The loss of a parent means more than just a loss of their presence in your everyday life. One day I realized what I really lost when my mom died.
Although my mom is physically gone from my life, in many other ways she is still here with me. She is in my heart. My love for her didn’t die when she did. I think about my mom every day and I miss her more than words can express at times. The feeling of loss is always with me. It’s something that never really goes away, but I’ve learned to live with it and keep moving forward.
About a year after my mom died, a friend gave me a book written by a man who lost his son to drugs. I know that losing my mom is different than losing a child. But it’s still a loss, a painful one, and I can relate to some of what was written in this book. The author made a list of his losses – what he lost when his son died. This list made me realize that my mom’s death is so much more than just losing a person from my life. Although my heart knew this, it took my mind a little while to catch up.
What I Really Lost
Here are some of the things I really lost when my mom died:
- Unconditional love
- Good advice, even if I didn’t always listen
- Someone who was there for me, ready to listen or help
- A true believer in who I am and what I can do
- Guidance during times when I have no idea what to do, especially when it comes to my kids
- Sharing a book with my mom
- Friday night dinners as a family
- Saturday outings as a family (my mom always knew of somewhere to go or something to do)
- Going to see a movie with my mom
- Answering the phone and hearing my mom say “Hi, Hon”
- Hugging my mom and feeling her love for me
- Watching my mom play with her grandkids
- Seeing my mom dance with my son at his wedding (a dream she held on to as she tried to beat pancreatic cancer)
What bothers me the most is that I took this all for granted. I feel like I didn’t let my mom know how much she meant to me. I didn’t tell her how much I appreciated everything that she did for me and my family. I believe she knew how much I loved her, but I wish I could tell her one more time.
What did you lose when your parent died? Making this list helped me to see my mom's death differently and helped me to heal just a little bit. I will never stop missing my mom, but realizing what I lost when she died helped me to start closing some of the holes in my life that opened up when she died.