So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My life can be split into two sections: things that happened before my brother died, and things that have happened since. 

Every single little thing seems to be measured by that benchmark.

All my memories, good and bad are slotted into one of those categories. When did x,y,z happen? Was it before or after we lost him?

The event is like a catalyst for my life, a time-altering, major turning point from one way of living to another.

A change in all of us, a shift from our old normal.

One minute he was here, then the next, gone.

As quickly as that.

Unexpected, shocking, heartbreaking obviously, and new. The whole thing is new.

RELATED: That Day My Brother Died

I questioned everything in those first few months, from the obvious to the mundane. As well as the whys there were the am I allowed to laugh right nows. As well as the how can we make this easier for his children there were the would he like this film that I’m watching type questions.

For a while, he was everywhere. And then not so much.

But music sounds that little bit sweeter if it was heard by me then, in the old half of my life. When he would have heard it, too.

Anything I’ve heard since leaves me with more questions. Would he enjoy it? What would he make of it? Did I hear this song before or after my brother died?

And I’ve changed. I think we all have. Some for the better, others not so.

But life is definitely different.

And now I wonder what he would think of me and the things I’ve done.

Would he be proud? I know one thing for certainhe would have loved his new niece. Our third baby who came into the world after he had already left it. He was so good with children, and she is such a little character. He would have adored her. I can even picture him scooping her up in his big strong arms for one of his famous cuddles.

So you see, I can’t say that life since he departed has been all bad, it hasn’t. We’ve had our third baby and received many blessings. But the thought is always there, what if he were still here with us? And I don’t think that will ever go away.

RELATED: When Time Doesn’t Fix your Grief

Life before losing him was long, 38 years for me and never knowing any different. But in the three short years since that day, I’ve aged. And I’ve grown. And I sometimes don’t know what I’m doing with my life anymore.

He’s not here now. We’re on the wrong side of the two parts of my existence. But I also know I can never go back. We have memories and we have photographs. We talk about him a lot. No, it’s not the same, but it helps. And it also helps to know that he’s happy now, that he’s at peace. Without faith, there is no question that I’d be in a much worse place than I am right now.

It’s a new normal. One which requires a lot more strength to get through even the simplest of tasks sometimes. But one which is filled with so much hope.

I miss him. Every day. But he’s OK, and that makes my heart happy.

The new part of my life can still be full of joy, we need it now more than ever. And I hope I can make him proud.

It’s been three years since the switch. Since the transition from full to broken. But I am slowly allowing myself to be healed. My children need me to be there for them, so does my husband. And I’m trying really hard not to let them down.

RELATED: Grief is Hard For Those Who Must Take Care of the Living

I’ll get there, we all will. And one day, we’ll see him again.

My life can be split into two sections: things that happened before my brother died, and things that have happened since. 

I have to choose hope, faith, and love. Only then can the second half be worth living.

Cat Borg

Cat is a 40-(something)-year-old Christian wife and mother of three girls. Her two greatest passions besides her family are her faith and her writing. You can find her blogging about family and parenting on her mummythought blog.

How Grateful I Am for a Mother Who Believed in Me

In: Cancer, Grief
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

It was a hot summer day sometime in the middle of high school. I was young and naive, but the ugly six-letter word was looming over our family: cancer. Although I didn’t know it then, this would be our last normal summer before my mother’s health would worsen. Cancer would give way to terminal cancer. It’s funny how something so big can seem so small in those moments. My mom and I were sitting on our back porch, encased in a narrow hedge of yew bushes. It was a yellow, lazy Saturday, and my brothers and father were at Cub...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Grandmother, I’m Not Ready to Lose You

In: Grief
Elderly woman and granddaughter touch foreheads

I had a visit from my grandmother the other day. It wasn’t a regular sit on the porch with a cup of tea kind of visit. It was more of an “I have something I need to tell you” type of visit. She’s been unwell for some time, and I guess I had sort of hoped she would get better, and she would be back to herself soon enough. I noticed when she sat down and tears filled her eyes that it wasn’t going to be a normal conversation. Her eyes widened and she struggled to get her words out without...

Keep Reading

Love Carries On in the Ones We Raise

In: Grief, Motherhood
Mother and son hug

From a very young age, two of the most important men in my life were my grandpa and my brother. I never could have imagined that I’d lose them both within nine months, nor could I predict the profound effects the magnitude of those losses would have on my life. My grandpa was my father figure and shepherd. I have endless memories of him— from splashing in the ocean together to shopping each Easter season for my Easter dress. He was always there. Every choir concert, musical, or school ceremony, I could easily find his face in the crowd. I...

Keep Reading

Friends Can Be a Sanctuary

In: Friendship, Grief
Group of friends hugging

A sanctuary is defined as anywhere people go for peaceful tranquility or introspection. My friends became my sanctuary when my husband, Frank, died. They became my refuge and my safe place. Friendship is one of the most wonderful gifts in this world. It is beautiful, comforting, ever-changing, and, for me, a fixed point.  My friends seemed to know exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Their love and constant support got me through the worst of times and gave me the courage and confidence I needed to move forward.  I could never give an adequate thank you to...

Keep Reading

All I Wanted Was For My Baby To Stay Alive

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Sad woman with head in hands

Today is the day I’ve dreaded and resisted for almost a year: the day I face going through the white plastic bag the hospital sent home with me after my D&C, 10 months ago. This bag held my clothes, shoes, and wedding ring for the short time I was in surgery, but I rescued all of those precious items soon after waking. The items that remain show the paper trail of that difficult day—receipts from my hospital admittance and anesthesia, general post-operative care instructions, and a consent form for “treatment of incomplete abortion.” That last part brings tears to my...

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

Mothers Don’t Teach Us How To Live Life Without Them

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss, Motherhood
Woman in dress with corsage, smiling color photo

When you’re a little girl, you dream of marriage, children, a career, and memories that you will cherish forever—and you want your mother by your side at all times. Our mothers teach us how to live a life we will enjoy, but they never teach us how to live a life without them in it. Our mothers don’t tell us that one day they will not be here to answer the phone when we call or go on spontaneous dinner dates. My mother never told me there will come a day when she will be gone and how bad it...

Keep Reading

When Mother’s Day Feels Awkward, Find Comfort in Community

In: Grief, Living, Loss, Motherhood

Mother’s Day can be beautiful for some women. It can be hurt filled for others. Or in my case, it can just feel plain old awkward. I felt eight years of awkward Mother’s Days. In my late 20s to mid-30s, I felt like the woman no one knew what to say to or what to do with. I felt a double whammy on Mother’s Day. My mother was home in Heaven. My womb was empty and always would be. My desire to have a child was filled with an intentional choice to go a non-traditional route to motherhood and was...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Mother’s Day Hurts

In: Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Mother holding baby near grave, black-and-white photo

I see you moms. I see the moms who will never see all of their children together on this earth at the same time. The moms who dread the question, “When are you having children?” or “Will you have any more?” The moms who pray for that second line, month after month. The moms who are seeing that positive test and don’t know how they are going to make this work. The moms who can’t shake the blues or depression, who feel guilty for not feeling happier about their baby. The moms who feel as though they are doing it...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections