In the thick of my grief a friend courageously asks “What do you think your mom would want you to do?”
Sincerely, I reply, “I wish I knew,” while delicately hiding the pain that comes from speaking this truth.
My mother has been gone for years. I no longer get the opportunity to call and ask her advice or her opinion. Things are different when you have a mother in heaven, so incredibly different.
Once I get home and allow my raw emotion and vulnerability to escape, tears come and I cry.
I cry out in anger, in frustration, in despair. I cry out enraged by the grief that I carry and the unanswered questions I have been left with. I want to have an answer for her question. I want to know my mother’s wishes and hopes for what is left of me and my future. I want to know how she’d want me to heal and continue forward. I want her advice and more than anything her influence.
When the emotion is too powerful to mask, I seek solitude in my closet— a place that always contains my harshest grief attacks. I sit and I cry and I think. I think of my mother. I think of the way she taught me to live and the way she carried resilience and strength like it was as important as oxygen.
I think of the way she handled difficult times. I think of the way she handled her unavoidable fate. I think of the way she lived, each day of her life.
And suddenly, I know.
I know what she’d want.
She’d want me to begin again. She’d see that her death paused my life and she’d tell me to do whatever it takes to unpause things. She’d tell me to look for the beauty and the light that still surrounds me. She’d tell me to live and breathe and begin again. She’d tell me that it’s ok to miss her, as long as missing her doesn’t mean missing out on the life that’s still liveable.
I can almost hear her voice saying it.
“Begin again. Start living again. Embrace joy and happiness again. Count your blessings. Appreciate what remains. Do whatever you can to begin again!”
And I know I should.
And I know it’s what she wants.
And I will.
It might be slow. It might not be today. But I will begin again. I will start living again. I will ensure that her legacy is fulfilled through being the daughter and woman she raised me to be.
For her, I will.
I’ll begin again.
And so should you!
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.
Wow ! Every word of this feels like it was born right here in my heart… thank you for putting it on paper… I lost my mom almost two months ago. I was her caregiver for several years . I only have one regret. I didn’t hug her enough. I didn’t hold her hand enough. Is it ever enough ?