Grieving the Loss of My Mother

Grieving the loss of my mother isn’t something I was fully prepared for. I guess we never are. Mom passed away last week after 93 very active years.

My mom in Texas the week before she died.

My mom had just held an all-family reunion. She and everyone there knew it would probably be the last time many people saw her. We just didn’t know how quickly she would leave us.

I left her just a few days before she died and I sensed she didn’t have much time. On the flight home I read a poem about Sabbath and it seemed like it might be foreshadowing what was to come.  It speaks of fall but it speaks of death in general. Following is the second half of the poem…

It seems cruel
  that something that used to be so beautiful
    should fall to the ground
      sinking into the earthy mud
        along with everything else that is dying,
         no longer recognizable for what it used to be.
It seems cruel but it is the way of things.
One generation gives its life for the next.
   One season slips away so another can come.
      One crop of fruit falls from the tree so that more can be born.
         One wave recedes while another gathers strength to crash upon the shore.
It seems cruel
    but it is the rhythm of things
               and rhythm has its own beauty.
                                                            from Sabbath in Late Fall by Ruth Haley Barton

This seemed so appropriate after having just been at a reunion that was marked by a new generation of children.

My mom died under almost ideal conditions. She lived a long life (93). She died in her sleep. She got to say good-bye to almost everyone important to her. She had a reunion and one last cross-country adventure weeks before she died. Any one of us would sign up for the way she left this world.

Yet even under “ideal” conditions it’s still a loss. I saw it coming but it still hurts. That’s true of any loss. To the degree your life wraps around something, to that same degree it hurts when it’s gone from your life. It must be so hard when people lose someone when it’s anything less than ideal.

There are times when I feel fine. I’m grateful for how things ended up. But in spite of that waves of sadness hit me unexpectedly. I’m sure that will be true for some time.  I crave family now and friends. Just being with them helps the process.

I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts in days to come. But I’m interested in how you may have grieved the loss of your mom or dad. Leave a comment below. Thanks.

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11 thoughts on “Grieving the Loss of My Mother

  1. Lela

    The hardest loss of my life was the loss of my mother–she was my “safe place.” It doesn’t get easier, either, as some people will tell you. The loss of “connectedness”–the thread linking you to the past is physically gone, and it leaves an emptiness that I imagine will not be filled in this life. The physical loss is debilitating at first, life diminishing always; the emotional bond remains strong; the spiritual bond keeps hope alive because faith and love transcend all boundaries.

    1. F. Remy Diederich

      I can imagine that it gets easier for some. It all depends upon how close you are to the person. It sounds like you were very close to your mom so it makes sense that it may never change for you. It’s painful but the pain shows that your relationship was a special gift. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Judy

    My parents died within a couple years of each other. I was 52 when they both were gone. I kept myself very busy and did not begin to grieve until 1 1/2 years later. Now, I realize I was in denial. As I started feeling, first there was anger. Then little by little I started working on the issues/beliefs/lies/pain that needed healing from my childhood. It took years, but now I have found freedom/peace. I now have some good memories and can see the love that was given to me. It was hard work, but so worth it. Grateful to God who never gives up on loving us!

    1. F. Remy Diederich

      I remember when my dad died that I was angry…angry that we weren’t closer…angry that he didn’t communicate better. But that faded. I’m surprised how the negative has faded and I remember more of the good. Thanks Judy.

  3. Nomusa

    I lost boh parents more than 10 years ago but it feels like yestterday. I can see those smiles, imagine where they sat and I hear what used to say. It has been very difficult to deal with that loss because I found out that I could not substitute for their love and I was left vulnerable. But I thank God for those years spent together. I can only say I love them so much, God gives and takes away. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the parents he gave me. Amen!

    1. F. Remy Diederich

      It’s great that you have such good memories to draw from. That is a gift. There is no substitute but God does offer us other experiences that are equally rich. I hope you are finding them.

  4. Judith Doran

    Sorry for your loss Remy. I lost my own mother when I was three, and have only one memory of her. Blessings in your mourning.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Thanks Judith. It’s amazing to me how everyone is given a different experience. No two are the same. I’m sorry that you lost your mother so early on.

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  6. Diedre

    Remy, I loved the poem and it is just what Mom believed. You captured my feelings as well. Thank you.

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