Hiding Grief & Holding Love

October 2, 2020

I’m locked inside the small downstairs closet crying. I don’t always hide my emotions and grief. Sometimes I do, in hopes that it stays far from the hearts and minds of my children. I miss my mother. They know it. They don’t need to see it as often as it comes, so sometimes I hide. I lock myself away in a closet, bathroom, or noisy laundry room. Strategically placing myself somewhere that will block the noise and the ache of my invisible longing. 

This week has been emotional and challenging. It’s during this kind of time that my grief appears viciously, reminding me that my greatest comforter is gone. It’s the kind of time that makes her absence more noticeable than a typical day, and even on those days it’s mighty. It’s the kind of week that reminds you you’re never too old to need your mother. Even when she’s not here, you search for her. You ache for her. You long for her comfort and guidance and knowledge. 

The relationship between a mother and daughter is unique and crafted with powerful love and inspiration. It’s the kind of relationship that can not be replicated by any other. It cannot be cloned, for it’s delicate and precious formation and purpose are distinctive to the women that created it, mother and child. Specifically, mother and daughter. Quite possibly the world’s best team and partnership. At least one of them. 

Consequently, I miss her. I cry in desperation. I ache in anguish. I lock myself in isolated places, allowing my grief space to be free and untamed. I sit here, unleashed and raw. I cry, and occasionally, even speak to her, as if she can hear me. I tell her I miss her. I tell her I love her. I get angry and tell her it’s unfair, that I don’t understand, and that she didn’t deserve to die so early, so young. I let it all out. The sadness, the fear, the disbelief, the frustration, the painful reality of life without my mother. 

I’ll sit here a little longer, honoring the grief that has flooded my heart today. Eventually I’ll catch my breath and wipe my eyes. I’ll stand up and walk out of this room carrying grief and a heavy heart, but also carrying hope and the immense love that my mother left me with. 

Love, it’s the blessing of the brokenhearted. It’s the gift that remains when the person you love has disappeared into eternity. I know my heart will never be the same and neither will my life. While I’ll still be surrounded with joy and happiness and an abundance of blessings, I’ll always miss her and wish she was here. Which means, I’ll probably always need moments to slip away into isolation and let my grief run wild and unmanaged. 

And I’m ok with that, because if I’m still grieving it must mean I’m still loving. If I will always feel grief, it means it’s because I’ll always remember the love too. I’ll keep the grief, and the hidden moments of grief’s storm if it means I always get to keep the love too. 

xox, Chels

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2 responses to “Hiding Grief & Holding Love”

  1. Nancy N. says:

    Thank you, Chelsea. Every time I read one of your articles, it comforts me to know someone else knows EXACTLY how I feel. The devastation a daughter feels after losing their mother to cancer, too young and so unexpectedly. So much sorrow, heartache and bitterness over losing my mom. Forever longing for another hug or conversation that can never happen again. As you said, there are other blessings in our lives, but nothing will ever heal the hole in our hearts. “When a mother dies, a daughter’s mourning never completely ends.”

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for writing a sweet comment. I appreciate it more than you know. I hate that we share the heartbreak of losing someone so unique and special, but also feel so proud that my words resonate with you and that they help comfort, even in the tiniest bit. I pray you continue to find encouragement and inspiration in my page. 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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