The Day She Dies

January 4, 2019

The day she dies a piece of you will die too. You’ll learn this is a piece that you cannot fill. It is a piece that cannot be replaced by anything, ever.

The day she dies you’ll stop breathing for a moment too. You’ll wonder how the world around you continues to go on.

The day she dies you’ll start a new life. Your new life will be motherless. It will be different than before, in the most painful and heartbreaking way.

The day she dies you will look around and question everything. You’ll question your faith, your last words, and every moment you spent away from her. Your questions will never be answered, but keep asking anyway.

The day she dies you’ll be in complete disbelief. You will refuse to accept this reality but it will stay with you. One day the debilitating reality will sink in. This day is just as bad as the day she dies.

The day she dies you will be frozen with heartbreak, confusion and terror. You will develop new anxieties and fears you never had before. Some days these new fears will be debilitating.

The day she dies, you become an adult. The kind of adult that doesn’t have a mother. That is a different kind of adult than before, trust me.

The day she dies you will long for her hug, her kiss, her time and her presence. This longing never goes away.

It stays with you, but so does she, because…

The day she dies you gain the most beautiful angel. You can’t see her, but she is there, just as she promised.

The day she dies you will look around and be grateful for all of the people there supporting you and helping you pick up the pieces. The people that show up are your people. Never forget the ones that showed up, they are special.

The day she dies you’ll learn that you loved so hard, so deeply, so purely, that you will now grieve hard because of that beautiful love.

The day she dies you’ll learn that she loved you beyond measure. She mothered you more beautifully than any Hallmark movie. She believed in you more than you’ve ever believed in yourself. You’ll realize that she took care of you like you were the most precious cargo on the planet, even as an adult.

The day she dies you’ll realize, without hesitation, that she was the most amazing woman you’ve ever known and will ever know.

The day she dies you’ll appreciate her more than you ever have, and you’ll pray to have her back. Unfortunately, no prayers can bring her back. No wishes can make her appear.

So when she dies, remember her smile, remember her love, and remember her life.

Never forget her and everything that she was because the day she dies, you become her legacy.

xox, Chels

61 comments so far.

61 responses to “The Day She Dies”

  1. Mandi says:

    Such a emotional and meaningful post.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Mandi, Thank you so much. This piece was difficult to write. It is raw and vulnerable and heartbreaking but it is my reality. Grieving my mother has been a long road, and will be for the rest of my life. I’ve found comfort in writing and feel so humbled and honored when others enjoy what I write.

  2. Carol James says:

    Every so often something hits a trigger, less often than in years past, but still a trigger that releases all the feelings of loving, longing and loss. Your article did that today. The day my Mom died I was still a child. Today, almost 58 years later, I sit here crying missing the most beautiful person I have ever known.
    Thank you for your writings.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Carol, Thank you so much for your message. I hate that we share this heartbreak but I am so humbled that you could relate to my writing! Hugs to you and I hope you’ll continue to find my writing relevant and comforting.

  3. This is so true of a mother that has lost a daughter too.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Linda, thank you for reading my piece. Sending you lots of love and positive thoughts. I hate to hear about your heartbreak but hope you find comfort in those that surround you. Blessings. <3

  4. Erica says:

    This hit home for me I list my mother 20 years ago I was 15 and you absolutely right about it all if I had one more day with my mother I would not have been the cocky teenager I was and would have cherished it all a lot more thank you for sharing

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Erica, Thank you so much for visiting my page! I appreciate it more than you know. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. Hopefully you’ll continue to find other writing of mine that you enjoy! <3, Chels

  5. Donna says:

    This piece conveys exactly what has been in my heart, but could not explain or put into words. Life will never be the same without my beloved Mom, who was my best friend as well as my Mom. She is missed beyond measure, and I would give anything to see and talk to her again.

    Thank you for sharing. It brought me to tears. I am sorry for your loss, too.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Donna, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work and for writing such a kind comment! I appreciate your sweet and thoughtful words. I hope you keep coming back and find other work of mine that you enjoy! <3, Chels

  6. Laura Cantales says:

    I read this piece with great admiration and gratitude. Not only have I lost my own mother, but I have Stage IV cancer and struggle to find the words to leave my daughter, knowing that my future with her is uncertain. Your writing expresses the intricate and often indescribable relationship, as well as the sadness and the hope for a continued one, even as death approaches. Thank you for this gem that ends my struggle to find the perfect, meaningful words that my daughter can use to navigate our relationship, now, and in the afterlife! God Bless You!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Laura, I’m sitting here trying to type a response and I’m failing. I’ve got tears streaming from my eyes and they keep coming. This is so heartbreaking and so beautiful at the same time. I am so incredibly honored with all that you wrote. I wish you could understand the feelings and emotions in my heart when reading your comment. I am taking time to pray for you when I finish writing this. I hope you feel the prayers lifting you up. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read my writing. But even more for writing such an amazingly kind comment. Prayers to you. <3, Chels

  7. Jamie says:

    A fellow teacher passed away this weekend and I thought of her three daughters left behind. All under the age of 20.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jamie, I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. It is the most difficult thing I’ve endured. Feel free to pass along my writing or information if they ever need someone thats been there. Hope you are well, friend. <3, Chels

  8. Teri Bahr says:

    I have never read anything so true in the last 11 months since my Mother died!!!!! You are a beautiful writer. Everything word you wrote seemed to be just for me! The way I feel constantly. Thank you for putting my feelings into words for all to read!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Teri, I am tearful reading your comment. Words can’t express how much they mean to me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for taking the time to read my work and especially for taking the time to comment with something so incredibly kind! I hope you’ll visit again and find other pieces you enjoy! <3, Chels

  9. Jamie Estes says:

    This is beautifully written and expressed exactly what i wish i could say or write. Thank you so much.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jamie, Thank you so much for your sweet message. I appreciate it more than you know. Being open and vulnerable is scary but hearing from people like you make it so worthwhile. Hopefully you’ll continue to visit the page and find other pieces that you enjoy! <3, Chels

  10. Julie Salisbury says:

    All of this is so true, I remember thinking how can everyone go about their normal everyday business when my world as I had known just fell apart.

    Julie Salisbury

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Julie, I completely felt the same, as you can tell by my writing. It was such an unreal experience as the world just kept spinning around me. Thank you for taking the time to read my work and even more for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it more than you know! Keep coming back! Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of my other pieces. <3, Chels

  11. Elizabeth Hutto says:

    I just lost my mom unexpectedly 7 months ago.. And my father unexpectedly in 2016. Thank you for writing this. It’s so very absolutely true and brave of you to be that volnerable.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Elizabeth, Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean more to me than you know. Writing was something my mother encouraged me to do, but I never listened. I’m so glad I finally did, even if she isn’t here to see it. Hearing from people like you that have felt something when reading my innermost thoughts is such a proud accomplishment. Thank you for reading. Hopefully, you’ll keep visiting and finding things you enjoy! <3, Chels

  12. Caren says:

    So accurate!! I agree with everything you wrote, and cried my eyes out once again. It doesn’t take much. Thank you for writing like it really is!!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Caren, Thank you so much for your sweet comment! It is hard to be raw and vulnerable but it’s so important because that’s when others can relate and understand! I appreciate you visiting my page and hope you’ll come back and see some of my other work! <3, Chels

  13. Kelley says:

    Thank you so much for this, all so true. My Mother was every part of me and losing her was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through in my life. Miss her more than anything.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Kelley, it is such an incredible feeling when people thank me for my writing. I am so honored that people are reading my work, relating to it and then messaging me about it. My mom would be SO proud. It’s hard to be open, raw and vulnerable but it’s also incredibly therapeutic. This journey is never-ending, but I’m hoping for more laughs in the memories than tears for the absence. Hope you’ll visit again and see more of my work. <3, Chels

  14. Michele Donovan says:

    My mom passed 38years ago Still regret the many hours that were wasted when she was alive Thank you

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Michele, Thank you so much for reading my work. I appreciate you visiting my page. I have many regrets myself, always will. I think most people do. You are not alone. Sending you positive thoughts today, friend. <3, Chels

  15. Jude says:

    My mom died 4 months ago today. I never realized how very much I would miss her. She was 90years old and physically so deteriorated from Parkinson’s and spinal compression, and I thought I would.ld feel mostly relief that her suffering was over. I am glad that her suffering is over,but I would give anything to hear her voice again or see her smile. I miss being with her having lunch and caring for her.i regret so many missed opportunities to spend more time with her. I regret being cranky with her when I was tired. No matter how old you are, you miss your mom.i was so blessed to have had her for 64 years.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Judy, I completely agree. It doesn’t matter if you had your mother for 20 years or 60, it is still one of the hardest pains to experience. Mother’s are so incredibly special. It sounds like we were both very blessed with amazing women as mother’s. Thank you for visiting my page. Hopefully you’ll continue to come back and find pieces you enjoy. <3, Chels

  16. Kay W says:

    It was all I could do to get through this. We just lost our mother last week, and I am still numb. I feel like I will wake up in a minute & all of this will have been a very bad dream. I don’t like being THIS kind of adult.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Kay, I’m heartbroken for your loss and remember those days and weeks where the grief was fresh and surreal. The best advice anyone gave me on grief is that it’s like riding a scary roller coaster in the thick fog. There will be extreme highs and extreme lows and you will have no clue when they will hit. It could be the first time you see a sign for Mother’s Day cards in the store or a time where you walk next to someone that smells like your sweet mother, you just never know. Please know that I’m praying for you and sending love from Indiana. I wish there were words that would help with your heartbreak, but I know from experience, there are none. Thinking of you. <3, Chels

  17. Teagan says:

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this piece. For 6 long months I have struggled to find the words to come to terms with the loss of my mother and you have summed everything I wanted to say in this piece.. now 6 months later, pregnant with my first child and mums first grandchild I am finally content and reassured for reading this.. thank you

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Teagan, Thank you so much for taking the time to send this sweet message. I hate that we share this grief but am so humbled that you have found comfort in my words. Prayers and blessings to you and your sweet baby. I will be thinking of you during this extremely joyful time, knowing that you’ll be missing such an important person! Hopefully you will keep coming back to find something that reaches your heart. xox, Chels

  18. Felice Fernandez says:

    Reading this was a nice awakening for me. My mom has been gone since Nov. 2017, and my life has been without meaning since. Your writing has awakened me somewhat. Thank you so much.

  19. Kelly says:

    Thank you for writing this! I lost my mother two months ago. My friend sent me this article as I have been struggling to put into words all that I have been feeling. New waves of anxiety that weren’t there before. The thing is, my mother and I had a challenging relationship. I was so much closer to my father who died seven years ago yesterday. So since my mother passed it has been so heartbreaking. I think I honestly believed that having lived through it once before, with a parents I was closer to, that I would have this under control. I don’t :). I am now an “adult orphan”. And thankfully my mother and I had the best conversation we had ever had when she told me everything I wished I had heard her say throughout my 40 years. I realized way too late how many great qualities I got from my mother and ironically the ones I found the most frustrating about her. I am strong, independent and can handle my business. This comes from her. And she pushed me always. Hard. To make sure I was better than her. She told me I was the mother she always dreamed of being. I feel so cheated because of what relationship we could have had. I am sad and anxious and overwhelmed all things I am regularly not. I know in time things will get better and I have such great friends and a wonderful husband and the most amazing little girls. Parenting children who are grieving is also a very difficult thing. My mother may have had challenges being a mom but she was the most amazing Nonna to her Grands, as she called them. I sent my husband this article because it was everything I have been feeling yet didn’t have the words for. He always tells me I am the strongest person he has ever met. But having to watch my mother die for a week and a half and watch her from sitting up and talking to me to comatose and unresponsive was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I sat by her bedside in hospice for hours sometimes twice a day. She had cancer but it was a kind that when diagnosed she was never supposed to die from, she was supposed to die with. Then it all happened so quickly. A stupid mutation and it was all over in three weeks. Anyway, My husband said it helped a lot to help him understand what I have been trying to tell him and didn’t have the words for. So for this I thank you.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Kelly, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Unfortunately, we share this heartbreak. We even share the swift death of our mothers, as mine was a week of torture and unexpected loss from cancer as well. She was supposed to have years left and it took months, and then eventually a week that we never expected. You sound like a strong and exceptional woman and I am so honored that you read and appreciated my work. Thank you for that. I hope you keep coming back and reading. I tend to write about my grief a lot. There are several other pieces on my page you might find helpful. In the meantime, I will be lifting you up in positive energy and prayer. Thank you again for writing such a kind and insightful comment! xox, Chels

