On grief. Five years.

I typed her name into google and there it was.

Her obituary.

I clicked on it.
I saw her picture.
I skimmed the words that I'd written five years ago...

"... In her 59 short years on earth she built relationships with friends and family across the country and created lasting impacts on their lives. "


Her life made a difference.


Time marches on.

This metaphor is sometimes too much because honestly, just like a marching band in a parade keeps in sync, walking forward, moving forward, arms swaying, drums beating... life.goes.on.

And sometimes it feels like that marching band is step, step-stepping right on your heart.


Your person dies.

Then you go back to life.

(And so does everyone else.)

You get up in the morning and you breathe in, and it hurts. It physically hurts.

Your mind races and when it does finally settle, it decides to remind you again and again, all day long, that this person who has known you since the second you were born, is gone.

You live second to second.

You crumble.

You sit on the floor in your kitchen and your cry because it hurts too much to stand up.

You type and you cry and you type and you cry. (Or at least, that's what I did.)


Over time, the physical pain lessens and finds a new home in your everyday life as you figure out life in your dreaded "new normal."

It's like the worst advent calendar ever.

Instead of opening the little paper door to a delightful small chocolate every day, you open the door to your first experiences after your person died and it's terrible.

The opening of each door is a painful reminder. No chocolate. No good things. Just hurting.

You go to your favorites on your phone to call her (door #1) and you realize that you can call and call, but it will just ring. Because she's gone. No chocolate, just a disappointment.

Then there's that first holiday (door #2). The one that is tied to memories of her. You open the door, and then there it is: sadness. Emptiness. Loss.

You do this door-opening for the next year throughout all of the big-name holidays and then throughout the smaller ones, too -- like your person's birthday, your birthday, your children's graduations or weddings...

You basically learn how to live your life without your person. And you're mad about it. And sad. And... sigh...


Those first holidays without my Mom were a trainwreck.

I was a trainwreck.

I'd wake up with good intentions...

"This {insert holiday} is going to be AMAZING! I've decorated. I have planned the day. I have planned the menu. I have CHILDREN. I have a family. I AM GOING TO DO THIS."

Door opens and... there's nothing but tears. Or me. Angry.

Each holiday was turned on its head because of the feels, the memories, the newness of experiencing life without her. It was just too much.

That first Mother's day without her I coached myself. "YOU are a mother. LET THEM shower you with love. Be a Mom, don't miss your Mom."

My pep talk didn't work.

It was terrible.

And then, as that year goes on - you get through the firsts. The Advent calendar doors have all been opened, the unknown has been faced.

And guess what?

You're still standing.


...and then you get to one year anniversary.

The disbelief, the revisiting, the emptiness that you haven't heard her voice in one year, the guilt that life has gone on and the sadness that you are moving on without her knowing the details of your life. The reality that you are LIVING Field of Dreams comes to a reality. You're not allowed to play on the baseball field with her anymore. She's gone. Walking into the cornfields. And you're wondering if you're CRAZY because you just can't remember the details anymore.

It was another life ago.

The kite you held in your hand for the first 34 years of your life started to slowly loosen from your grip the day she died and you realize that now, it's completely gone. Not even visible in the distance. You're just standing there, empty-handed. Tied to nothing.

No parents. No kite.

Just you.

The first year anniversary comes and goes and then life continues.


As it turns out, your every waking second isn't filled with grief as time goes on. (And, sometimes you feel guilty about that.)

You start living life again.

You cry less often and perhaps less with reckless abandon.

You sing in the car again.

And go to work.

You can concentrate a bit more.

And raise your family.

And laugh at movies.

And enjoy meals.

And try new things.

And fail sometimes.

And reach out to friends who lose people, because you kind of understand now...

You remember your person, without tears.

You remember your person, with tears.

You tell stories about your person.

You keep going.

You keep your person alive by talking about her.

Because life marches on and no doubt your person would want you to get up and march on, too.


Today marks five years that my Mama hasn't been here on earth.

And, I miss her.

But, I'm ok.

I'm strong like my Mama.


If you're going through it. I promise. You will be ok.


Since she's died, I've written... and I've shared my thoughts on this wretched experience. I've been moved by the support, the love and the solidarity. Absolutely encompassed in love.

This is a club that I pray that none of you are already members of. But if you are, I'm sorry. From the bottom of my heart.

Read more about my story here, dear friends. And please, tell me about yours. You can always email me.

It starts on September 9th, 2013.

--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.
April 16, 2015  ::  And here I stand. Post here.
April 29, 2015  ::  Joan & Shirley. Post here.
August 26, 2015 :: Perspective. Post here.
September 9, 2015  :: Two Years After. Post here.
November 1, 2015  ::  Watching others go through it. Post here.
January 25, 2016  ::  Happy Birthday, Mom. Post here.
March, 5, 2016 ::  Air Tears. Post here.
April 26, 2016  ::  Sitting Still. Post here.
December 27, 2016  ::  So this was Christmas. Post here.
December 29, 2016  ::  And our hearts sigh. Post here
May 10, 2017  ::  Phil Collins made me cry. Post here.
September 7, 2017  ::  I guess I just miss my Mom. Four years.  Post here.
March 18, 2018  ::  When life gets hard, here's how I handle it.  Post here
June 1, 2018  ::  Words are magic. Post here.


  1. Kylee...I cannot believe it's been 5 years. Just know, she DOES know every single detail of your life, still. Sometimes she makes herself known, because she knows you need the reminder, the feather, the pang in your heart. Sometimes she backs up and lets your life happen, because she knows you need that too, that ability to give memories to your girls and your husband and yourself. You are loved, from every direction - up and down and inside and out.

  2. I have read every single one of the above posts and I am so grateful for your willingness to share and be vulnerable. You are a heart of gold. You are an earth angel. You have taught me how to handle so many of life's curve balls. Thank you for constantly being that guiding force and heart. xo

  3. Love you and you are strong just like her!! I was cleaning out my closet and found a flyer for the Poinsetta sake that I met your mom at . It was Sunday!! Yes your mom was special, I miss her too!! Love you!!


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