It Was Her Goodbye Too

October 23, 2020

It was time for the final goodbye. I wrapped my arms around her as her breathing slowed. I repeated “I love you” over and over until the words became a jumbled mess, slurred together through tears and devastation. A shared space of grief and letting go, we were losing her. 

A shared space of goodbyes. 

A shared space of heartbreak. 

A shared space of new and raw harsh realities. 

There were multiple goodbyes that day. 

Daughters saying goodbye to their mother, but also a mother saying goodbye to her daughters. Grandchildren saying goodbye to their grandmother, but also a grandmother saying goodbye to her grandchildren. The goodbye wasn’t ours alone. It was hers too. 

Multiple goodbyes, multiple losses. 

I’ve always looked at that moment as a daughter losing her mother, but it was also the day my mother let go and ventured to her eternity, losing us too. We stayed, she had to go. 

It was her goodbye too. 

I cried and wept and refused to let go. 

Never realizing, it was her goodbye too.

I begged for a miracle and clung to hope like my next breath depended on it.

Never realizing, it was her goodbye too. 

I told her I loved her and vowed to make her proud.

Never realizing, it was her goodbye too.  

I stayed until she slipped into her forever with silent goodbye wishes and love left to give. Never realizing it was her goodbye too. 

She couldn’t stay no matter how much our hearts demanded it. Goodbye wasn’t ours to choose, it was simply the next step placed in front of us. We would have delayed the finality of it all if we could, but we don’t hold that power. 

The goodbye wasn’t ours alone, it was hers too. 

Multiple goodbyes. Multiple losses. 

She said goodbye too. 

To life, to love, to a future, and to us. 

It was her goodbye too. 

In saying my final goodbye, I never realized it was her goodbye too. 

xox, Chels

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2 responses to “It Was Her Goodbye Too”

  1. Shirley Bass says:

    I appreciate your writing. I lost my Mom, from lung cancer, back in 93, when I was only 24. I was the only one in the room when she took her last breath. Devastating, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I asked God to be with her when He called her home. He answered my prayer. I wasn’t supposed to be there that night. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Shirley, thank you for taking the time to read my work and share a piece of your story. I pray you continue to find support and encouragement on 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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