My mom died.

Seeing it inked out in block letters doesn’t make it more real. I thought it might.

I know there are stages to grief, and mine has currently taken the form of bewilderment. I’m 58 years old, Mom was 6 weeks shy of 96 when she died. We were together a long time, so it probably isn’t surprising that I keep getting this jolt of confusion when I remember she isn’t here. Mom? Mom? Where are you? How can I not feel bewildered when I realize she isn’t where she has been for my whole life? She passed away rather quickly. Maybe that’s why I’m so dazed by her absence.

I like to think, and am pretty sure most would agree, that she had a full and satisfying life. She was loved, respected, sharp as a tack, witty as hell and an overall gem of a soul. I believe it would have appalled her to linger on in a hospice and dying by degrees. She was intelligent, somewhat shy, super liberal and hated being a nuisance.

She taught us the importance of music and instilled creativity in us all. She was a giver. My siblings and I continually get notes from her friends ages 20-80 that we didn’t even know that she had, recounting what a positive impact she had on them. She donated. She volunteered. She cooked from the heart. She wrote. She was dignified and ladylike.

Mom gave us the gift of each other, too. She was steadfast as the matriarch and the fabric of our family. In hindsight I maybe wasn’t so aware of it, but she was the connecting point to my wonderful siblings, nephews, in-laws and cousins.

I could ramble for pages and no doubt will as time passes. I inspired my mom to write a blog, so I feel a sense of responsibility to keep this one going. I just wish she could read it.



13 thoughts on “Mom?

  1. Erika what a beautiful tribute , your Mom sounds like an amazing women , as you are. Much love as you continue your journey accepting her passing and pressing on.
    Much love, Lisa.

  2. Erika, what a beautiful and articulate post. Sounds like you inherited many of her qualities and she will live in you forever. I know it’s not easy; I think about my mom every day.

  3. Ah, Erika, I am so sad for you and the rest of your mom’s lovely and loving family. One of the hardest things about losing someone as central as your mother was to the family is the change in family dynamics. It sorts out over time but never is the same. I still miss my mom and she has been gone over ten years now. Do keep up your blog, we will be here reading it still. Lots of love. Laura

  4. Ah Erika, I am so sad for you and your lovely and loving family…it is hard to lose someone so central to the family. And the hardest thing is the change in family dynamics that happens when there is that gap. My mom has been gone for 12 years and I still miss her. Take care of yourself through the process. Lots of love, Laura

  5. I never met your mom, but your family stories about her made me feel that I knew her. Your beautiful comments made her even more real. She was a gal, an inspiration to us all. And most of all she gave us you and the girls.
    Love you big time. Wayne and Wally.

  6. Erika, I’m so sorry for your loss. It is going to be very hard. I’m still shell shocked from losing my dad a few months ago. Moms and daughters have a special bond and I’m sure you are going to miss her every day but she’s with you, she really is. XOXO

  7. I’m so sorry to read about your mother’s passing. I never met her, but based on your writing and see her interact with you on Facebook, it sounds like she was a wonderful lady.

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