While I stand here feeling a fraction of who I used to be, simply reduced to tiny particles of what I once was, I have yet to find a space large enough to hold the grief of losing my mother.
How odd is it that while in the same moment I’m feeling as if most of who I am has evaporated into the same air that holds my mother’s last breaths, I’m also feeling suffocated by the walls and people that surround me.
I wonder, is there a place large enough to hold the grief of losing a mother?
Is there a place large enough to hold both the’ never again’’s and the’ never will be’’s? Is there a space worthy enough of holding both the past memories and also the emptiness of the future?
Is there a place that can hold all that was and all that will never be, simultaneously? Is there a place that can hold both the legacy and the loss– a place somewhere besides the innermost pieces of my heart and my soul?
I thought maybe the cemetery would be this special and powerful space. It would seem that a place worthy enough to hold the bodies of those we love could also hold the grief and the pain of death, but it doesn’t, at least not in the way that I wish it would.
I thought maybe the cemetery would be a place that could hold and keep my grief for me, so that once I left I’d hold only the memories, love, and legacy of my mother. I’ve found it’s not that simple. I carry all of it, always.
There simply isn’t a place large enough to hold the grief of losing a mother. There isn’t a space that welcomes the love and the loss with the same intensity or recognition, besides right inside of me, besides right inside of all of us that know this harsh reality.
There simply isn’t a space large enough or delicate enough to hold the grief of losing a mother. So it’s held delicately inside the hearts and souls of the ones the world calls motherless. It’s held invisible and tucked away, as if to not make outsiders uncomfortable or uneasy.
There simply isn’t a place large enough to hold the grief of losing a mother, so we hold it independently inside of the very body she created, forever.
Because it turns out, the only space large enough to hold the grief of losing a mother, is right inside the very place she created, her daughter.
And it will stay that way forever.
A 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.