Missing her…

I’ve been avoiding writing.  There … I said it.  So many other things to get involved with, but not writing (unless it’s an email or FB or the shopping list).  Sat down yesterday with my journal, stared at the blank page for awhile and then started writing all the words I could think of that began with ‘sl…’ like slug, sloth, slither.

I miss my mom.  Sometimes it feels like waves crashing and I’m caught in the whorl of the wave and can’t breathe, don’t know which way is up.  Other times it is like I’ve been walking for a long time and have forgotten where or why.  Or maybe I am simply trying out a new recipe and want to call and tell her about it.

I miss my mom.  Mostly, when I think of those words and the feelings they cause, it is like being a little girl again … not like the adult who has taken care of her for so many years.  I recently read somewhere that initially, you remember your loved one as they were right before death.  Eventually, you remember them as they once were.  Makes sense.

My mother and I did not have a close relationship when I was younger.  Even with all the testosterone in the house, we did not find ‘comfort’ or companionship with each other.  We did not do the ‘hair thing’, the ‘make-up thing’, the ‘go buy the prom dress thing’.  We didn’t even do the ‘first bra’ thing.  She didn’t tell me about my period or about sex.  Living in the wrong house, I often thought.  We seemed to have so little in common.

So, if I’m now remembering her as she ‘used to be’…why do I miss her so deeply?

Here is a great article on the early detection of Alzheimer’s – http://caregiver.com/channels/alz/articles/early_detection_of_alzheimers.htm


About hereisakiss

Daughter Writer Art's Educator
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22 Responses to Missing her…

  1. Priscilla says:

    I have no words of magical comfort for you – if I did, I would send them all to you, bolded and upper case. What I can tell you is that I experienced something similar after my mother’s death. I “handled” the “arrangements” well – I dispensed care and comfort all around me – and then I was overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness. I can’t say that it’s completely gone – she died January 18, 2001. I can say that it doesn’t happen as often or as intensely any more. I still miss her, and for that matter, I still miss my father who died in 1984. But there is intellectual missing – like when I wish I could ask one of them something or share something – and then there is this more visceral feeling – like a child need its mother. That feeling comes less and less as time goes by – but I can’t tell you when it stops altogether – if it ever does. So all I can offer you is the assurance that you are not alone, even though your grief for your mother is, of course, unique.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Thanks, Priscilla…Intellectually, I know it is still too soon (or as you say, always too soon). Maybe that is why I’m avoiding writing. Though a good friend (thank you, Claire) told me I may work through it with this blog. So, here we are 🙂 Hugs…

  2. Robin Elizabeth Sampson says:

    Elizabeth, I’ve been typing and deleting lines here for several minutes. Because I don’t know what I want to say. Maybe you just need to feel right now. Last night I was going through an old box of papers that had sat undisturbed, it seemed, since 2005. We want to move to Maine, which requires putting our house on the market, which requires clearing out decades of accumulated stuff. It’s not an easy process (ha!). In this dusty old shoe box, along with the saved-for-really-no-logical-reason kids’ school papers and birthday cards and clipped-out-never-tried recipes, I found a few items that my mother (who died 16 years ago) had saved. I must have retrieved them from their house after my dad died in 2004. There was the little card written up in the hospital when I was born. Date, time, pounds, length, doctor’s name. She’d saved that. It reminded me that despite all the shit I grew up with, she loved me. I still can’t write about my mother. I’ve started many times, have a lot of unfinished poems. I know I’ll need to someday. Not so much for me, but for my children, her grandchildren that inherited her artistic talents, though she did not live long enough to see them. Her name was Elizabeth. Maybe that’s why I’m sitting here typing away with tears in my eyes knowing I can say nothing that will give you even the slightest comfort. Yes, this blog may be how you do it. Hugs.

  3. Reggie Marra says:

    Hey, ET, wonderful reflection there, and of course, I have the right answer to resolve everything! Gong. My score, zero. My own “missing” experience is that it changes, but doesn’t (i.e. hasn’t for me yet) end. Your “…so why do I miss her so deeply?” is a great inquiry that may be a door to a wealth of feelings, insights, and ________. That whole evolution from what you didn’t share when you were younger to what you did share later on–especially in these last few years is huge. The move to seeing my parents and sister as three more souls–at the deepest level, just like me– trying to find their respective ways in the world continues to open me up. And on occasion, piss me off to no end. It’s all part of the story. Thanks, as always, for what you share in this space.

  4. dale says:

    I did the same thing. It surprised me – it was a foreign feeling since I had blocked all good memories of being a little girl.

    There a little girl in all of us who lost there mommy. Real tough at the heartstrings… I think it’s the invisible confidence knowing she was always there. And now she’s not.

  5. cortezsharkman says:

    Mothers and daughters…the bond is so, so strong and the loss we feel when we lose ours is unique to each of us. I lost mine early; I was 28, she was 50 and we had just settled into our adult-daughter and mother relationship. The memories which first made me feel so lost were those of the way she had been when I was young because I’d needed so much more from her then. Perhaps this is what your memories are doing too, Elizabeth. The wanting to go back and live it over with her, to do it again, differently or the same. For me, I missed our unspoken bond so much, my remedy was to BE a mother and miracles of all miracles I carried my own baby daughter on the beach on the one year anniversary of my Mom’s death.

    22 years later and she is still with me. She’s talked to me a few times during really important times. She pops up in my dreams doing silly things, like setting the table or washing dishes and I talk to her. I’m older than her now of course, so that’s wierd. So, like two ships crossing in the darkeness, just becasue you can’t see the other ship doesn’t mean it’s not there!

    Hang in there and love and hugs to you.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Beautiful…And yes, I would go back and do ‘it’ differently. But I can’t, so there are regrets. And maybe that is what it comes down to. Like my friend, Dave says below “And after he died, I realized that I would never have that with him.” Thanks for writing…

  6. Dave Cyr says:

    You’ve asked a deep and interesting question, regarding reasons “why” you are missing your mother. There are so many reasons, and on so many levels. I have no doubt that you’ve actually begun to figure a lot of them out. The rest of it willl all come in time. I do have one thought, however. Perhaps one of the reasons you miss her so much is that you still miss those things that you never had with her back then – like the “hair thing” and the “make-up thing”, and the shared comfort and companionship. I say this because I had similar feelings after my dad died. In his last year, I became closer to him than I’d ever been. But when I was younger, we didn’t have a lot of “father/son” things we did together. And as I grew older, as much as I got along fine with my dad, we were still never “buddies”, and I think I sort of missed that – and was a bit envious of guys who’d had that kind of a relationship with their dads. And after he died, I realized that I would never have that with him. The final grains of sand had passed through the hourglass, and that opportunity was gone forever. Patty also experienced very similar feelings after her mother died, as she had never had a really close relationship with her mom. It was my focusing on the good things I’d had with my father that helped me get through these rough feelings.

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Everyone grieves differently, and everyone misses different things about people after they are gone, for different reasons. Hang in there … and keep writing. I may have said this already, , but you are one of your mom’s greatest legacies.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Thanks for posting this, Dave. I believe it gets to the heart of the whole conversation. The good things I had with my mom are bountiful…She certainly could make us laugh! I have a vmail from my mom, saved on my cell phone (goes back a couple years). It has the power to make me laugh so hard I cry. My vmail-box was full last night, so I went through the saved messages to delete what wasn’t necessary. And there she was…I couldn’t listen to the entire message, but know she is there for when I am ready.

  7. Unlike my sister, I have been writing more poems lately. It has been a few years since I felt the need to do anything other than write stories, but my mother’s death has brought out a strange side in me. I understand, I too, feel so incredibly alone and lost right now. Every night, I say good night to her photo which sits beside my side of the bed, and in the morning I say good morning, Mom. And like you, Elizabeth, I wonder how long will this pain last. I wish it would just go away and stop sneaking up on me when I am unaware.


