I’m the friend with the dead mom.

I’m the one in the group who doesn’t have new memories to share about her, the one that won’t be posting new pictures on social media when the holidays come up.

The one who will never have to cancel plans or not make them at all because something has come up with my mom.

The one in the group who can’t tell everyone how my mom came over and stayed for hours or gave my kids too much candy and even let them sneak a soda.

The one who has to shy away from the conversation when the topic of grandma comes up because my kids don’t have memories with Nana and I don’t know what it’s like to know my mom as a grandmother because we didn’t get to make it that far.

The one who feels like she has to sort out motherhood and marriage and everything in between because everyone else has a sounding board and I just have memories of what it felt like to have the one person that could help me solve all of lives problems right by my side.

The one who has to talk about her mom in past tense.

I’m the friend with the dead mom.

The friend who carries the weight of grief on her shoulders.

The friend who doesn’t mean to make it awkward when she brings up her mom in the conversation but does it because even though she’s gone it doesn’t mean I want to stop talking about her.

The friend who talks about her grief and missing her mom as openly as I talk about having a cold.

The friend who tells them how much I wish my mom could have met each and every one of them because I know she would love them so much.

The friend who says, “I love you” and “I’m so thankful for our friendship” and hugs them each way too much because I know the trenches of loss and because I want them to know how much their friendship means to me even during the times when they aren’t around.

The friend who says, “I’m missing her today” and they all know exactly who I’m talking about.

The friend who wishes she wasn’t the friend with the dead mom.

The friend who wishes her mom was still here with her.

The friend who knows this group of women love her regardless if she comes with grief and loss, the old memories of her dead mom and even some awkward conversations about grief.

I’m the friend with the dead mom but I’m also the friend who sees her mom shining through each of these beautiful women and their friendships.

The friend who knows that even though they can’t begin to imagine how I feel, they listen, they ask about my mom to get to know who she was the best they can. They sit with me in my grief and miss my mom just as much as I do, and they keep showing up. 

I’m the friend with the dead mom but I’m also the friend who knows with this group of friends, I will always be able to keep her memory alive because they will love me and my mom, even if she’s isn’t still here with me.

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Nikki Pennington

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three, high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey. Read more from Nikki on her blog: http://www.grieftohope.blogspot.com/