The Day I Became an Adult

February 18, 2020

It wasn’t the day I got my driver’s license. It wasn’t the day I got married or had children. None of those things made me feel like an adult. Truth is, I did a lot of adulting before I ever actually felt like one. That all changed the day my mother died. That day I became an adult. The kind of adult that doesn’t have a mother. 

That kind of adulthood can’t be ignored. It’s the kind of adult that suddenly gains immense responsibility. Instantly you have a new authority, one in which you never wanted. Losing a parent changes you. You feel like an orphan. The very person and soul that created you is gone, which means that portion of your being is gone too. 

You are different, and you will remain different. It’s impossible to be the same person you were when your parent was alive, walking around this world with you. The world is now empty of one of the most important people in your life. The world is now empty of all that they were and all that they gave. Because of that, the world now feels empty, even if it’s still full of others you love and adore. 

I became an adult the day my mother died. I gained responsibility and lost a piece of my soul, all in the same second. Maturity found me, as did heartbreak. 

The day your parent dies, your future looks different. Pieces of it are stolen from you. Moments gone. New memories no longer allowed. It’s as if all of their love, wisdom and guidance drift into your existence, the second they lose theirs. 

You’re forever changed. 

If you want to feel like an adult, wait until the moment you lose a parent. Adulthood finds you immediately, and you are never the same. 

xox, Chels

47 comments so far.

47 responses to “The Day I Became an Adult”

  1. Leslie Barnett says:

    How true. You nailed it. I wish I didn’t know but that’s exactly how I feel now that I lost my mom to covid.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Leslie, I am so sad to know we share this same heartbreak and loss. It is one that has forever changed me. I hope you find comfort and community on my page and please know I’m always here to listen or help in any way on your grief journey. <3, Chels

  2. Jean says:

    Wow you took the words out of my mouth! I lost my one and only sister this past April due to Covid and my dad passed this past August. I totally feel lost and alone. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Adulting is not fun. Wish i could turn back time. God bless you and your family❤

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jean, thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment! I appreciate it more than you know. I can’t imagine your pain, and I am so sorry you’ve experienced such devastating losses so close to one another. I hope you continue to find comfort and community on my page! God bless! <3, Chels

  3. Mulo says:

    Hey Chelsea great read. I just lost my mom 3 days ago, and relate to it 1000%. I almost freaked out that I could come across something that literally talked about exactly how I was feeling. It’s hurting a lot, and it’s hard to ignore the new added pressure of carrying the legacy but I guess they’d want us to try figure it out. Sending love all the way from South Africa
    Keep writing you’re amazing ! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    You made me a fan, definitely reading your other stuff.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Oh my goodness. I am honored by your comment and words. Thank you so much. I hate that we share this heartbreak and will be lifting you with prayer and comforting wishes as you begin this painful journey. I hope you find my page on Facebook, as it is truly a place for community and healing. You are not alone! Thank you for reading my stories. They pour straight from my heart. <3, Chels

  4. Tiffany says:

    This is so true I feel it in my soul💔

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Good morning, Tiffany! Thank you so much for reading my work. This piece was filled with emotion when I wrote it and I’m always honored when it resonates with someone, though it’s bittersweet because it means they’ve also experienced loss. I hope my page brings you comfort, hope and inspiration for your grief journey. xox, Chels

  5. Sue Singh says:

    You definitely put into words exactly how I feel!!!! It’s like you took the words out of my mouth and summarized it very eloquently! Stay blessed

  6. Laura says:

    I think reading this was heaven sent tonight. Even though I am in my 50’s and lost my Mom in 2018 and my Dad in 2019, I thought I was an adult and knew what was what. The moment of Mom and Dad’s last breath was the defining moment like you said. I am expected to stay the same, but now I have to carry the weight of my parents legacy. I am honored to do it, but it is so hard when all I want is them.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I needed to hear this.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Laura, thank you so much for taking the time to comment! It means more than you know. I started this blog to get out the emotion that was tucked away in my heart and every time someone says they feel the same I’m so honored and appreciative that my words resonate. Though I hate that we share the same heartbreak! Thank you for being here. xox, Chels

  7. Sophie says:

    So so true. I’m truly lost without my mum. She died on Xmas Eve 2019. So it’s been a year. She was there morning noon and night and i miss her so much. I’m utterly broken but I had to step up and be mum grandma and dad overnight. I feel so alone. We were like partners in crime. A week before Xmas, she had a head attack. Very suddenly. She had a stent put in and stayed in hospital for 3 days. She was then allowed home. She stayed with me and my children. We had the weekend with her but then on the 23rd, I get a phone call from my daughter saying that grandma is on the kitchen floor. My daughter did cpr. She had fallen straight backwards and hit her head. The bleed to the brain was so severe, it was unsurvivable. I stayed with her all night while she was in a coma but Xmas Eve morning she passed. The trauma and shock is inexplicable. I took so many things for granted but the main one, was how much she did for us. She was my best friend and the bestest mum. X

