Gut Punch

Dear Mom,

A few weeks after you passed away, I started having “gut punch” moments.  They feel just like they sound.  Whenever my brain manages to distract itself from your absence for even a fleeting moment, my body reminds me with a quick gut punch.  It is a sudden physical reaction to your loss that feels like a punch to my stomach. I forget to breathe, my eyes fill with tears, and I am reminded that you are not in this physical world any longer.  A gut punch can be triggered by just about anything as it seems that all thoughts/experiences/feelings lead back to you, a smell, a piece of clothing, a funny story that I want to share, an indecisive moment that I need to talk over with someone…everything starts with you.  I came upon a Jewish proverb about mothers that said “God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers.”  This makes perfect sense as your loss feels like a loss of faith.  I know that you and God are still “here,” I just don’t have your physical body to remind me.  I miss you with every particle of my being.  My heart, my soul, my brain, my body all weeps for you and aches for your return.  I believe that we will be reunited in the next world, I just have to remember to breathe through the gut punches, and remind myself that “you have only slipped away into the next room.”




My Regrets

Dear Mom,

As I reminisce on our times spent together over the past four years, since your first attempt in 2010, I have so many regrets.  I wish that I could have been more present as you so bravely shared your thoughts and emotions.  With each visit, or phone call, I listened impatiently until I could fire off my solutions that I so believed could “fix” you in those moments.  But, what I didn’t know during those times, was that I couldn’t “fix” you, and that wasn’t my job.  My job was to listen with compassion and to love you just as you were.  I was so uneasy with your depression and sadness that I had to fill it with my “solutions” to make myself feel heard and useful.  Now that you are gone, I long for nothing more than an afternoon in which I could listen to your feelings, to sit with your sadness, and love you, just the way you are.

All my love,



A Poem I love

I came across this poem by Henry Scott Holland called “Death is Nothing at All.”  It has been very comforting to me as it reminds me to speak of my Mom as if she is still present, and to remember her life and her name with joy and “without the trace of a shadow.”

Death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.

I am I,
and you are you;
whatever we were to each other,
that, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
which you always used,
put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air
of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we shared together.
Let my name ever be
the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all
that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland
1847 -1918

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