She’s gone. You ache for her, but you will no longer be blessed by her presence. She’s dead, and a piece of you is dead, too. She slipped away quickly. She slipped away before you could get all of her insight, her knowledge, her memories, her expertise. She slipped away before you could tell her everything. 

She died with things left unsaid because let’s face it, there is always more to be said. Always more hugs to be given. Always more memories to make. Always more left to say, to know, to wonder.

In her absence, I find myself yearning for answers to the questions that pierce my heart and soul. Sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes while in line at the store, sometimes while driving down the road, these questions pop up and remind me of the harsh reality of her death.

She isn’t here. She can’t answer. I won’t know. 

But it doesn’t stop me from asking.

Did she know her smile could light up a room? That I would still remember it like I saw it yesterday? That when an image of her pops in my head, her best accessory is always her smile?

Did she know her influence is endless? That we would listen to her with intentionality now that she is gone and honor her in every way possible?

Did she know she was loved? Truly loved. A love so deep, so pure, so effortless, that it occupies a part of our heart and soul that no other love will ever replace.

Did she know how many people admired her, looked up to her, and would miss her when she was gone? Did she know the number of people who saw her as an inspiration?

Did she know how much she changed our lives? Did she know that even from the grave, she’d be pushing us to be the best version of ourselves? That even from the grave she’d be inspiring us and motivating us to live our best lives?

Did she know she was more than a mother? That she was the best teacher, friend, counselor, nurse, and so many others? Did she know the many roles she played in our lives? Did she know how many empty spaces she would leave behind?

Did she know she was my hero, my person, my everything? 

Did she know all she was? Did she know all she was loved for? Did she know her greatness, her neverending legacy, her joy?

Did she know she can’t be replaced? That she can’t be forgotten? That she is missed so fiercely it changes the composition of our hearts?

If not, I’m telling her now. Wherever she is. Whatever her view. I say . . . 

Mom, you are loved and missed more powerfully than words can describe. You were everything and remain everything. Your smile, your laugh, your touch, and your life are irreplaceable. You are the holder of a piece of our hearts. You are the keeper of a spot in our soul. Your absence hasn’t changed your importance, it’s solidified it. You are and have always been our everything. 

This piece was originally published on the author’s blog

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Wife, mother, and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is married to the love of her life and is the mother to three beautiful and spunky children. Chelsea’s mother always encouraged her to write. In 2017 when she tragically lost her mother to cancer she decided to honor her mother's wishes and write. It was one of the best decisions she's ever made. She know owns the website Happiness, Hope & Harsh Realities, a space dedicated to encouraging others experiencing grief and loss. Website: Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities