Grief’s Jealousy

May 12, 2020

I see you with your mother. I’m jealous. 

I don’t want to be, but I am. 

Pieces of my heart are so incredibly happy for you, but other pieces ache with jealousy. 

My mother is gone. She’s dead. Buried at a cemetery, and gone forever from my future. Sounds harsh because it is. 

I see you making memories, taking pictures, and enjoying life together. I’m not proud to admit, but I’m jealous. I’m envious of your ability to make new memories with your mother. I wish I could do the same. 

I see you appreciating the help, advice, and expertise of your mother. I have admiration for you and the fact that you have that opportunity. I have jealousy that I no longer do. 

Grief is loss and pain.

Grief is love.

Grief is also jealousy. 

It’s an ache for the mother I lost, and the moments stolen from me. It’s jealousy in all the motherly moments around me. The ones I used to have. The ones I used to be blessed with too. It’s being filled with both joy and jealousy watching you with your mother, happy and loved. 

I miss that relationship.

I miss that care. 

I miss that love and influence.

I miss my mother, which is why I find myself jealous of yours and the adventures you still share. 

I’m not proud to have a heart that includes jealousy, but I do. 

I don’t want to steal your sunshine or rob you of your blessings. I simply want them too.

Grief’s jealousy is noticing mothers everywhere I go. It’s noticing the absence and emptiness that I hold in my heart and mind. This kind of jealousy is really just missing what I once had, and desperately wanting it back. 

Grief’s jealousy is found in the moments that bring me to my knees, crying, and wishing I resembled you. The you that has a mother. 

I’m ashamed to house jealousy. But I do. 

I acknowledge it, even though it’s humiliating and embarrassing, because this type of jealousy is unique. It’s built on love and created by counting blessings. One you still have that I lost years ago.

Grief is loss, and pain, and emptiness, and sometimes, jealousy.

I see you with your mother. I watch with tears. 

You are blessed, friend. You have your mother.

I wish I had my mother too.

xox, Chels

21 comments so far.

21 responses to “Grief’s Jealousy”

  1. Kristi Arcq says:

    So very true! I lost my mom December 16, 2017. 😔

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      I lost my mother July 2017. 2017 was a year that changed me. Thanks for reading my work! I appreciate you being here. <3, Chels

  2. Kim says:

    I lost my mom August 17,2019. I called her everyday, I could bitch about whatever and she calmed me. Yes I am jealous of those who still get to celebrate and take pictures with their mothers.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Kim, I understand. I wrote this piece because of the jealousy I’ve felt that no one ever talks about. They never talk about grief’s jealousy…and it’s real, and it hurts. Thanks for reading my work!!! I appreciate you. <3, Chels

  3. Yashika says:

    Thankyou for writing this. I felt abnormal and wicked to feel that way. But now i know its part of grief i m going through. I just desperately want my mom back. I know its not possible, but the heart doesnt stop longing. It keeps aching. Thankyou for this.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you for reading my work and taking the time to comment! Not all emotions and consequences of grief are one’s I’m proud of, but I share them all so others can feel less alone and know every part of grief is normal and felt by someone else too. <3, Chels

  4. Laurel says:

    You are not alone Chels. Your mom has got to be so proud of you somewhere out there. Beautifully written expression and hits close to home. My mother was unexpectedly taken from me Oct 26, 2017.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Laurel, I woke up this morning to this beautiful comment and it made me smile. Thank you so much for taking time to read my work and for taking the time to write such a kind and compassionate compliment. It means more to me than you know. My mother passed in 2017 as well, a year I’ll never forget. Praying you have a blessed day and that your grief journey continues to be paved with peace, comfort and healing. <3, Chels

  5. victoria says:

    this …. i have felt every word ….. but in a sad type of jealousy and ache. Lost my mom who i was extremely close to this november 2020.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Victoria, I am so sorry we share this heartbreak. You are not alone in your feelings. xox, Chels

  6. Sidran Moon says:

    Thank you, for writing this, Chelsea. As one of my dear friends would say, “Shut up! I’M not crying. YOU”RE crying!” This really hurt to read. Not just to feel your pain but to feel my own pain threaten to swallow me up. You inspired me to write a real response…
    My heart carries jealousy, too. Not that of someone mourning the loss of her mother but that of mourning the kind of mother I needed but didn’t have. Mine is a jealous grief that I carried for many, many years, before my mother died. I felt the shame of having jealousy in my heart, for those with mothers, even while my own mother (barely) lived and (barely) breathed. Even now, that grief becomes raw again, bleeds again, with every kind word I hear a mother utter to a child, even if it’s not to her own child. And sometimes, it happens, when seeing the simple gesture of a mother smiling, while tucking away her child’s stray hair, in loving exasperation, because that hair just won’t stay put. Mine is a jealous grief that ebbs, even slumbers, only to be startled awake by tears I didn’t know were escaping, as I overhear a mother tell a stranger, how proud she is of her child. Grief is not always for what we have lost. Sometimes, that emptiness, that pain, that jealous grief, is for what we have never had.

  7. Amy Logan says:

    I feel this exact same way except it was my husband that I lost. Thanks for putting into words what I couldn’t.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Amy, thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment. Lifting you in love and comfort on your grief journey. xox, Chels

  8. Ashtin A says:

    You are not alone. I’m 29 and I have lost both my mom and dad. My mom passed after a horrible 9 year battle of a disease when I was 22 and my dad died in May! Thank you for the words. I feel them but cannot always express them on paper!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to write a nice message. I’m lifting you in so much comfort and hope from afar, Ashtin. xox, Chels

  9. Dawn says:

    I can relate to every single word you wrote, Chelsea. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer nearly six years ago, and sometimes the recognition of what losing her took from me is still startling. I became a total stranger to myself. At this point in time I have picked up some of the shattered pieces, but they’ll never fit together the way they once did. People always say things like, “She’ll always be with you” or “Just talk to her, she’s there” – uummm, no, she isn’t, but I smile and thank them because I know they mean well. But that cardinal in my tree is just a red bird living it’s regular life in my yard – it’s not a visit from my mother. Those types of things are not a comfort to me at all. They just seem to amplify the shape of desperate longings unmet. I don’t begrudge anyone else that bit of joy, but I can’t relate.

    Anyway, I’m sorry that you also know this kind of loss, but it was nice to hear someone I could actually relate to. Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. ingenious says:

    Wһen I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” cһeckbox and now each time a
    comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any wɑy you can remove people from that service?

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      I’m looking into this. I apologize for this inconvenience and annoyance. xox, Chels

  11. nicole billmeier says:

    im bawling reading this. so true!

  12. Jeanette Allen says:

    Driving to Illinois right now from Colorado to do a celebration of life for my dad and my mom. Lost Dad March 2020, and mom Dec 2021:(. I feel bereft, your words are beautiful. I’m not feeling this grief jealousy yet, I’m so sad and internally focused. I have a husband and kids that are not compassionate about my grief journey. Just bought Megan Devines book on grief.

  13. Shenise K. says:

    So true. I feel exceptionally angry at those who mistreat their moms who are still here.



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.

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