Ornaments, Candles, Tees and More! Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

If I could sit down beside the 25-year-old me . . . 

The one sobbing and screaming uncontrollably on the floor the day my ‪mom‬ ‪died‬, I would have a lot of things to tell her.

I would sit right beside the younger me who is screaming, “Why her??” and “Where are YOU?? How did you just disappear??” and “How am I going to survive this without you??”

I would just hug her, so tight. I would hug her just like my mom would have hugged me had she been there.

I would tell her she is going to feel like she can’t breathe some days.

Some days the weight of ‪grief‬ and life without her is going to feel so heavy she will think she can’t carry it any longer.

At times, she will feel like it consumes her days and nights just thinking about her, missing her, aching for her.

I’ll hug her even tighter when I say this next:

I tell her that suddenly one day soon, something beautiful will happen. She will be me and I sit here with you today almost seven years later with a smile on my face and a joy I never thought I would have when I was her all those years ago.

Yes, some days will feel ultimately impossible to survive—you’ll survive them anyway. Some days she will get through without crying and other days she will wonder if she’s cried all the tears her body can handle and she will cry some more.

I’ll remind her it doesn’t matter how she gets through, it just matters that she gets through it because there’s only way to do this whole grief thing and that’s to feel it. She can’t wish days away and skip to years down the road. She will want to, but she can’t.

I’ll tell her that this is going to feel like it will be the death of her a hundred times over on this journey, but in the end she will feel like she’s become a completely different person, a person who is free to live again.

A better version of herself, one who is just like her mom.

That’s where she will find the beauty in this grief. In the place where she lost her mom is right where she will find her again—and she might even realize she never even lost her because her mom was always right wherever she was all along.

This article originally appeared on Grief To Home with Nikki Pennington

 

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

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/

The Fragile Heart of Grief

In: Grief
Dandelion blowing in the wind

I started planting roses, and for a few years, it was this peaceful respite that I looked forward to each summer. Radiant petals would bloom, rising out of cold, lifeless soil bursting into an explosion of color. In early May, I started the cycle again and for weeks the roses were vibrant and rich with life. My dad died, and I realized I was no better at grief than I had been before. For two days we clung to the tiniest sliver of hope. We showed up, we stood vigil, we prayed, we cried. I watched my mom, my sisters,...

Keep Reading

When Mom Died, We Had Tea

In: Grief, Grown Children, Living
Table set as a tea party with framed picture of a woman, color photo

My mom was never, ever without a cup of Lipton’s tea. Like a dear friend, it held her hand, kept her warm, provided comfort. She boiled water in her navy-speckled kettle, then poured it into a cup and, completely ignoring the recommended four-minute steep instructions, immediately lifted it to her lips. It always mystified me how her mouth didn’t suffer third-degree burns. Mom’s penchant for thriftiness compelled her to use the same tea bag multiple times; only when it disintegrated and leaf particles floated to the surface did she accept defeat and reach for a fresh yellow packet. RELATED: Moments...

Keep Reading

My Mother Raised Me To Go On Without Her

In: Grief, Grown Children
Mother and grown daughter smiling in selfie

“The kids are spending the night at Grandma’s, and I’m eyeballs deep in Fritos while catching up on all my trash TV shows.” “I had to rush my son to urgent care, but thankfully my mom was able to stay with the three other kiddos while I took care of him.”  “I feel so lost when it comes to homeschooling; thankfully, my mom did it too, so she’s been an amazing guide to have.” To most people, these sentences might seem like wonderful, blessed bits of praise from a daughter about her mother, but to me, they’re like daggers straight...

Keep Reading

Dear Loss Mom, Grieve Your Baby In Heaven Without Guilt

In: Baby, Grief, Loss

My third baby was due on October 19, 2019. Instead, she was born into heaven on March 24, 2019. Not only do I grieve her more in October than in other months because of her due date, but I also grieve for so many other parents who have also lost their children.  RELATED: A Letter To My Mama From Your Baby In Heaven Pregnancy loss is such a strange journey to walk through. I’m years into it, and there are still days when the grief hits and the tears come and I can’t breathe. On other days, I am so...

Keep Reading

My Sister and I Return To Childhood To Grieve Our Mother

In: Grief
Two women, sitting on swings, color photo

“Grief is itself a medicine,” William Cowper. Everyone processes grief differently. The day after our mother’s death, my sister and I began our grief journey and took up swinging. Not that kind of swinging, Heaven forbid! No. What we chose instead was the weightless, transformational lightness of being that only a tried and true piece of playground equipment can supply.  That morning my sister and I waited rather anxiously for hospice (blessed hospice!) to pick up that wretched hospital bed. We wanted it gone, banished from our sight forever. When the truck carrying the bed and other supplies disappeared down...

Keep Reading

She Was Just a Dog…and So Much More

In: Grief, Living
Young woman in car with dog, same woman years later with dog, color photo

She was just a dog. One of my least favorite sayings is “it’s just a dog” when people comment on how much we love our pets—be it a dog, cat, lizard, chicken, hamster, etc. They’re not wrong . . . Harley was “just” a dog. One random spring morning I asked my mom if I could get a dog of my own. She was working and sick of the phone calls. She said I just had to ask dad. Well, we already had two dogs, so I didn’t have high hopes. Cue dad. He was just about to lie down to take...

Keep Reading

I Wish I Had the Chance to Be Friends with My Mom

In: Grief, Motherhood
Portrait shot of woman, color photo

Dear Mom, I never got the chance to appreciate you as a mother. There was so much life still to do. And not just the big milestones. I’m talking about the parts when daughters grow into mothers themselves and have the chance to appreciate their moms for everything they did for them. The chance to get to know their own mother as a person instead of just a parent. You left this earth soon after I became I mother myself. And now I sit here and think back on memories of you from when I was growing up. And, oh,...

Keep Reading

The Faith and Fear of Trying for a Rainbow Baby

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Pregnant woman sitting on living room floor

When we decided to start a family we dove in head first. After having been together for five years and married for a year, we were ready. It was September when we decided to give it a go. By mid-December, I took a test. My first positive pregnancy test. I had a life growing inside me! I’ll never forget my husband’s smile when I told him. We embraced and cried together. We couldn’t believe it could be this easy. The next few weeks consisted of a wave of pregnancy symptoms and before I knew it, we were going to the...

Keep Reading

Angel Babies are Heaven’s Gatekeepers

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Mother and baby silhouette

I never seemed to have the right words. I didn’t have the right words at four years old when my parents lost my 11-month-old brother, and I never seemed to have the right words as I watched family members and close friends lose both the new life growing within their wombs and the beautiful, precious life resting in their weary arms. So, I did what I thought would offer the most comfort. I simply tried to show up and be there the best I could. I shopped for their favorite treats. I dropped meals off on front porches and toys...

Keep Reading

I Should Be Picking You up from School Today

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Woman sad with eyes closed

I would have cried.  I see the line of cars in the school pick-up line, and my heart is hit with grief, love, and wistfulness all at the same time.  You, sweet boy, should be there, waiting for me to pick you up.   I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone over it in my mind. Your first day of preschool. I’ve thought about your outfit—little jeans and a hoodie with a ball cap. Would you be into superheroes? What backpack would you want? I would’ve taken you school shopping, picking out all the supplies you’d need. And...

Keep Reading