Monday, August 25, 2014


I've been thinking about the loss of my mother a lot lately. She died in August, so no wonder. This time of year, her absence is particularly palpable.

She's been gone 33 years and I've never gotten over her death. I don't feel at peace about it. I feel a missing part, a vacuum where she should be. I rail at the universe for a life without her. I'm not okay with the fact that she had to leave me when I needed her most and when she most wanted to be here with me. In the last 33 years, I've adjusted to carrying around this loss. Mother's Days continue to hurt with an intensity that surprises me every year. But I've carried this with me for so long that I no longer know what it's like to not feel it. But no one should grow up without their mother.

It's been 3 years since Dave died so of course I'm in no way at peace with his death. I'm not over it. I can see that I never will be and I never will be at peace with his loss. I'm not okay with him being sick and scared and dying without my presence in the room. I'm not okay with our being ripped apart long before we should've been. I will just learn to continue to incorporate it into my new life and live side by side with it. I will continue to learn to live with a missing piece. A person I'm still linked to but cannot be with.

No matter what happens to me now, I continue to miss out on life without my mother. And I continue to miss out on life with Dave, even though I'm living a beautiful, full life without him now, too.

I have driven by the house Dave and I lived in together exactly 2 times. This last time was just a few weeks ago. I looked at that place that was home for us for over a decade and had the strangest sensation. It was this hallucination that I was somehow in two parallel universes at the same time. I was in this life, without Dave in it, and I was also back in that old life. It's very much like the feeling I get when I see a mother and daughter together, especially a grown daughter. I feel as though I'm in my life, watching what cannot be while somewhere, somehow, my mother and I are together again, me as a grown woman and her in her 60s.

Two lives. The one that could've been and the one that is. This life without them should be really lived in order to make up for their loss.

I don't believe their loss should completely define me or that it will restrict me from living fully now, but I will not agree with someone who claims I should be at peace with it.

Both losses have shaped me and will continue to. And that is okay. Why wouldn't they? They are my intimate companions whether I like it or not. I can and will continue to work on integrating them, but I won't be at peace with them.

I don't think I have to in order to heal and live.


  1. put into words what I have experienced as well....I loss my mother at age father at age 18.....
    When I see adult children with their parent I stop momentarily and kinda imagine that is me with my parent. ...then remember my loss which is never at peace...Then just as quickly I am back in my reality.
    I lost my John almost 28 months was our 2nd marriage for us both...together almost 8 years. ...we were so happy we found each other and thought we would grow into our older age together. ....
    Now when I see/meet a couple who have grown old together. ..I also momentarily go back to what used to be/ should have been. .....which is not at peace.
    And then I am back into my real world of NOW.....This NOW, 28 months later is a full one with a good job. ..many friends. ..wonderful family. ...and a new relationship of 2 months. ...yet someone I have known for 7 years. ..who is also a widow.....
    And with all of this. NOW...I am at Peace. be at peace in my life after loss yet not at peace at having been cheated out of what should have been can be so unsettling. ..Yet at the same time you eventually come to an okay- ness with it all...This thing called the living of life...
    I hope this makes sense. .you wrote about it so much better. ..

  2. You truly have a gift of putting feelings into words, Cassie. The concept of our losses being intimate companions, whether we like it or not, is powerful on so many levels. Thank you for this, and I do wish you peace - I wish all of us peace, somehow, if I ever could.

  3. I know I will never be at peace with losing my husband or the way he was killed. But I want to someday feel peace about the current state of my life(I am not at all there). I am going to work on that this year now that the other stuff is more settled(it was three years this month). I appreciate your post because people who don't understand how bad this is think that if you can't say you are at peace with something, or that if you don't forgive(there are things I simply will never be able to say I "forgive"), or say you "accept" something, than you aren't doing this correctly. I will never be at peace with his death or the circumstances surrounding it, I will never forgive certain people for their behavior regarding his death and I will never accept the way it all happened. These are concepts my brain just rejects and I am fine with it. I think I can get better and find peace in my life anyway on my own terms and I am going to try.

  4. My husband died suddenly three years ago. I will never be at peace with his death. I cried not an hour ago driving home in the car listening to music. Tears of loss and longing rolled down my cheeks and I found it difficult to breathe at the thought of coming home to an empty house. There are times when I pretend that I will drive into the garage and he will be standing there smiling at me in front of his work bench. No, I am not okay with the loss of the other half of me. How could I be? I've grown weary of people telling me that time will heal this hellish existence. Nothing will ever be the same for me. How could it? I want his arms around me. I long for his touch. I don't want anyone else, I just want the love of my life back.

  5. I am so glad I am not the only one who stops, stares, and fantasizes for a few seconds. By the way, anyone else have times when a stranger looks like your deceased beloved? And the world seems to tilt on it's axis, you feel your muscles tense to run to or hug, and then there's the punch-in-the-gut/knock you to your knees realization that it can't be him/her?

  6. dear anonymous,

    I have desperately hoped I would see a man who greatly resembles
    Hugh. and I have already decided if he doesn't appear to be a serial killer, I know, I just know I will approach him, quiet tears in my eyes, and tell him," You look so much like my husband who died, I miss him so much. would it be okay if I asked you for a hug?" if he thinks I am a weirdo and just walks away - that's okay, he really WOULDN'T BE like my husband at all. but if he does agree to the hug, it will mean so much to me. and if I didn't ask I know I would regret it. so I'm willing to take the chance! but I will try very hard not to cling to tightly or for too long.