She’s silent and still. The only thing moving are the tears that have slowly begun to fall down her face. I sit next to her and place my hand on her knee, ready to say nothing but rather to sit with her in her silence and honor her emotions in this moment.
As she places her hand over mine, she says: “I’m afraid I’ll forget her. I’m afraid I’ll eventually forget the way her voice sounds, or the way it felt to hug her, or the way she said my name. I’m afraid I’ll forget her.”
As a woman who also lives with the loss of my mother, wholeheartedly I say: “You could never. She is seared into your mind and engraved on your heart. She is unforgettable.”
She replies: “What if I forget the way she smelled? Or the way she looked? Or the things she loved or even the things she despised?”
I say: “You could never. She is branded into the deepest parts of your brain and her influence is braided intricately into your heart. I promise you, she is unforgettable.”
She replies: “What if I forget what she wanted for me– all of the hopes and wishes she dreamed for my life? What if I forget her guidance and her advice?
I say: “You could never. She will remind you, even from eternity. She is the hope in your heart. She’s the little ember of light in your soul that you don’t even know is there because all you feel is darkness. Those things are her neverending love and trust me, she is unforgettable.”
She replies: “What if I forget her– all that she was and all that she left behind? What if I start to forget all of the beautiful and one-of-a-kind things that made her so special? What if I start to forget the kind of mother she was, the kind I strive to be? I’m so afraid I’ll forget those things.”
I reply: “You could never. Who she was is the foundation of who you are– the beautiful woman seated beside me. You strive to be her, but you fail to realize you already are, and she saw that. In fact, she adored it. You could never forget her, not only because she’s completely unforgettable, but because there are pieces of her right inside of you.”
She says: “I’m afraid I’ll forget her, even in the tiniest of ways. I’m afraid I’ll lose her in more ways than I already have. I’m afraid the tiny parts of her that remain in all of us will eventually evaporate, just as quickly as her final breaths.”
I reply: “You could never. You will never. You are her legacy. You are the priceless extension of all that she was and all that she’ll continue to be through you.”
“You will never forget her. She is lovingly seared into your brain and delicately engraved on your heart. She is unforgettable. I can promise you that, friend.”
And when she looks at me, I know she believes me. And you should too. You could never, would never, forget the most amazing woman you’ve ever known– your mother.
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.