Dinner Drop-off & Grief

November 10, 2021

She posts a cute picture of a dinner that her parents have dropped off on her porch. It’s such a beautiful act of love. I find myself so desperately wishing I still had those moments with my mother. The times where she still made me feel like a kid and so well taken care of. The times where she loved me beautifully. 

I miss my mother always, but even more so when I watch my friends in new moments with theirs. It creates a loneliness that isn’t easy to describe.

Grief has you clinging so tightly to all the memories that remain in the midst of a significant absence. Grief has you yearning for the things that others still get to enjoy and experience. Grief causes jealousy and envy, not because you wish to erase the things that your friends still get to enjoy, but because you wish you could enjoy those moments too. You wish you still had what they had. You wished everyone in the world still had what they had and that no one knew loss. 

You ache for these moments so desperately that you find yourself walking to the front door just to make sure there isn’t a dinner left there for you. You know this is an impossible wish, but you check anyway. You look out the door at an empty porch. It reminds you of the emptiness you’ve carried every day since losing her, your mother. 

You want to message your friend and ask her if she’s appreciative and grateful for the small act of kindness and love you’ve just witnessed on social media. You know she is both of those things, for she is a gracious soul, but the part of you that aches with an unimaginable grief begs for reassurance. Grief can be a powerful manipulator of our thoughts and emotions. This moment is proof of that.

You stare at this picture of a carefully packaged dinner and are full of tears and sorrow and reminiscence. Funny how grief can turn you into a pile of mush from the quick glance of a picture or the most basic social media post. Grief is messy and your heart is even messier now that you hold an empty space.

The overall truth of this matter is that I’m so glad to see my friends are loved as beautifully by their mothers as I was loved by mine. I’m so full of joy knowing that their moms are as big of a blessing in their lives as my mother was in mine. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of love, the kind of love only a mother can provide. 

For now I’ll honor this emotion and this ache. I’ll acknowledge it because I’ve learned that grief demands to be acknowledged. I’ll sit here with a face full of complicated tears from the sight of a dinner drop-off and I’ll reflect on the one-of-a-kind love that left it there. A love that I ache for daily but one I’m so incredibly appreciative that my friend still gets to experience. 

When I’m ready, I’ll stand up and I’ll be encouraged to love my people intentionally, because while my mother isn’t here to do that for me anymore, I can do it for others. 

If you need me, I’ll be loving others with bold purpose today, just as my mom loved me…and all because of the sight of an Instagram dinner drop-off. 

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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