Unexpectedly

January 15, 2020

There they were, the words that slip out of my mouth every time someone mentions or asks about my mother. 

“My mother passed away unexpectedly a few years ago.” 

Unexpectedly. I say it every time.

Truth is, to a medical professional, it probably wasn’t unexpected. She had cancer. The cancer spread. Treatments were no longer helping and eventually they were stopped altogether. Those things combined surely acknowledge an impending death. But I never saw it that way. Not even in the moments before she passed. 

I say unexpectedly because it was unexpected, to me. 

I never expected my mother to die, even as I watched her take her last breaths. 

She was my mother. The strongest person I know. Surely things would change and we’d get more time with her. Surely this scene wouldn’t lead to a reality where she no longer lived, breathed and walked among us. 

“Unexpectedly”. It’s not a lie. It tells the truth that no matter her diagnosis, or the harsh reality that laid in front of us, it was still a total shock when she slipped into death. 

Her death was unexpected, because up until that point, she always survived. She always made it through. She always beat the odds.

Until the moment she didn’t. 

And because of that I will find myself forever saying, “My mother passed away unexpectedly.”

xox, Chels

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7 comments so far.

7 responses to “Unexpectedly”

  1. Penny Ford says:

    Your post are so Awesome! I lost My Mom aka Magoo, 3 years ago. I missed saying goodbye by 4 minutes. I drove from Fishers to Crawfordsville. So, your words, I can totally understand.
    I met your Mom once, and I could tell she had a beautiful soul.
    Have a Blessed Day!!

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Penny, Thank you so much for your kind comments. I appreciate them more than you know. I am so sorry we share this heartbreak but I am so honored that you are here, reading my heart’s work. xox, Chels

  2. Alicia Higuera says:

    I miss my Mom so much, her name is Alice. She was ill and passed away in her sleep on June 18, 2018……my world has been shaken to the depths of my soul…….

  3. Amy says:

    I lost my mother two weeks ago. I had 10 minutes to say goodbye…I had no idea she was dying until that moment. The true meaning of unexpected. I lost my father two months ago almost exactly to the day. I was just asked by a coworker if I was considered an orphan now. Wow. The grief is imaginable. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am still in the what just happened and was it real stage.

    • chelseaohlemiller says:

      Amy, I cannot imagine the pain of two significant deaths so close together. Please know that I will be lifting you up in thoughts of love, comfort and hope. I hate we share the heartbreak of grief and losing a parent(s). Please know I’m walking this road with you and I pray my page and words will help you on your journey. xox, Chels

  4. Emmy Auma says:

    Your posts are beautifully written, I always look forward to reading them,have done so since March 2019. Even though I have my mum, i relate to your writings in so many ways. I lost my younger sister on March 10th 2019, it was so sudden, on the awful Ethiopian Airlines crash. I miss her so much, she was a new mother, her daughter barely 2 years old. My sister was the closest person to me, she was not just my sister, she was my friend and confidant, and an awesome 2nd mother to my two children. Some how the things you write speak to me and today I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your thoughts, your heartbreak, your hopes and encouragement.

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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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