on grief: And here I stand.

I wrote this on 4-10-2015. I needed a few days to pass before I could post it. I remember doing that in the beginning when I was writing about my Mom's death. I needed for my blog readers & friends to know that I was fine and taking time between writing and posting made me feel like I was ok. That I was doing better. 

So, in true Kylee-style, I wrote this, I waited and I am fine. I am ok. I am doing better than what I was a few nights ago. But, in full disclosure, I own all of this.



I've avoided any books with tragedy in them.
I don't watch movies where I know characters die.
I turn the channel if someone loses someone. Or I look away. Or I get up and "remember" something that I needed to do.

The loss of her, of my Mom, is still 1 year and 7 months later -- bubbling under the surface.

For some ridiculous reason I decided to watch the movie based on a true story, Wild. The movie about the woman who walked 1,000 miles through the Pacific Coast Trail after her Mom died; so she could find herself.

In the movie there are constant flashbacks; her Mom just appears.

I don't think I was ready to watch it.

When the Mom died I didn't cry, though. I actually silently congratulated myself. "Nicely done, Kylee. I can't believe you didn't cry or at least tear up."

Then there's a scene in which Cheryl (the daughter) describes the difference between the ashes that we've all seen before and the ashes of a person... The ashes of her Mom.  The former ashes are light and float in the wind like a feather; the latter are grainy with scattered pebble-like pieces... they're grey... and anything but natural; they're the worst color in the world. While she's describing what her Mom's ashes feel like; she's pouring them from her hand over her Mom's gravestone...

...and that's when I lost it.

I know what ashes look like.

I know what it's like to be handed a cardboard box of what is left of your Mom.

And that's when the tears started... and they haven's stopped.

If I allow myself here, in this space, remembering the box... remembering the weight of the box... remembering not breathing as Craig opened the box... remembering... 

If I allow myself here, I am overcome.

So I cry because my Mom is ashes.
I cry because she's gone. 
I cry because she doesn't have a gravestone.
I cry because I miss her.
I cry because her ashes are scattered on her land and in her garden; a garden that someone else now owns.
I cry because the trees that Craig carved the crosses in I will never see again. I will never touch them.
I cry because she's dead.
I cry because I can't see her again.



I haven't cried the heavy tears in a while. In all honesty, it had started to worry me a bit that I hadn't really cried. What's going on? 

And then now... the tears flow.

Grief is always there. It's a part of who I am now.

I've said before that my life was  distinctly divided in half: there's before September 9, 2013 and there's after September 9, 2013. I am simply "Kylee Before" and "Kylee After." There is no part of my life that hasn't been affected by my Mom's death. And now, I'm just different.

My reactions.
My choices.
My tears.
My joy.
My perspective.
My faith.

It's all different now.


I want to see her again. 
I want her to walk into my kitchen. 
I want to turn on a light and she be standing and smiling at me at the end of the hallway. 
I want to grab something out of the fridge and she hands it to me. 
I want to feel her presence in my life in a tangible and real way. It can be ghost-Shirley! I'm ok with that. (I smile through tears as I type that... Her sense of humor is part of me.)

I want to clean up after her in the kitchen.
I want to curl the back of her hair that she can't reach.
I want to sigh and say, "Seriously, Mom?"
I want to play skipbo with her.
I want to fold her towels.
I want to sit in the car next to her.
I want to hear her dote on my babies.
I want to eat a meal with her.
I want to lay next to her in bed and read my book while she reads hers.
I want to call her, I want her to answer, and I want to talk to her.

I want things to go back to how they were, just for a moment...so that I can remember what it feels like to be Shirley's daughter.

To be somebody's daughter.

I want to hold her hand.
I want to hug her and hold her.
I want one more chance.

[So said everyone who ever lost anyone.]


I know I'm not alone.
We all want this. We all want one more chance.
I am no different or no more special than anyone else.


So this is right about the time in the program that I tell myself gently, "Enough..." and I remind myself that there's got to be good that will come from this; there's got to be something good. There's something good, right? RIGHT

This is the time in the program that I remind myself that beauty will come from these ashes... from her ashes.


--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.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.
June 1, 2014  ::  Moving "forward"  ::  Post here.
July 6, 2014  ::  Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah  ::  Post here.
August 20, 2014  ::  So, I'm 35  ::  Post here.
September 2, 2014  ::  7 days  ::  Post here.
September 8, 2014  ::  The Day Before a Year  ::  Post here.
September 9, 2014  ::  Hello, one year  ::  Post here.
October 11, 2014  ::  The brain is funny  ::  Post here.
November 6, 2014  ::  Love  ::  Post here.
November 30, 2014 ::  Post here.
December 4, 2014  ::  Another feather. Post here.
December 28, 2014  :: All was calm, all is bright. Post here.
January 18, 2015  ::  They're always with us? They're always with us. Post here.
January 25, 2015  ::  And today I remember. Post here.
March 8, 2015  ::  A year and a half later. Post here.



  1. You are most definitely a huge part of her beauty, Ky. Your life and Craig's and your girls and your family...she lives in you. I hate it for you that she's not here. And I love you.

  2. Beautiful. Just want to hug you right now.

    1. I would take that hug and hug you back.

  3. Kylee, this post. This post hit me nearly as hard as the first one you wrote detailing the loss of Shirl. I actually read it and had to come back later because it keeps making me emotional.

    Those moments. I often think of my two grandpa's, who I was so close too, if I could just have a couple more moments. IF I could hug them, listen to the coins jingling in my grandpas pants as he messes with them, here my grandpa tell one more of his goofy and hilarious jokes, to see their faces/smiles. Though, even after 16 years since my grandpa pass, I still see his face so clear. it is weird. Or to to hug my friend again and see him with his girls.

    But not only did your post make me think of those who have passed, but just HOW precious THIS life is. To make sure that you take in THOSE moments. Treasure them. Hold them near. Always give one last hug and one last I Love You.

    Oh Kylee. This post. So beautiful and so real and so true and so emotional. I think we all have those times when we want those one more moments with the ones we love.

    HUGS HUGS HUGS to you.

  4. Oh friend. My words seem so insufficient. If I could only give you a big hug. Love you, Ky. Thank you for being willing to share your journey.

    1. I love you too, my friend. I always feel your support.

  5. Grief is such a fluid thing, isn't it? I've felt the same... almost wrong... that I haven't really cried in awhile. And then bam... it hits again. Your posts always make me cry, but in a good way.

  6. You're so right. Grief IS fluid; it ebbs and flows.

    Whenever I read your posts about Jaime... Oh man... those videos... her voice.



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