on grief: the reminders. they're everywhere.

Note: I wrote this posts last Wednesday, December 18th.  The 3-month anniversary of my Mom's death was 9 days before.  I've been sharing parts of this process on my blog, but in order to protect myself, I am sharing them several weeks or so after I wrote them. I want to be able to look back at these posts and see how I've grown...  Besides, the emotion seems less sharp and raw a couple of weeks later? Maybe? I think this is my way of gaining perspective. So, ignore scattered thoughts. Ignore poor grammar and punctuation. These words were a pure stream of emotion.

It's my goal to catch up and be "real-time" about my feelings before January 1, 2014. I want all of my previously-written posts to be published before the new year.



When she died I was wearing a floral button dress with a little collar and happy, happy flowers. The dress has bright reds and blues and yellows. I was also wearing a little bracelet that our sweet nanny had given me. It's a bracelet I would never have chosen for myself but for some reason it's sweeter because it was a gift. It has little angels on it. 

It was the first time I'd worn the bracelet.

I haven't worn that dress... or that bracelet since September 9th.

The dress. 7 or 8 months before the last time I'd ever wear it.

For the longest time, the dress lay on an ottoman in my room. Completely untouched. Rumpled. A reminder. It was a visual reminder that I wasn't quite ready to disrupt or move...

While wearing that dress on September 9th, I worried about my Mom, I called my Mom, I texted her, I nervously felt the ominous feeling that something, something was wrong. 

While wearing that dress I talked on the phone to my sister again and again as we worried about her. As we waited.

While wearing that dress I screamed into the phone from a country away, "WHAT? She's what? WHAT?"

While wearing that dress I repeated to my baby sister with my head in my hands over the phone, "It's going to be ok. It's ok. It's going to be ok."

While wearing that dress I was driven home. I sat in the car and I called my cousin so that he could call my Aunt; her sister. Those calls. The worst calls I've ever made.

While wearing that dress I walked into my house and smiled at my girls and said to Nelly, our lovely nanny, "My Mom just died. Please take care of the girls." I had a smile on my face and I smooched my girls and I walked into our bedroom because a two- and four-year-old shouldn't ever see their Mommy come undone.

While wearing that dress I called the sheriff in Missouri. I listened to his report and I started the process of piecing it all together.

While wearing that dress I called the funeral director to make plans for "the deceased."

While wearing that dress I cried; I heaved ugly sobs for the loss that hadn't even remotely set in or felt real.

While wearing that dress I sat in silence. Shaking my head as if to reset the new reality.

While wearing that dress my Mom took her last breath and left this earth.

While I was wearing that dress my Mom died.


I haven't worn that dress again.

I don't think I ever will.

But I'm not willing to cast it off from my closet yet, either. I see it. Every day. Hanging next to my other unsuspecting, less memory-inducing dresses. 

Each morning I see it. Sometimes I touch it. Sometimes I ignore it. 

I've held it to my face.

I've pushed it away... violently. With anger.

That dress takes my breath away.

That dress is a direct connection to my "before" and my "after." It's a connection to that day.

It's a connection to her.

Not only did I wear that dress on the day my Mom died; I wore that dress on the last day that she was alive.

I wore that dress on a day where perhaps she smiled once.

I wore that dress on a day where perhaps she thought of me, of Taryn, of our babies.

That dress is, oddly, a link to her. I woke up that morning and put that dress on and went about my life, not knowing what was in store... 

She woke up the same way.


For her funeral, I wore a long black dress that I've had for years. I added a scarf that I bought this summer. It has gold and yellow and paisleys and it's awesome. And I've worn it since the funeral, because it makes me just as happy as it did when I bought it.

My sister borrowed a chevron print skirt of mine and wore that to the funeral, too. I haven't been able to wear that skirt since that day. Since September 14th.

Today I'm wearing that skirt.

And I'm smiling. And I'm not crying.

Because life goes on.

Because life is going on.


--The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  ::  Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  ::  Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.

1 comment:

  1. As always... your writings on your grief are succinct and beautiful. Thank you, Tammy


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