Hitchhiking through Grief

February 10, 2021

The moment my mother died it was as if my life had been hijacked. 

Like I was suddenly placed in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the highway. Thumb out with someone else in charge of where I was going and where I’d end up. 

Like hitchhiking. 

Begging for someone, anyone, to pick me up and take me somewhere, far from the pain and experience that surrounded me. Desperate to be taken from the heartbreak and far away from this unknown place I’d found myself in. 

Hitchhiking towards a different life. 

A different middle. 

A different ending. 

A different journey. 

The kind of journey that had the possibility to time travel, back to the good, the normal, the great. The time and place where my mother was still here and I wasn’t stuck in this unknown space, surrounded by fear and the unknown of how to continue life without her. 

She died and I found myself hitchhiking through grief and this “new normal”, which was really not normal at all. There would be no “new normal”, instead there would only be a life without my mother, though no one would say or admit that truth. 

My future no longer held my mother just as if I was thumb-out on a highway at some stranger’s authority and guidance. 

Out of control. 

Out of options. 

Out of hope for a destination that included her, my mother. 

Hitchhiking through grief. 

It was easier to ride along with someone else who was making the decisions and turns and directions. It was easier to sit silent in the passenger seat with life zipping by then to actively step forward into the journey without her. It was easier to ride along than to plan the next drive, one that would lead to destinations that no longer included her. One that led to a completely different life, the motherless kind. 

Hitchhiking through grief. 

Avoiding the drive into the unknown. Thumb out, willing to hop into any vehicle that wouldn’t make me push the gas, if it meant driving further into a destination without her. 

Hitchhiking through grief, in hopes that, if I’m lucky, I will find her again. Somewhere, somehow.

Hitchhiking through grief, in efforts to travel far away from the harsh realities of her forever absence. 

Hitchhiking through grief to hitchhike away from grief and away from it all. 

xox, Chels

2 comments so far.

2 responses to “Hitchhiking through Grief”

  1. Jessica says:

    This is beautiful and the first words to come close to describing this heart breaking journey. Thank you.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Good morning, Jessica! Thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind words. xox, Chels

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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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