    In a world full of people
    So sad and alone
    I sit by myself
    A man on his own
    I sit in the sun
    I walk in the rain
    Mindlessly adrift
    In a sea full of pain
    My life has come down
    To this one little thing,
    More nightmare and loneliness
    Than desirable dreams
    Now, I must learn to live
    And I must try to understand
    My place in this world
    And just who I am
    Because when I look in the mirror
    The reflection I see
    Isn’t the person
    That I wish to be
    It’s more creature, more beast
    Served up on a platter
    Nothing to special
    Nothing that matters
    So here I sit
    Trying to understand
    Just why I’m this way
    A hated, loathsome man

    By Christopher L Thomas

  8. Liz Maloney says:

    After reading through everyone’s input, I wonder if anything can prepare someone for the loss of their mother…I wonder if I will ever be the same, when I can no longer pick up the phone and hear her voice…just thinking about her being gone brings tears…I think I will make a quick call while I still can …

  9. Amy Holman says:

    I find it helps, once in awhile, to just say, “Hi, Mom” out loud as if she’d just picked up the phone or I’d walked into the room. It is comforting. Part of what you miss is your part of the conversation, your chance to say hello, or happy birthday. Your chance to greet her, using whichever mother name you used. It’s hard, especially with the approach to Mother’s Day–my mother died at the end of April three years ago–and the onslaught of maternal marketing was well underway, and just kept flooding email boxes, postal boxes, stores, television, radio. It was almost comical in its swiping of the motherless. I understand that you must have experienced three losses, one of her memory, and one of her whole self, and one of the irretrievable relationship, as your friends above pointed out. I also haven’t written very much about my mother since her death, just bits. I’d like to say to you, and to Robin, that we don’t have to write to directly about our experiences. Think of the situations, or relationships, or trouble, as a tincture that you can use in different strengths to make soap, cake, perfume, or medicine. It might be that you write on other topics with an empathy or knowledge that comes from your experiences, rather than about them. This might give you freedom and clarity. The blog definitely gives you a reason to write, and that keeps you practicing.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Amy…I find myself speaking often to my mother – seeking advice (something I hadn’t done for many of the last years of her life), sharing a laugh, questioning a recipe…or just saying “Hi, Mom” out loud. It does help. Thanks for sharing it ‘out loud’ on the blog. I like your idea of writing indirectly. When I think to write about her, it is more ‘head on’ and mostly too complicated. And yes, Mother’s Day is looming…along with my father’s birthday. Not a weekend I’m looking forward to, but for the birthday of my son on May 14 (1975). As a family, all three dates have typically been celebrated as one. Time for a new tradition…

      • Priscilla Herrington says:

        What’s interesting for me is that I find myself talking to my Mom more than ever – and it’s been 11 years since she died. I just kind of assume she’s with me, wherever I’m going, and once in a while ask her what she thinks of what I’m seeing. What’s interesting for me is that I feel that I am understanding her in a way I didn’t when she was alive. I used to “hear” her in my head all the time – and she was such a spoilsport – always reminding me to clean up after myself, talk nicely even to people I couldn’t stand, all that sort of thing. It was like our battles during my adolescence move into my head and continued. But little by little her voice has become kinder, gentler – she no longer has all the answers and seems happy when I figure things out for myself. I think this has to do with forgiveness – of both her and of myself – and with becoming and accepting being an older woman. It may even be the root of all that wisdom we older women are famous for for having! It may be a bit like what happened in your relationship with your mother, Elizabeth. My mother and I were beginning to develop something like a more mature friendship and we forgave each other a lot – sometimes explicitly, more often implicitly. And I just realized that, for all the poetry I wrote soon after her death, and the occasional piece as time went on, this is the most I’ve written about this whole process or whatever it is.

      • hereisakiss says:

        Priscilla…You all make me feel like we are sitting around the kitchen table, coffee in one hand (or wine) and our words spilling messily forth. I’m loving it! And yes, Mom and I did have a period of time when we were friends (not merely mother and daughter). I’m not sure “kinder and gentler” defines our relationship during that time (she always had a bite) but I understand what you mean. And right now, most of the ‘poetry’ I’ve been writing about her is shmarmy crap, better left in my personal journal 🙂

  10. cassvcollins says:

    I think the forgiveness Priscilla (above) speaks about is central to my experience with my mother. Caring for her in the last years of her life gave me a sense of forgiveness that I never experienced during our tumultuous relationship (not all bad, but fraught). I wasn’t able to speak to her about our emotional distance as mother and daughter. It would have required uttering truths that were never uttered in my family. But I was able to take care of her in her greatest incapacity and that was my way of forgiving her for her incapacity as a mother. With all that, I still felt like an orphan when she died.

    • hereisakiss says:

      Cass…Now there is a blog to be written – truths never uttered. I’m guessing far too many of us could go on for quite some time with that starter line. And still, we care. Hugs…

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