We’re all dressed up for the funeral in outfits we will probably never wear again. How could we, they will remind us of this moment, a moment we’d rather forget. We stand up by the casket, stiff and numb, waiting to shake hands and hear the compassionate words from the people who come to say their final goodbyes.
My mother looks beautiful in her final state. But no matter how beautiful she looks, this entire situation and reality is wrong and devastating. Endless hugs and free-flowing tears. Endless words of “I’m praying for you” and “Please let us know if there is anything we can do.” I hear the words and see them grace the lips of strangers, but I’m in autopilot. They do not truly sink in or get acknowledged. Until someone walks up and gently says, “I’m sorry you lost your mother.”
The words get my attention. Immediately I’m alert and focused.
Lost my mother.
Lost my mother?
I reply the same way I have done all day, with a polite “Thank you. It means a lot.” But my heart is screaming in pain and confusion and denial. One simple word woke my heart and my emotion with intensity and pain.
My mother was taken, not lost.
She is not lost, she was stolen.
Lost symbolizes not knowing where someone or something is, unable to recognize their location or whereabouts.
I didn’t lose my mother. She isn’t lost. She’s in heaven.
I didn’t lose my mother. She isn’t missing. She’s entered her eternity.
I didn’t lose my mother. She isn’t here anymore, but she’s not lost. She could never be lost. She is loved with an abundance that could never allow her in a place, unable to be found.
My mother is gone. She’s deceased. She’s passed. She is many things, but lost isn’t one of them.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.