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Sophie, I felt every word of this. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this piece of your story. You are not alone and I pray you continue to find comfort, hope and healing on my page. Lifting you in prayer today, friend. xox, Chels

  8. Kareolynn says:

    The day my last parent died I was about 5 years old and I just wanted to die and be with him in heaven My mother died when I was two and a half years old Never wanted to live since then

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I understand that debilitating pain. But friend, you have so much living left to do! I pray you find hope, comfort and community on my page. So many of us understand this heartbreak, though unique to each person, we share pieces of the same ache. xox, Chels

  9. Jen says:

    This is so true! And, the feeling never goes away. The emptiness and heartbreak never ends. 💔💔

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jen, you’re so right. Though I have found there becomes an abundance of hope and comfort that become sprinkled over the debilitating grief! I pray you find hope, inspiration, comfort and community on my page. You are not alone. xox, Chels

  10. Allison Roonwy says:

    So very true. I lost my momma to brain cancer (Glioblastoma- a word I never knew of 7 months ago). It took my momma in 5 months , 8 days. So very sad .

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Allison, I am so sorry. I know the pain of losing a great mother. It makes the loss that much more intense and debilitating. I’m so glad you found my page and hope you’ll continue to find comfort and encouragement here. xox, Chels

  11. Ruthann says:

    So true. I was just thinking this today, why am I still hurting. The answer came to me finally. I no longer had my safety net, I really am now all alone without my mom, a real adult. It’s scary and hard and like others have said doesn’t seem to go away.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Ruthann, I can feel every piece of this. We’ll hurt forever, just differently with each passing year. Thank you for reading my work and taking the time to comment with a piece of your journey. I hope you continue to find comfort and hope on my page. It’s the very reason I write. xox, Chels

  12. Gloria says:

    Dear Chelsea,
    I came across your writings on FB. They all strike me profoundly. This one especially. Today marks 48 years since my Mom died of Ovarian Ca. I was 13. There were 8 of us, I was the only girl. My youngest brother was 6. Keep writing….you’re remarkable! I thank you deeply.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Gloria, thank you so much for this beautiful message. I appreciate your support and encouragement more than you know. I hate we share the heartbreak of grief, but I’m so honored you are here. xox, Chels

  13. Terri Mrock says:

    This touched every inch of my soul and made me ugly cry for quite a long time. My mother died June 24th, 2020 after losing her battle with metastatic breast cancer. In November 2020, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The ONE person I need is gone. Thank you so much for posting.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Terri, I am so sorry we share this heartbreak and I will be praying for you fiercely. Thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment. I’m honored you’re here. xox, Chels

  14. Regenia says:

    The day I picked up her ashes. It hit me. I didn’t think was going to be that hard of a moment but when I walked out the door by myself, I realized she was really gone.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Lifting you in love, hope and comfort on your grief journey! I’m so glad you found my page and pray you continue to resonate and find encouragement in my words. xox, Chels

  15. Jim Martin says:

    Loved reading your thoughts…I lost my mother in December. I adored her, and feel as if she was taken from me far too early. A lot of your reflections resonate with me, as I do feel her with me now. I also know how much I have suffered too, as some of the spark in my heart is gone. As I forge on, I trust that she helps guide my way, as she did throughout her life

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jim, thank you so much for reading my work and taking the time to comment. Lifting you in hope and comfort as you grieve the loss of your precious mother. <3, Chels

  16. Courtney says:

    I lost my momma nearly 2 months ago, and I am so so heartbroken. She was my person — my best friend. I just long for her. Grief is an unexplainable awful thing. I hope I can function again someday, because I have 4 beautiful babies I need to live for.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Courtney, you’re absolutely right, grief is an awful thing. It impacts every single piece of our lives. Be patient with yourself. Your grief journey has just begun. I’m lifting you in comfort and hope today and praying that you continue to find encouragement on my page. xox, Chels

  17. Jill says:

    This is such a great piece of writing. I completely resonated with it. My Dad does of a sudden heart attack this summer – no warning signs, nothing. He was only 65. He was pretty much my best friend and now I am an “adult” trying to manage the grief of my mother and my kids along with my own.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Jill, I hate that you have to go through this heartbreak. I’m lifting you in so much comfort, love and hope from afar. You are not alone on this journey. We are all in this together. xox, Chels

  18. Somebody sent me this article I believe they sent it because I just lost my mother. Honestly speaking, I don’t know who sent this to me. When I read this it hit me hard, so I thank you for sharing your story because it’s my story and for that I am grateful….