  20. Chelsea–
    You took the words right out of my heart. Every bit of emotion you show here is exactly what I’ve been feeling for 9 years now.

    I would like to use your words in a YouTube video. If that’s ok, please let me know. charredfibers(at)gmail(dot)com

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Janie, Thank you so much for your sweet comment and thanks for reading my work! Email me with your ideas for using my words and I will look it over! Thanks so much! xox, Chels (

  21. Heather says:

    Lost my dad is 2017 and my mom in 2018. This is spot on × 2 in my life. Sending big hugs and so much love, this journey is a tough one.

  22. Morgan says:

    As the anniversary of my mother’s unexpected passing approaches, I struggle. Your words have been able to express every emotion that I’ve felt without being able to tell anyone “what’s wrong”. My therapist suggested I write a letter to my mom. She wants me to tell her everything I would have said, if I had been given the chance to say goodbye. I can’t bring myself to write this letter. Even after 3 years, I’m still not ready to tell her goodbye.
    Thank you for your words and your heart.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment. I hate we share this heartbreak, as it is never-ending. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way as you head into the anniversary of your mother’s passing. I know how difficult that anniversary is.
      I’m so honored that my words resonated with you. It means more to me than I can explain! I hope you’ll keep coming back and reading more. xox, Chels

  23. Alexandra says:

    Your words ring so true. I lost my mother suddenly three years ago. I would give anything to have one more day with her, though an eternity of “one more day” would not be enough. I have spent a lot of time thinking about days spent away, times I should have been more patient. But I also have some wonderful memories. My husband and I took her to a concert and she jumped up into the aisle during the finale to dance. Just a week later, the night before she had a sudden cardiac arrest, my daughter (who had just arrived home from college) and I made a last minute decision to go to a wine and design paint class. Mom joined us for a spontaneous evening together. I’m so grateful we had such a great time the last few months of her life.

  24. Donna Casasanta says:

    My best friend lost her mother 5 months ago and posted The Day She Dies. At the time my mother was still with me then she recently passed 7 weeks ago. Reading your story before I lost her moved me. Reading it after, well I can’t put into words the poignancy of it but I know you will understand what it meant to me. This morning after having my first dream of her which felt like a gift from her, I felt this need to write your story down word for word, taking in all that it is. I will treasure it always. I so look forward to reading more of your posts. Your new friend I hope, and fan…Donna.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Donna, This message brought me to tears for so many reasons. First, thank you for reading my work and for taking the time to comment such a beautiful message. Knowing my writing can resonate with others and be appreciated for the heart and soul that I pour into it is such a true blessing. Getting messages like this is the exact reason I write. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being here and supporting my writing adventure. It is appreciated more than you know. Thinking of you as you enter your grief journey, a never-ending adventure that will teach you so much about the love that you were blessed with. xox, Chels

  25. Chrissy says:

    I lost my mom June 6, 2019. I found her hardly breathing on the 4th, the day after my birthday. Words can’t even express how much it hurts to breathe but I have some comfort in knowing that I am not the only that feels this deep pain! Your story was moving and I loved every word, you have written the reality of this long hard journey we are all on. Thank you for sharing!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and for taking the time to send such a kind message! I hope you’ll keep coming back. xox, Chels

  26. Derrick r kearney says:

    I have felt every bit of this. Mom passed April of 2016. You could say the world officially ended at that moment because nothing has been the same since. Hug to you and thank you for this beautiful writing. 💜🔥

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! It means a lot, as my writing comes from the heart! I hope you’ll keep coming back! <3, Chels

  27. Rachel Pipe says:

    Thank you so much for writing this beautiful piece. My Mum passed away last Saturday and I haven’t been able to put into words how unimaginable the pain is, this has given me alot of comfort. She most definitely is my beautiful angel.
    Rachel x

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for writing such a kind message. I’m so glad you were able to resonate with the words that pour from my heart. I hate that we share this heartbreak and I will be thinking of you! I hope you’ll keep coming back! <3, Chels

  28. Jennie says:

    I lost my mom, my lifelong best friend, on May 2, 2019, when I was 62 and she was 84. I cannot tell you the number of times I have picked up my phone to call or text her…and then it hits me like a ton of bricks that I can never do that again. I read this post on a very blue day…and sobbed through the entire thing, totally identifying with every word. Thank you for reminding me about my “beautiful angel” and for knowing every single emotion that I have felt since she took her last breath here on earth and her first one in Heaven.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading the work that pours from my heart. It means so much! You taking the time to write such a heartfelt comment truly is the reason why I write. I take my story and my heartbreak and I share it with the world in case others can relate and need words for the emotions locked inside their heart. Thank you for being here and reading my work! <3, Chels

  29. Sue says:

    I have struggled with the death of my sweet Mom since January 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM. She was my best girlfriend. I never thought I could grieve so hard or miss anyone so much. “The Day She Dies” says it all perfectly – and, it gives me comfort. I’m so sorry you lost your sweet Mom, too.


    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Sue, thank you for being here and reading the words that pour from my heart. I appreciate it more than you know. I hope you’ll keep coming back and finding comfort in my words. Sending you thoughts as you continue to walk your journey with grief. <3, Chels

  30. Nancy says:

    As I wipe away my tears, I want to thank you for verbalizing exactly all the mixed emotions I have felt in the past 18 months since my beloved mom passed away. She was taken from us only 3 months after being diagnosed with cancer. There are no words to console a daughter who loses her mom, especially one who was too young. No one can truly understand unless they’ve experienced the same loss of a parent they were super close with. Mine was the kindest person I ever met and the best role model I could have had. I know I was blessed to have her as a mom, but I just wish I had for a while longer. Miss you & love you always, Mom.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Yes! I feel the exact same way. <3 Thank you so much for being here and reading my heartfelt work. I appreciate it more than you know. <3, Chels

  31. Loretta Tweed says:

    It was twenty-nine years ago on Boxing Day that I lost my Beloved Mom…Fourth Christmas without my Beautiful Daughter Brittany.
    I love your writing. It's from the heart.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and for taking the time to write such a sweet comment. I hope you keep coming back! Have a blessed day. <3, Chels

  32. Terri says:

    Hi Chelsea. I stumbled upon you when my friend shared a FB post, which was the day after I learned my mom has a brain tumor, metastasized from lung cancer & her fight has been complicated by heart issues. Your words have been both inspirational & comforting. It’s as if you’re inside my head, knowing all my feelings & emotions. Thank you for being brave enough to put your thoughts on paper, giving me so much to think about as I help my mom battle on.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Terri, I’m so glad you found my page. My heart physically aches to hear of the health issues your mother is facing. In these moments, and hardships, be patient with yourself. Your heart and soul are aching in new ways. Ways you’ve never experienced before. It’s ok to feel it all. It’s ok to NOT be ok. Take pictures, soak up as much that remains, even in the hardest of days and times. You won’t regret it. And if you ever need someone, I’m here. I know the unique heartbreak of losing a mother, and also the heartbreak of watching a mother get sick with disease. You are being prayed for fiercely and I’m sending you comforting thoughts. I hope you’ll keep coming back to my page when you need comfort and guidance. xox, Chels

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Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller

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.

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