind the wheel and rammed up onto the curb hitting me, my mom, and our cousin.  I walked away from the accident with a few stitches.  My cousin walked away almost unharmed.  My mom suffered severe head injuries and died in a Seattle Hospital not much more than 24 hours later.  And just like that…after 20 years of very full living, loving, and learning from, who I thought, was truly the best of the very best mom…I was Motherless.

Everytime I tell this story, for a few seconds, I float outside of my body as if I am talking about someone else.  For just a few seconds it still feels like it’s all just a dream.  But the seconds pass, and motherless I still am.

What Happened Next

Roller Coaster.  Ups and Downs, Highs and Lows. Lots of moving and soul searching.  Feeling like I needed to take care of my dad and my sister.  Not taking care of myself.  Learning to let go of my mom’s past and moving on to create my own future.  After moving from New Orleans to New York and back to New Orleans again, I found myself in Houston with my dad and Sarah.  They came here post Katrina, and I came looking for a grown up life for myself.  I met Josh and my life changed.  From the time my mom died until the time I met Josh, everything was a sad blur.  An almost 5 year blur.  It was just a time to survive.  To figure out what new normal meant, but I made it.  I made it, and I have since survived a wedding without my mom, I survived having my babies without my mom, and I’m surviving the day-to-days of motherhood without my mom.

Being a Motherless Mother

Ohhhh, ya’ll!  Being a mom makes me feel connected to my own mom all the time.  I felt connected to her when I nursed my babies, because I know that’s what she did.  I felt connected to her when I signed my kids up for pre-school at our synagogue, because that’s what she did.  I feel connected to her when I make green smoothies for my kids, because she surely based our family’s diet on whatever health fad was happening at the moment.  I feel connected to her every afternoon when I’m sitting outside in the front yard with my neighbors, because y’all…she taught me that too!

There are also, of course, moments when I’m broken-hearted.  I’m broken-hearted when I come across a situation that needs a trusted opinion and the person I trusted most can’t be asked.  I’m broken-hearted when I see other people my age sharing special moments with their moms.  I’m broken-hearted when I get stuck thinking about the truth that Josh, my kids, and nearly everyone else in my Houston life never got to meet my mom.

Then I am hit by the ultimate truth.  They know so much of her through me.  So much of what I do, think, feel…is so much like her.  In fact, this is what I wanted to tell Sarah’s friend when I wrote her an email offering my thoughts and prayers.  She’s not ready to hear it yet, but in 10 years after she processes, goes on a roller coaster ride, and circles back, she’ll realize that her mom is still with her…both deep in her soul AND out on the surface of so many of her actions.

liv with ida2

Embracing the Women in your Life

Because I’ve hit the “second best thing next to your real mom” lottery, I’ve been able to lean on and find strength in some amazing women over the past decade.  My mom’s best friend was the first person to make me feel like I wasn’t alone.  She hopped on a plane to Seattle as soon as she found out about our accident and held my hand from that moment until I was ready to let go many years later.  Some of the best hugs I’ve gotten over the years have been from my closest friends’ mothers.  Hugs that are strong and silent, but speak so loudly to my soul.  I have a mother-in-law and step mom who both treat me as if I am theirs and always have been.  Even their best friends and family are in my circle of strength.  These women help me move forward and are there for me to turn to when something is just… missing.

If you are a Motherless sister…newbie, rollercoaster rider, or veteran, I get you my friend.  I’m so sad that we are in this club, but at least we’re in it together.  Sarah is with you too and she {along with a few other members of our team} will be sharing their stories just as soon as they can find the words.  If you feel comfortable sharing, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.  Virtual hugs to all!

Previous articleLooking Past the “What Not to Say” List
Next articleBump Diaries :: Month 4
Jessica and Sarah are tandem bloggers and self-dubbed ‘sister-cousins’ because sometimes the lines get blurred, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Both New Orleans natives, these cousins transplanted to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and have never looked back. Jessica is the mother of twin girls, Laine and Olivia {March 2010}, and a sweet and curious one year old boy, Owen {Jan 2013}. Sarah is mom to Maggie {Aug 2011}, who keeps her on her toes, and the most adorable little brother, Jack {Nov 2013}! By day, Jessica is a stay at home mom, and Sarah works on the financial and managerial end of the healthcare industry. By naps, lunch breaks, and nights, they run an adorable children’s clothing company called The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe. Follow these two, their families, and their adventures in small business ownership on their blog…and don’t forget to show them some love at their shop too!

57 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I feel like I could’ve wrote it. It’s coming up on 5 years of my mom being gone and she was my everything! I lost my mom and became a mom for the 1st time to two beautiful girls all in one year. The time I needed my mom the most and she was gone. My life has been a blur since and I’m finally starting to handle the emotions of it 5 years later. Reading your story just made me realize I’m not alone in this. Thank you.

    • Definitely not alone Nicole. 5 years is so hard. It’s like you’re supposed to be “better,” but it still feels so fresh. Thanks for reaching out and sharing your story.

    • Nicole,
      I have a very similar story to yours.!i am coming up on the 5 year anniversary of my mom, who was my best friend, passing away and I also had my first born that same year as well. I truly appreciate the quote that Jessica and Sarah left about how you are supposed to feel better but it is just still fresh. For some reason these past few months for me have been really hard living the day to days without her. It is comforting to know I am not alone, strength in numbers if you will. Jessica, thank you for this post, being a motherless mom is something I never thought I would have to be and I believe the only people who understand are those who go through it themselves. Here’s to everyday getting easier than the last!

      • Hi Erin!
        Thanks for your comment. Just like with Nicole, I totally get it. No matter how much time passes, there will always be something that just stops you in your tracks. I think people expect the birthdays of our moms to be hard and the anniversaries of their deaths to be hard, but for me, the hardest days are when it occurs to me what’s missing. Little things like my mom not being able to take my kids to the zoo or for a sleepover at her house. I know y’all know….but there is a reason everyday to miss them. Time makes things more tolerable, but the stings will always be there. Have y’all read the book, Motherless Daughters? Once I got passed my issues with the word motherless, it was a great read. Thinking about you both!

    • I feel like I wrote this.
      My mother died when I was 6 years old from Breast Cancer. I only have a few really really good memories of her and I honestly feel I have been incomplete my whole life.
      There is always something missing and its her.
      When I was 36 I also found out I had breast cancer and my world fell apart. I was so worried I would leave my children the same way she did.
      Oddly enough going through that connected me to her in a way I didnt know it could.
      I finally understood how she felt, how scared she was and how it had to of destroyed her.
      Luckily that was 5 years ago and im still here and going strong.

      • My first Mother’s Day without my Mom is this year,we lost her in November two weeks before her birthday which fell on her favorite holiday,Thanksgiving…Her loss was sudden&devastating and our hearts are so broken..Trying to put the pieces back together for myself is a daily challenge but for my children it’s been the hardest,I try to focus on the moments we had with her more each day rather then focus on what moments she won’t be here for,I’m still on the rollercoaster and not ready to get off,I can’t even allow myself to realize she’s forever gone, It doesn’t seem real or I’m not allowing myself to let it seem real..I miss her every single second of the day..I wish I did more with her,I wish I valued my time more with her,I wish God would give us a do-over..Oh yes did I mention I’m in the plea bargin stage too,knowing Nothing can bring her back but find myself plea-bargaining with God to give her back to us,give us more time..We are a club,a club I never thought I would be apart of so soon.

  2. Oh Jessica. What beautiful words and what courage and strength to share them. Your mom has to be so proud of the SUPERMOM that you are and the support you are to your fellow mom friends!! I certainly feel like I have a good idea of what a beautiful woman and mother your mom was by seeing what kind of person and mother you are.

  3. Wow, Jessica what a beautiful article and a beautiful tribute to your Mom. You are such a great Mom and I know that you Mom is infinitely proud of your every day. HUGS!!!

  4. Jessica … this is such a beautiful tribute to Ida. It’s obvious to me what a wonderful mother she was, because I have the honor of being the stepmother to her two wonderful daughters. I get to see the amazing women you have become. I love you and Marla like daughters and I love, love, LOVE being Honey to our precious grandchildren. I can’t imagine my life now, without ALL of you in it … Samets AND Peirces .. yet I know, I only get this privilege because Ida couldn’t be here. I hope she would be happy with how I love all her babies and Papa Don, too. I know she would be proud of her girls … you both found your way through a very dark time, because of all that she instilled in you in the short time she was here. And because of all the people who loved her and supported and loved yall after she was gone. She would be so happy and proud of both of you and the lives that you’re both living today. I know I am.

    Sarah …. I am so glad I had time to know and love Anne. I miss her at our family occasions and I know how proud she would be of you and your brothers. I wish she’d had more time to share with Maggie …. and to know Blakely and Jack. I am grateful for my own opportunity to love all of you and be a part of all of your lives.

    xoxoxoxo,
    Honey

  5. In Septemeber it will 10 years since I lost her, and not a day goes by that she isn’t missed. Not that my mother and I had a particulary close relationship, in fact it was strained most of the time.
    She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The same kind her older brother had died from 20 years earlier. My husband and I hurried along our engagement so she could be there to see us married. I was told by doctors not to expect children to be part of our future due to my own medical issues. Much to our surprise I did get pregnant 3 months after our wedding.
    My Mom went through chemo & radiation as I went through my first pregnancy. She lost her battle with cancer just 3 weeks before my first daughter was born.
    It is a heartbreak that wont ever go away. Even though she and I weren’t that close, I know what an amazing grandmother she would have been. My children (we had another little blessing 3 years later) have no grandparents. I have been fortunate however to find some amazing women who have stepped in over the years to help fill the gap for them. I dont think they will ever know just how much I appreciate them for that.
    I am a member of the motherless mother sisterhood.

  6. reading this again and crying even harder, especially reading comments (particularly Honey’s) bringing even more tears. Your mom would be so proud of the mom you are and the aunt Marla is. Both of you are amazing and truly inspiring…. Love you!

  7. Thanks for talking about this, Jessica. It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in this club when everyone around you is doing “grandparent” things and you are not. I lost my mom at a similar age as you… I was 19. I am thankful to have had all those years with her, but what a cruel time to lose a mom just when you’re on the verge of knowing her as an adult and a friend. You are right that there has not been a day in 14 years that I have not thought of her. Even after learning to live within this new normal, there are moments when it hurts as bad as it did in the beginning. And still moments- just split seconds- when I think to call her to share something that happened or get some advice. It just never goes away… and becoming a mother creates a deeper void while also filling a void in some weird way. The role of “mom” comes back into your life again even if it’s in a different way. Suddenly there’s a reason to celebrate Mother’s Day again. And yet her absence cuts even deeper. I am just hopeful that I can be a reflection of her and that my three children will know her through me. She was a woman worth knowing indeed!

    • Kelly! We are totally on the same page. I still even know my mom’s cell phone number and I have that split second urge to call all the time. I am positive you are a reflection of her daily. THanks so much for leaving a comment…feels good to find someone who totally gets what’s on my mind.

  8. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer in 2001right after Mother’s Day and right before my little brother graduated high school. I was 28. It was hard when I married and now with 2 young children. My dad never remarried nor wants too but I crave a motherly figure. I have a wonderful MIL and my aunts, mom’s sisters and I remain close by no one lives close to me. All of these women live 6 to 7 hours away! I often get jealous of my friends who have their parents that live close to them and attend all special events and for us it’s just our little family of 4! What I have learned is that I need to cherish every single moment with my girls because there’s no guarantee we’ll be here tomorrow! In sobbed the entire time I read this post! Even though it’s been 14 years for me, it still doesn’t get easier. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Hi Jules! Thanks so much for your comment. I was recently on a trip with my husband and there was a mom with her two daughters, both about my age, on a mother-daughter weekend. I found myself thinking I couldn’t wait to do that with my girls. I then realized how silly it was of me to fantasize about something 15+ years down the road. I knew better!! I came home and planned a special mother-daughter outing for me and my 4 yr olds. It felt great to do something fun in the moment. Are you in Houston? After reading all these comments, it almost seems like we could start some kind of suport group! Hmmmm…

  9. I’m 23 and less than a month and a half ago I lost my mother. Her heart failed. It was very unexpected. I feel so lost with out her. I think if it were not for my son, I would stay in bed and just cry. I miss her so terribly. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    • Hi Adeana. Thank so much for your comment. I’m so glad you have your son. Hang in there my friend…a month in a half is so soon. I think you are definitely allowed to have days of being in bed crying. You will get through it and time will help. Feel free to reach out again if you need someone to talk to.

  10. This is so true. You hit the nail on the head. I’m approaching my mom’s one year death anniversary. I miss her everyday. It hurts so much. I cried when I read this. Hats off to you for writing this. Thank you.

    • Hi Sarah. Thanks so much for being brave enough to leave a comment. It’s much easier for me than you girl. WHen I was less than a yr in, I was still terrified of the word motherless. It felt so offensive. I know time will make things easier for you, but of course you’ll always be thinking of your sweet mom. If you haven’t read the book Motherless Daughters, I really recommend it. I read it just after the one year anniversary of my mom’s death. Lots of women sharing their stories…it just felt good not to be alone.

  11. Motherless….I never thought of it that way but that’s exactly what it is, isn’t it? For me, 10 years ago my mom lost her battle to lung cancer. I was 34. That seems old enough to make it on your own without your mom but there are days I feel so lost without her. My husband and I had tried to get pregnant for 3 years before she died. After she died, I went to the doctor to get a physical for an adoption agency and found out I was 9 weeks pregnant. I had been pregnant those last weeks she was sick and neither of us knew it. I never got to tell her I was having a baby and she never saw her granddaughter (or later her grandson). That’s the hardest part for me. There are days when I want to talk to her so bad just to get advice. My daughter is exactly like me (extremely shy and sensitive) and it would be nice to hear her advice so as to know it’ll be ok that she’ll turn out fine.

    It touched me the part about how you said we reflect our mothers. I hope I do that. I hope at least in some small way I can show the world who she was. I live in a different town from where I grew up and nobody here knew her. All of my friends, my children, nobody ever had the chance to know her and that makes me sad. She would have loved my friends, she would have adored my children. But she never got to see any of it. I just miss her and hope I never lose her memory.

    • Hi Debbie.

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. Every comment I read here makes me somehow feel stronger…so thanks! My kids are young…4 and 2. About a year ago I realized that I needed to start talking about my mom to them so she would feel real. I put up pictures(even though I have very few) and started telling stories about her whenever I could think to add it in. One of my daughter’s middle name is my mom’s name…I find myself saying her full name out loud on purpose just to hear my mom’s…ha! Silly….but it helps to keep her “alive” in my kids lives. I’m sure you’re doing a lot of these things and don’t even realize it…just in being yourself. Thinking about you!

  12. I am coming up on the 5 year anniversary of loosing my mom and just had the first anniversary of my oldest sisters death. My kids were 11 and 8 when my mom passed away. These teenage years have been rough not having my mom to talk too. It’s also hard because my kids miss their Memom but I am thankful they got to have her in their lives when they were little. The hardest thing now is realizing my son will graduate high school in a year and she won’t be here to celebrate with him. Thank you for sharing your story with us strangers.

    • Hi Rebecca!

      Thanks for sharing yours too. I think what keeps ringing true in all of these comments is that no matter the age you were when you lost her or how many years she’s been gone, the gap left behind is never quite filled in. Let’s all just rememeber to be there for each other…you know the one’s who really understand what it’s like.

  13. Had no idea we were in the same club. not happy that there are so many members but so glad to have the company. we will have to chat about it one day… a beautiful tribute. no doubt your mom would be proud!

    • Whaat???? Me either! I mean I’ve heard you talk about your stepmom and dad, but never mom now that you mention it. We can about it anytime.

  14. This made me cry this morning. I just completed 10 years of being motherless. I have possibly missed my mom the most after becoming a mom myself last year. Not having someone who loves you unconditionally, with no judgments, to turn to for support, has been truly the most painful part of becoming a mother for me. Its been 10 years, but I still miss her every single day and the pain is as deep as 10 years ago.

  15. Absolute gut punch. My dad died from a heart attack when he was 63, very healthy man who had just passed a complete cardio stress test for a new insurance company two weeks earlier. He took great care of his body, had never been in a hospital (wasn’t even born in one). I was 41. My daughter was born when I was 43. So reading this article brings to light the other side of that fear that keeps me up more nights than I care to admit…what if I have the same heart condition? What if Sophie only gets 20 years with me? I pray for her health and happiness always, but also for mine. And of course a big part of it is because I want to be here through all the fun stuff like proms and weddings and grandkids. But bigger still…I had a terrible terrible terrible time losing my dad in my 40s. I can’t imagine how it must feel to lose your mom at 20. So I pray and wish and cross my fingers that I will stay healthy and lucky and be around when she’s 41 and beyond.

    Best wishes, love and light to all of you, Jessica, Sarah and folks like me who just came here because they needed to read this today.

  16. Thank you, Jessica and Sarah, for creating this amazing motherless community. This has all been incredibly moving. And now that I’ve stopped sobbing (!), I will share that next year will be the 10th Anniversary of my mom’s passing. She lost her brave 13 year battle with cancer when I was 32. Although time has certainly made this loss manageable, there is a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled. I still feel sadness everyday that she missed my wedding (and never met my husband), that she was not there during my first pregnancy and the birth of my son, that she is not here during my current pregnancy with a baby girl, and that she will miss out on countless special moments yet to come. It’s true, though, that even the littlest things can trigger thoughts of her on a daily basis, reminding me that I’m navigating my life without her love, support, guidance and advice. It’s not easy. But I do believe that she’s with me, that she’s my guardian angel, and that brings some comfort. I know that I need to be strong and be present for my own family, and that’s what I try to focus on. I just pray that I will be 1/2 the mother to my kids that she was to me. Thank you again for creating this forum. I wish that I was not part of the club, that none of us were, but it’s nice to know that we have each other.

  17. Thank you so much for this! I lost my Mom 8.5 years ago to homicide. It was a day I will never forget and feels like yesterday when it happened. I have gone through the “motherless” wedding (heart wrenching) and accepting the fact that my husband and children will never have the chance to meet my Mom. I was very close with my Mom. She was waiting to retiring from teaching until she had grandchildren. I had my first child (a beautiful little girl) in December. I am going through so many emotions. I miss my Mom when I am breastfeeding, when my daughter is crying or laughing or when I am figuring out childcare when I go back to work. What is most prominently felt by me? Overwhelming love for my daughter. The same love my Mom had for me. I am saddened that I can’t look into my Mom’s beautiful blue eyes and say, “I get it now, Mom. I know exactly what you meant every night when you tucked me in an said, ‘I love you.'”
    So how do I keep my Mom alive for my daughter? Well, as you said, through who I am and the mother I have become. When she’s fussy, we pace the floor while listening to The Beatles. My daughter doesn’t mind my singing yet! I tell her stories about my Mom. Most of all, I look at her, rub her head and give her kisses, just like my Mom used to.

  18. She was 59 and I was 40. She died 6 days before her 60th birthday and when I stood over her body, warm, but still, not struggling, something in my heart cracked. She was gone. The essence of my mother was gone. Her shell, battered and tired from fighting remained. But I will NEVER forget the silence in the room that sweltering July day, nor the sounds of the wheels of the stretcher as the funeral home attendants took her body. I asked them not to cover her face before I could see her in the daylight. The cancer and chemo had changed her face, her skin, her coloring. We had stood in that very driveway hugging just four months before, as she sobbed into my shoulder with the realization that the breast cancer had returned after fifteen years, to her liver. “Mom, many women live 5 or more years…” trying to cheer her, but scared or of my mind. My girls were 2 and 18 months. Certainly Gid would not take her now!!! That was 4 and a half years ago…the day the rose colored glasses came off. And the day she left, I watched the sun set and felt alone. My mom’s only child… I have been blessed with a few precious friends whom understand, whom hold me tight and supported me when I was neck-deep in grief But this is the club no one wants to be a member of…. Each and every day I miss her. Still cry some days at beautiful sunsets or a clear moon or rainbows. I know she’s whole and I often wonder how thin the veil is–between life and death. I tell my children stories about her and Inhear her laughter in mine. And I think of the last words she said to me: “I love you…I love you…I love you.” Those were probably her first words to me. You said it aptly: a hole. I live and find great joy; I pour my love for her into my children, but that hole is there, undeniably, absolutely there. Thank you for article. A Motherless Mother. So very painfully true.

  19. I just re-read this article and all the comments and of course I am crying. My story is so similar to so many of you that replied. This September will be 5 years since my mom died. She was 63 and I was 30. She was my everything and I still miss her so much every day. Sometimes the hardest part of this journey is feeling alone. I am wondering if we could possibly set up a support group on Facebook or something. Right after my mom died I attended a grief group called “motherless daughters” in Austin. I was not a mother yet, but It was the best thing I found for support because everyone understood. I have been searching for something similar ever since and have been unsuccessful. Maybe something online would be helpful for all of us? Just an idea. I have read motherless daughters which was good. I own motherless mothers but haven’t been able to read it yet. It’s tough. My heart goes out to all of you. I can’t help but feel comforted that I am not alone. Being a mother is a bittersweet experience without your own mother. It’s like my life is so full, but something is still missing.

    • Hi Jessica…your last line got me girl. I was just thinking the same thing yesterday. I was having the greatest day ever with my entire family and somewhere there was sliver of emptiness. Let me think about how we can set up something on fb.

  20. This just jumped out at me. I lost my mom in 1999 and I was 15. Along with me my mom left behind my 2 little sisters who were 7 and 9 at the time. It is now 2015 and the past 2 year anniversaries have been the hardest. I hit the marker where I have lived more of my life without my mom than with her. =( It is a very hard place to be. The gaping whole of missing your mom is one that can never be filled. My mom was sick, but nobody knew how sick. When she passed away we were all caught completely off guard and I was more surprised to later find out that she had been given 7 years to live when she was diagnosed with her heart condition. She was diagnosed while pregnant with my youngest sister and died 1 month past her 7th birthday. Not having a mother to turn to when I am depressed about something, having relationship issues, parenting issues, etc is very hard. I have never had a mother figure to take her place for me unfortunately. I have been winging it alone my whole life, it feels like. I have done my best to make sure my sisters know they have me to turn to and raised them like they were my own after she passed away. I hope that they don’t feel as alone as I did after she passed. I feel like even though I didn’t know she was dying she did prepare me to be there for my sisters for when she died. My heart breaks as I write this, tears flow, and my chest literally aches to acknowledge the loss and not do my best to avoid the hard truth. I am an amazing woman and mother because of my mother’s influence while she was here, but I can only imagine the impact she would have had on my sisters and my daughters if she had been able to stay around. Although it hurts to think about it and write it between the tears I am glimpses of the good memories of her and am so very thankful to have had her in my life as long as I did. <3

    • Monique! I feel the same way about it all. I’m over 10 years in now and for me, the saddest part now is that my time with my mom truly feels like a different life. Thanks for sharing your story. Keep being strong my friend!

  21. I loved reading this. Thank you for writing it! It’s nice to know I’m not alone. I was 13 when my mom passed. October will make 19 years since I lost her, and it’s true, I’ve thought about her EVERY SINGLE DAY. Its kind of hard not to, because im a spitting image of her, and see her everyday in the mirror. I graduated high school, college, and got married all without her by my side. Now, I’m at a stage in my life where I’m trying to have children of my own, and not sure if that is going to happen. I wish so bad that she was here to tell me everything is going to be ok, because she’s the one voice I need to hear right now. Luckily I too have an awesome support system in my friends, godmothers, and my sisters in law, but it’s just not thr same as a mother’s love.

    • Hi Cassidy!

      Strength in numbers right?? Wishing you luck in your fertility journey…it’s one that requires ultimate strength. Thanks for sharing your story. Each one told feels like somebody else who gets me.

  22. My heart is aching and yet strangely comforted by your words.
    I am preparing at 40 to say goodbye to my Mother soon due to a sudden illness. Her road on Earth is very short and I find myself feeling robbed. My girls are 8 and 10 and have been living in Europe for 2 years and away from Grandma. We have been so excited to be back this summer and bake and have fun with her that it never occurred to me that she might not be there until 6 weeks ago when I got the “Something is wrong with Mom” call from my only sibling, my brother. The thought of being Motherless is so frightening that I can barely breathe and yet, I know instill find a new normal and life will go on.
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is helping me to not feel so alone.

  23. I’m 53 years old and recently became a grandma for the first time. My mother was killed very suddenly in a car accident when I was 6. 39 years and I can still see those two policemen at our front door, can still remember the weather that evening and the valentines my brother and I were working on when I got up to answer the door. The intensity of the loss waxes and wanes but it never goes away completely. I was blessed with a stepmother who now loves me as her own but it took us a good number of years to find our way. It’s just not the same. As I reach any significant milestone, it’s like I reexperience the loss. I want my mom there with me, I want to talk to her, ask her questions, have her meet my daughter and sweet new grandbaby. My husband, children, family and friends have all filled small parts of the empty place in my heart but there will always remain a part that no one but her can fill. I rest easier in the knowledge that someday I will see her again.

  24. I lost my mom when I was 14 (nearly 21 years ago). She fought an inoperable brain tumor for 5 years. She was so strong and amazing and fought so hard to stay with us. Stories like this break my heart open again and remind me of how much she missed (and how much I’ve missed her). However, they also show our strength, and love of our moms, by finding little bits of her in us.
    I’ve been blessed with a wonderful stepmom who stepped in to fill that role as much as I needed her. I’ve also been blessed to become the mother to three beautiful girls. I hope I can pass those little bits of her to my girls along the way.

  25. Hi Jessica and Sarah,
    It will be 9 years in June since my Momma passed away. Jessica your story and emotions were similar yet so different. Isn’t it strange how every story is unique but so familiar? My parents were in a very bad car accident 16 years ago, my Dad sustained minor injuries. My Mom was in the hospital for seven and a half weeks. Most of the time on a ventilator. This caused a lot of damage to her lungs. She was a fighter! We were blessed to have her in our lives for another 7 years. It was not easy for her. I have really missed her so much as of late. Both of my children got married this year and she was definitely on my mind during the ceremonies. I think grief comes in waves. And people who have not yet experienced such loss don’t quite get that you never really get over it. You just learn to swim through it like the ocean, only every once in a while a really big wave goes over your head when you weren’t expecting it. Thanks for sharing your story!

  26. as I read this with tears streaming down my face I find your words comforting. On May 23, 2014 my dad,sisters and I lost our mom to the five-year battle with cancer.The cancer was a rare form and unfortunately she had to had to fight it 25 years before as well..During that time she was able to receive radiation but due to the amount that she had and the area in which she would need more radiation was no longer an option. Five years of surgeries and chemotherapy were not enough to save her life. This is the worst club other, than those who lost a child club, could ever imagine being a part of and I wish to God I didn’t have to be in it. Over my sisters and I were lucky in that we were married and had our children and her mom got to see all of us and our children will have memories of her.thank you for sharing your story.

  27. My first Mother’s Day without my Mom is this year,we lost her in November two weeks before her birthday which fell on her favorite holiday,Thanksgiving…Her loss was sudden&devastating and our hearts are so broken..Trying to put the pieces back together for myself is a daily challenge but for my children it’s been the hardest,I try to focus on the moments we had with her more each day rather then focus on what moments she won’t be here for,I’m still on the rollercoaster and not ready to get off,I can’t even allow myself to realize she’s forever gone, It doesn’t seem real or I’m not allowing myself to let it seem real..I miss her every single second of the day..I wish I did more with her,I wish I valued my time more with her,I wish God would give us a do-over..Oh yes did I mention I’m in the plea bargin stage too,knowing Nothing can bring her back but find myself plea-bargaining with God to give her back to us,give us more time..We are a club,a club I never thought I would be apart of so soon.

  28. Thank you for sharing your story. I lost my mom almost 11 years ago. I am not a mother myself yet but I am in the process of planning my wedding and thinking about children. I have been able to cope without my mom but since I have been in engaged it has brought on many new feelings and emotions. I have a wonderful grandmother and many aunts that have been there for me since my mom passed and helped out tramendously with my wedding plans but there will always be someone missing. I have always worried about raising children of my own without my mom around because she was the perfect mom. She had all the answers and loved any and all children she met. Without her guidance, I fear that I cannot be the mother that I want to be.

  29. I have no words. Thank you for writing this. I found myself in tears in the card aisle the other day, having found the perfect Mother’s Day card for my mother for who passed away 10 years ago, long before my own kids came along. I have thought of writing about it for so long, and can never find the words! You did it beautifully. Love this. Thank you!

  30. My daughter sent me this article and I am so glad she did.It is nice to know that I am not alone. I have lived 26 years of my life without my best friend, my mom. I miss her every day for so many reasons. The main reasons are her grandchildren. My daughter had 8 years with her but my son never knew her. I feel so sad that my grand kids will never experience her so special love. As you mentioned there are different stages that we go through and I am still amazed that I managed to go through them and have a productive life without her. Thank you for speaking on a subject that is so hard for us “motherless children” to speak on.

  31. I joined this club/sisterhood a month or so ago and this could not have been a more timely reminder that I’m not alone. I happen to be up, not sleeping, as we often do in this club, because I had what would normally be a fleeting thought about her that ended in a sob and “I just miss her.” I have a 6 month old and the part about feeling closer to your mom when nursing really hits home! The day after my mom died, all I wanted to do was nurse my baby because it made me feel closer to my mom. I actually pumped in the ICU conference room every 3 hours of my mom’s last 24. It strangely comforted me to do something for my daughter when I couldn’t do anything for my mom. I couldn’t help her, but I could nurture her grand baby and that’s what she would have wanted. Thank you for this blog post and for welcoming me into the club that no one wants to be in. It means the world to me to know I’m not alone.

  32. Thanks for this post. My mom died when I was 17 and I think about it a lot as a new mom. I wish she could be here to see my little girl. When I found out we were having a girl, it was such a gift. I hadn’t even realized up until that moment how much having a daughter meant to me. It has been healing. But I worry. I think about dying and what would happen to my daughter if I did. I’m sure that’s normal when you lose a mom when you’re still a child or not quite an adult yet. It’s nice to read your story and know I’m not alone. A couple of years after my mom died somone recommended a book to me that really helped me to see that I was not alone. Motherless Daughters by Hope Eldman. I can’t recommend it enough. It was healing.

  33. I do get broken hearted when I see friends sharing special moments with their moms. It’s been almost 15 years (I was 19) but it doesn’t get easier. I haven’t found it easy to embrace other women, and a lot of people in my life here in Houston don’t even know I no longer have my mom.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here