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Dadra, I’m so glad you found my work. It all comes straight from my heart. Lifting you in fierce comfort, love and support as you journey through the grief of losing a mother. I pray you continue to find love, support and encouragement on my page. We’re all in this together. xox, Chels

  19. Marcy says:

    Yes. I lost my mom in August and when I talk to my husband this is what I’ve been explaining. You just put it into better words. Thanks for sharing this that I can see I’m not the only feeling this way! I miss her so much and am so lost.

  20. Jill says:

    This is SO true. It really hits home. NEVER did I think my Momma would be gone when I said goodbye January 2nd. Never did I think she was going to miss my sons graduation this year…my daughter getting her license… The last few years my Momma’s health was declining. My kids and I were at their house (about 2 hours away) every weekend. January 10th, 2022 she was admitted to the hospital with Covid. January 11th was a waiting game…Daddy couldn’t go see her because he was with her in the days before her diagnosis of Covid. January 12th, they put her on a vent. Her kidneys were failing, her congestive heart failure was worsening….I was 2 hours away…got off work and had my son and daughter in the car to go up to the hospital. The kids had to stay in the car while I went In and was with my Momma the last 2 hours of her life. She couldn’t talk to me, couldn’t say I love…all I could do was hold her hand and tell her it was ok to let go…my family was on zoom with us and her nurse was AMAZING and stayed with me the WHOLE time, hugging me, holding my hand, holding me when I broke down sobbing, comforting me as we ushered Momma to her Heavenly home. It’s only been 3 weeks but feels like forever 🙁

  21. Lynn says:

    Wow! So this is what’s wrong! I have lost my father my brother and just this year, my mom who lived with me more than 10 years. I’m blessed in so many ways but still feel lost. I’ve been praying to understand and be grateful and move on after years of being a caregiver. I have comfort that she is happy and safely in heaven. No more pain. No more worry. But wow – do I feel lost. Didn’t expect it and didn’t expect to not be able to get my arms around either . Your words are full of many truths. Thank you.

  22. leanne says:

    im so glad i came accross this page im 2 months in from losing my mum and realy dont know how i feel but reading ur story its exactly that its good to know ur not alone thank you xxx

  23. Christina says:

    This is so well written. I came across your writing from a post someone shared shared on FaceBook “When you love a Woman Who’s Lost a Mother” I read it and cried and cried. My mom died unexpectedly in September of 2018 and it has changed me and affected me in all the ways you have described in your writing. Thank you for sharing your pain with all of us. It helps to know we are not alone in this.

  24. Shenise K. says:

    YES!!!! This is 1000% true. I though I was a grown-up because of my age, I became an adult when she died. Because truthfully, Mom is the person you consult (even if you have a contentious relationship) and when she is gone and you have no one to consult, you really have to “adult”. This hit home in so many ways.

  25. Jeff says:

    My daughters were 13 and 15, this is so true. They have been saying this for awhile as well.

  26. Kamarie says:

    Your words are so beautifully said. I am so glad to be able to read what I wish I could put into words. My world shattered the day my mom passed, even though I have many others I love dearly. Life will never be the same.

  27. Leoni says:

    It is so true, you became a total diffrent person.
    Suddently you must find yourself a new home and go on with your life.
    You grow up overnight, everything change forever and you adult very quickly

  28. Amanda says:

    This brought tears to my eyes that won’t leave now. I miss my mom so much. I’m not sure how to feel about my birthday later this month without her. My heart hurts.

  29. Tiffany hamm says:

    I somehow found your post on Facebook and I’m so glad I did! You have described every feeling i and currently going through. I lost my mom a little over a month ago to lung cancer and it’s the most excruciating pain I’ve ever know. You are correct when you say it changes you. It changed me immediately and depending on the day, I feel like I am still changing. I long to hug her, hear her voice and hear advice. Thank you for your post!!

  30. Sandra Lehmon says:

    Chelsea, I understand wholeheartedly what you mean
    I will be 65 in April, Mama died Christmas day 2019. Her going to have them on Christmas day was perfect for her as my mother was a preachers kid. When we buried my dad back in 2013, I really felt like that was horrible. Then I lost my best friend in 2016 and that was nearly unbearable. But mama was a whole different story. Thank you so much for sharing your truth. Much love to you and thank you for sharing. Always, Sandy

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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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