January 15, 2020

There they were, the words that slip out of my mouth every time someone mentions or asks about my mother. 

“My mother passed away unexpectedly a few years ago.” 

Unexpectedly. I say it every time.

Truth is, to a medical professional, it probably wasn’t unexpected. She had cancer. The cancer spread. Treatments were no longer helping and eventually they were stopped altogether. Those things combined surely acknowledge an impending death. But I never saw it that way. Not even in the moments before she passed. 

I say unexpectedly because it was unexpected, to me. 

I never expected my mother to die, even as I watched her take her last breaths. 

She was my mother. The strongest person I know. Surely things would change and we’d get more time with her. Surely this scene wouldn’t lead to a reality where she no longer lived, breathed and walked among us. 

“Unexpectedly”. It’s not a lie. It tells the truth that no matter her diagnosis, or the harsh reality that laid in front of us, it was still a total shock when she slipped into death. 

Her death was unexpected, because up until that point, she always survived. She always made it through. She always beat the odds.

Until the moment she didn’t. 

And because of that I will find myself forever saying, “My mother passed away unexpectedly.”

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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