My beautiful cousin, having nearly reached the hallmark of five years since the death of her precious daughter, wrote these words recently, “I never get used to being without her, never get used to her being away from here”. Those poignant remarks reminded me of the reality of loss…we will always grieve when someone we love is no longer physically living in our lives… though our lives do go on, even when it seems they might not after losing someone we love.
Our days are filled with grieving and then with surprising joys amid the perpetual sorrow as we carry the memories along with the still place in our hearts where our loved ones rest.
I thought about mothers while I sat with two daughters who had learned of their mother’s advanced cancer earlier that same day and were arranging to care for her during the remaining time with the help of hospice. As they told stories about their childhood
and some harsh memories of a not-so-dear mother, I said a silent thank you for the blessing of my own mother: her nurturing and loving spirit was a constant that followed me throughout my adult years. The anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up, a decade since she died in peace surrounded by her loving family.
I still miss her.
And I thought of my cousin. The loving care of her daughter Molly all those months of battling cancer epitomized what motherhood is about: selflessness and unconditional
love. And I remembered Katie’s mother who gave wholeheartedly through the life and death of her little girl, and continues to be an inspiration to other mothers. And Fiona, who loved as only a mother does- though her newborn son never had the chance to breathe in life. And all the other mothers I have watched lose and grieve their children.
I have not forgotten these mothers; their love still shines like beacons when I consider what it is to love without reserve, completely, though your heart will break because of it. Grief remains your companion as you walk through your days without that loving son or daughter physically being a part of life here.
But they are remembered, each of those children -young and old- who blessed their mothers, and whose mothers showed the rest of us how to let go of someone you love but never forget.
Today is mother’s day for me, and I can only say to all you mothers, there are jewels in your crowns and your sacrifice is remembered.