She’s the woman standing ready to take her diploma. The one she received with honors and the one with an admirable 4.0 attached to it. As she reaches for the tassels ready to move them to the appropriate side, tears stream down her face as she thinks of her mother. Her mother is in Heaven, and that’s an ache she always lives with. 

She’s the woman rocking back and forth as she nurses her newborn, covered in exhaustion and baby cuddles. She’s simultaneously a mixture of overwhelming gratitude and unstable emotions that she’s never quite encountered before. As she now holds the title of mother, she thinks of her own.

Her mother is in Heaven, and that’s an ache she always lives with.

She’s the woman who sits alone in the nail salon overhearing the joyous conversation of the mother-daughter team that sits beside her. She listens through tears as she wonders what it feels like to experience these mother-daughter moments. She suddenly thinks of her own mother and how it feels like she’s been gone forever. Her mother is in Heaven, and that’s an ache she always lives with.

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She’s the woman who abundantly and overwhelmingly shows up for her children. She overcompensates often to try and cover the absence they don’t deserve, the absence of having a grandmother in heaven instead of here. She wonders what her mom would have looked like old and grey. She thinks of the moments her mother is missing, with her and with them. Her mother is in heaven and that’s an ache she always lives with.

She’s the woman who faces adulthood with typical challenges and roadblocks and even though she is blessed with a beautiful support system, she wishes she could call her mother. She wishes her mother was reachable in some or any capacity. Her mother is in Heaven, and that’s an ache she always lives with.

She’s the woman attempting to be a good wife and mother and good at everything she holds a title for, even daughterthough she hasn’t felt the responsibility of that title in far too long.

She bends down to pray for guidance and knowledge and inspiration from the woman who created her. She cries out for her mother, knowing she won’t be able to answer the desperate calls. Her mother is in Heaven, and that’s an ache she always lives with.

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She is me, each and every one of them, a woman with a mother in Heaven.

A mother who feels both so loving and so gone all at the same time. A mother who feels absent from everything and present in everything all at the same time. A mother in Heaven, unable to be present like the mothers of the friends I know. A mother who shows up in ways only I can understand and moments only I can feel

I live with the kind of mother who can’t be seen but the kind who loves me beyond her last breath and the last beat of her heart. I live with a mother in Heaven. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

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: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities