So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Last weekend, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday. It was a joyous occasion honoring a remarkable woman. It was also a devastating reminder that my mother is gone, that she will never celebrate her 80th birthday, or any birthday, ever again.       

There is no way to prepare for the pain of losing a parent. It’s like being forced into an oddly exclusive club you never knew existed. Only after experiencing it can you understand the grief, the void, the all-consuming feelings of sadness.

RELATED: To Those Who Know the Bitter Hurt of Losing a Parent

When my mom passed away in early 2021, the following month was a blurit was as if I was watching my life from outside my body. Getting up in the morning, making lunches, driving my daughters back and forth to school all happened because they had to happen. I became a robot performing tasks I was programmed to carry out. 

Time alone was excruciating.

I found myself just sitting, paralyzed, in shock. At ages eight and four, would my girls even remember their Grammy? I couldn’t bear to think about it, so I started putting together photo booksone for each of my two daughters. I combed through thousands of pictures like a machine sorting coins. I collected photos of playing board games, celebrating birthdays, going out for lunches, reading booksanything and everything I could find that showed the girls enjoying time with their beloved Grammy.

A year later, both girls reach for their photo books often. Captions under each picture tell a story of the special bond between a grandmother and her granddaughters. Feelings of comfort and love resurface like flowers blooming in the spring, keeping her memory alive in their young minds. 

As we sang to my mother-in-law on her milestone 80th, I couldn’t help but think about one of the last pictures in the girls’ books. It was a shot of my mom’s 73rd birthday, which, unbeknownst to us, would be her last. With a granddaughter on each side, Mom beams with joy as she blows out her birthday candles, an image that illuminates the happiness her grandchildren brought to her special day.

It’s how she would want them to remember her. 

I am beyond grateful for my mother-in-law, and I genuinely hope we are celebrating her 90th birthday in 10 years. But losing my mom so suddenly taught me how unpredictable life can be. Turning 80 is a gift not everyone gets. It’s a special occasion worth remembering.

RELATED: If I Could Talk to the Girl Who Just Lost Her Mom

And so I was unapologetically camera-crazy that day. I snapped shots of my girls with their grandparents, my husband with his mother, my mother-in-law with her daughter and granddaughters.

When I saw a sweet moment, I captured it because I’ve learned that all we have for sure is the moment we are living in nowa moment that will become a memory. And that moment is everything.

Lori Jarrett

Lori Jarrett is a 40-something wife and mom of two wildly different girls. When she's not fetching snacks or breaking up fights over JoJo bows, she enjoys writing, long walks, and using Netflix to escape overthinking all the things she can't control.

I Didn’t Just Lose My Mom the Day She Died

In: Grief, Loss
Man hugging woman on the beach in nostalgic photo

I didn’t just lose her the day she died, I’ve lost her many times over the years. I lost her in aisle five at the grocery store all over again when I looked down and saw the smoothie packet I would buy for her when she was too sick to keep anything else down. I lost her the day I gave birth to my first son and the room was filled with so many people but she was missing; it wasn’t completely full because she wasn’t there—and again with my second and third sons. I lost her the day I...

Keep Reading

A Love Letter From Mamas in Heaven to Their Beautiful Daughters on Earth

In: Death of a Parent, Grief, Journal, Loss
motherless, motherless daughter, grief, loss, heaven, faith, grieving, mom www.herviewfromhome.com

“We know days don’t come easy for you and so we chose to band together and compose a love letter in your honor. Funny thing when it comes to mamas in Heaven: we find each other and form a tribe like a sisterhood on earth. We comfort one another when you’re hurting and we brag up the wazoo when you accomplish anything. Actually, we brag from morning till night. Yesterday Kim’s mama made us gather around and listen for over an hour how her daughter graduated college with honors although she had mononucleosis for two semesters. Right now, Sara’s mama...

Keep Reading

The Day She Dies

In: Grief, Grown Children, Loss
Young woman on couch grieving her mother the day she dies

The day she dies a piece of you will die, too. You’ll learn this is a piece you cannot fill. It is a piece that cannot be replaced by anything, ever. The day she dies you’ll stop breathing for a moment, too. You’ll wonder how the world around you continues to go on. The day she dies you’ll start a new life.  Your new life will be motherless. It will be different than before, in the most painful and heartbreaking way. The day she dies you will look around and question everything. You’ll question your faith, your last words, and every moment...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections