He held his drink and smiled as he said, “Her mom is the nicest.” Like a punch to the face, his words stung. They shouldn’t have because she is nice. She’s beautiful and she’s great. She’s like my mother. But that’s the problem, since losing my mother, it’s hard to hear statements like this.
Not only because they’re laced with “is” instead of “was”, like the mentionings of my mother but also because it’s hard to watch mothers experiencing things my mother should also be experiencing. Except she can’t because she’s buried beneath the earth with a stone that holds her place.
It’s hard to be a woman who carries grief around like a handbag. It’s hard to be a woman who wears grief as easily as my friends wear their little black dresses. It’s hard to be a woman that is consistently wounded by simple words meant to do no harm. It’s hard to be a woman with a mother in heaven.
I don’t want to be fragile or overly-sensitive but the reality is that I am. Grief has made me this way. I hope I won’t always feel the sting of a word as harshly as I do now. I hope I won’t always be sensitive to the mothers and daughters that surround me in a crowd. I hope I won’t always feel the raw pieces of my loss. But for now I do.
Mothers are such beautiful and priceless beings. I wish each one of them could live a full and long and healthy life. The reality is that a lot of the good ones are taken far too soon. Some never get to experience the transformations of their children the way other mothers do. They don’t get to watch the becomings and the new titles earned, or even the additional successes and failures of their children.
And because of those truths their children walk around with a permanent hole and a constant space of sorrow and longing. Their children walk around fragile and sensitive because they’ve lost the very person that created them. I am one of those children. A child in an adult body, but one that fiercely misses her mother.
I think back to the simple words that started my heart’s ache, “Her mom is the nicest.” …and she is. Most mothers are.
The most loving and the most supportive.
Most mothers are truly the best gift the world offers. So, I smile and celebrate her. With a tear, I say, “She is! She absolutely is. She is so beautiful and kind. She’s just like my mom!”
And I realize how lucky we both are. We both have the gift of a kind and radiant mother. Hers still here, mine in heaven.
And so I sat there, with tears in my eyes silently appreciating and celebrating the beauty of a mother, hers. And I smiled because I only noticed the perfection of her mom because of the perfection of mine. Mine lived and loved with such beauty that it’s so easy to notice it in others.
And she really is the nicest.
And she really is great.
And I’m so happy my friend has a mother like mine.
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.