Don’t Be Afraid to Say Her Name

November 4, 2021

As the holidays approach and you find yourself staring at me with compassion and love, knowing for me the celebration is sprinkled with pain and grief since losing my mother, please don’t be afraid to say her name. 

Don’t be afraid to mention her. Don’t be afraid that your words will cause added pain, they won’t. They’ll keep her memory alive and they’ll give me the opportunity to share her greatness. 

Mention her, always. Tell me stories I haven’t heard. Tell me what you remember most about her. Remind me of the old times, the good times, the times when she was here.

Her love and magic don’t have to diminish and fade if we keep reigniting the flame of her legacy. 

Her memory can only remain if we acknowledge it. Her name can only be remembered if we say it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her or wish she was here. Nothing you say or do can lessen or worsen that reality, so please, mention her and tell her stories. Recite her sayings and recreate her recipes. When something reminds you of her, voice it. 

Her story stopped being written when she died but it should never cease being shared. Her legacy can only be extended through us, her favorite things, her family. 

She is gone, her influence is not. She is gone, her love is not. She is gone, but her story remains written in permanent marker on our hearts. Remember that when you want to shy away from mentioning her or the times where she walked among us. 

I’m not afraid to talk about her. I’m not afraid to say her name, even through tears. I’m most afraid that there will come a day when you no longer ask about her or acknowledge her existence. The best gift you can give me this holiday season is the reassurance that that could never happen, that she truly is and will forever be unforgettable. 

Her memory can only remain if we acknowledge it. Her name can only be remembered if we say it. Her love and magic don’t have to diminish and fade if we keep reigniting the flame of her legacy. 

All you have to do is say her name.

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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