So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

There is a picture of you getting ready to go to your senior prom and holding me as a baby. You were all dressed in your tux and I was about four months old. Fast forward to Christmas 2017: I was pregnant for the first time and walked out to your car after Christmas dinner to give you a hug. You said, “Take care of that,” and pointed to my stomach. I said, “Take care of yourself.”

That was the last conversation I will ever have with you. That picture and that memory define our relationship perfectly.

You were my crazy, fun, loving, proud uncle—practically like a brother to me. You were a huge part of my life. So many of my childhood memories—and even my adult life—involved you. I looked up to you. I always knew I could talk to you. If I ever needed a laugh, I could count on you for it. You always had some crazy story to tell that would have us in tears from laughing so hard. You were so full of life. Everyone loved you. It was rare to see you without a smile on your face.

Now I have to learn to live without seeing you at all.

I don’t know where to begin. How can I try to put into words this great loss when there are no words to describe it? How does one go on living with just the memory of a life? I can hear your voice, even your laugh, perfectly. All your mannerisms are still there embedded in my head. If I close my eyes and really allow myself to, I can picture every detail about you. But once I open my eyes, I am reminded that these are just my memories and all I have now.

This is a daily struggle I have, but now I am a mom and this struggle has turned even greater because I am sad my kids will never meet you. Someone who was at every family holiday, took me to amusements parks and rode all the crazy rides with me, someone who asked my opinion on the new girl you were dating, even asked my opinion on your current outfit, someone who bragged about me because he was proud of me . . . this is just flat out not fair. My kids deserve to meet you and you deserve to meet them.

I feel like no matter how much I try, I cannot do you justice—but I promise I will try every single day.

I will tell my kids all your stories. I will tell them how important you were and still are to our family. Not only will your memory live on through me, but it will through them as well. Grandma said, “Maybe a life had to leave this world so a new one could come in.” I will make sure my kids know that their great uncle made that sacrifice for them, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

I will make sure they know they have the best guardian angel. I will show them the picture from your prom night and tell my daughter you met her while she was still in mommy’s tummy. So, as I deal with my grief, I will also help them with theirs. This is a loss for them, too.

I am sad my kids will never meet you, but I promise they will know you.

You may also like:

Even Though You’re In Heaven, Your Grandchildren Will Know You

I Hope You Can Still Hear Me In Heaven

This is Grief

Shaina Sweeney

Hello everyone! My name is Shaina Sweeney. I am a very proud mommy to a beautful baby girl and adorbale pup, and let's not forget, proud wife to an incredible husband! I just want to share my experiences becoming a new mom so anyone who stumbles upon this will know, they are not alone! Motherhood is truly a blessing.

I’m Not Who I Was Before My Mom Died

In: Grief
Woman looking out window at home

Life after dealing with death is hard. I’m no longer the person I used to be. I’m motherless. This motherless life is hard. I need time to grieve, but I also need time to find myself again. I need time to mourn the life I’ll never have anymore. I need time to process. I need time to process the fact that my mother is gone. I’ll never have new memories. My kids will never have new memories and people expect us to pick ourselves back up. I can’t pick myself back up quickly after losing my mom. I’m still trying...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

Donating Breastmilk Helped My Heart Heal

In: Baby, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with packaged breastmilk, color photo

Dear grieving mama, You know when you lose a baby everything changes, but your body moves forward like nothing happened. It carried that tiny baby long enough to trigger a complicated hormonal cocktail that causes your milk to come in so that little life can continue to grow outside you. But your baby is separated from you in a way nature never intended. There will be no baby snuggles. There won’t be a sleepy, smiley, milk-drunk face looking up at you. But your body doesn’t know that, so your breasts swell and keep swelling with milk that has nowhere to...

Keep Reading

I’ll Always Need My Mother but She Left Me Way Too Soon

In: Grief
Family surrounding woman at end of her life

I married my college sweetheart over a decade ago. I want to ask my mom about marriage. I want to ask her about navigating arguments and personality differences. But she left me way too soon. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. My mother had three miscarriages. Her first two were before I was born, and I was her rainbow baby. Her third miscarriage was in the second trimester, after my little brother was born. It devastated her emotionally for several years when I was in elementary school. I want to ask my mom about grief and pregnancy loss. But...

Keep Reading

Have You Sat with the Dying?

In: Grief, Loss
Holding hand at hospital bedside

Have you sat with the dying? Have you seen the loved ones who sit at their bedside night after night, holding their hand? They hold on, afraid to let go, knowing the end is near but so not ready for the last word, the last touch, the last breath of life.  They sit, exhausted beyond exhausted. They know it’s time to let go, but they also wonder how life goes on without them. There was life before them, and there will be life after them, but life after now will never be the same without them.  Have you sat with...

Keep Reading

What Would it Feel Like To Hold Him Today?

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Black and white photo of parents holding toddler

 My breath catches. My heart races. I remember. I remember when they were five and six. When they ran around with my son. I remember now how many years have passed, how long it’s been. I’m watching. Sitting on the outside, peering in. Wondering. Wishing. Tenderly remembering, trying to breathe. One breath. One moment. One day, one minute at a time. The world still spins and time moves on. My other children have grown. But in 10-year-grief, the world stands a bit still. Remembering him. The 5-year-old, toothless smile. Shy hellos to his friends. Missing him. Missing them. Missing that....

Keep Reading

The Mother without a Mother

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman with kite on beach

“How is your mom?” My mother looked at me, waiting for my response. Born in a small town in the middle of Kansas, she genuinely wanted to know the answers to the questions she asked, and more importantly, she listened. I stared back—voiceless. I was holding my infant daughter in my arms, bouncing her up and down in that rhythmic, automatic movement that defines the early years of motherhood. Up. Down. Up. Down. I sped up, frantic almost. “She’s good,” I said. The words came out more as an exhale. I cleared my throat. “My mom is good,” I confirmed....

Keep Reading

What They Don’t Tell You about Child Loss

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Couple on dock by lake

What they don’t tell you about child loss . . .  They don’t tell you that you’ll never be the same—not that you won’t ever feel joy or love the life you have—but that it changes you. They don’t tell you about the countless sleepless nights and the not knowing why, holding your thoughts captive and the guilt that threatens to creep in.  They don’t tell you about the hole that can never be filled or replaced mostly because you never ever want it to. You don’t want it to because you hold space for your child, and you don’t...

Keep Reading

On the Day of Your Mother’s Funeral

In: Grief, Loss
Bride and mother on wedding day, color photo

On the day of your mother’s funeral, you will wake up and it will feel like any other day until you remember that it isn’t any other day. Someone will force you to eat breakfast and tell you when it is time to get in the shower. While showering, you will cry and wonder just how you will make it through this day. On the day of your mom’s funeral, you will look at your dress and think that it is really pretty and then shake your head because it’s such a shame that you will never wear it again....

Keep Reading

Memories Fill the Holes in Their Hearts Where a Grandpa’s Love Should Be

In: Grief
Drawing, journal, and photo of man, color photo

“Girls, come here for a minute.” In some sort of yearly ritual, I guide my oldest two daughters to my bedroom, where a wooden chest sits. It’s painted in flowers of muted colors and has a brass keyhole on it, making it look like an antique. It isn’t. It’s only 20 years old. As my girls follow me into my room, I grab the skeleton key off my dresser that unlocks the wooden chest. I turn the key and open the wooden box that holds so many pieces that are supposed to remind me of my dad.  Pictures of him....

Keep Reading