07 March 2010

letting go

six months now, my mother has been gone. all around me there are still her things, remembrances of the person she was and the life she lived. some items are finally being used up, like a stash of book matches, the packets of sugar, and this bottle of purple shampoo that matched her purple bathroom. for the longest while, i left them untouched, as they had been when she was alive, the only remaining pieces of her i could preserve in time. but as weeks and months pass, it's becoming a little easier to finally let her slip away. now i make myself use her things and i think of her when i do. even though the last of her lavender shampoo is now gone, my mom is still in my heart.

110 comments:

J said...

It's heartbreaking to lose someone you love.
Things will get better with time and you will always have your mother's memories to keep her alive in your thoughts.

AMW said...

I am sorry for your loss.

Julie Wilkerson said...

Oh how I can relate to this as the details so define the ones we love. I can tell you, from my perch, nearly 6 years without my own mother's company, you will find ways to rotate from the physical reminders you cling to and when the last trinket is discarded, the living memories will flow. Promise.

Julie
http://thejuliejourney.blogspot.com/

JustThisSideOfCrazy said...

i lost my Daddy Dec. 12, 2001 at the young age of 60, but i cannot say it was unexpected as he had suffered a stroke 11 yrs earlier, then suffering from lymphoma after and ultimately died of a heart attack. i found myself among my 5 brothers walking 'round my Daddy's house like a zombie wearing his oversized shirts and filling the pockets with his cologne or other trinkets i treasured.
Then in July 2007 i lost my Mother unexpectantly in a house fire. 62 years of life were reduced to a blackened pile of ash...i couldn't wrap my mind around it as i walked thru the soggy, smoldering pile of rubble and soon realized the very spot where i was standing there should be a couch...i felt like an orphan. lost. And it has not been even three years since the loss of my Mother and nine years since i lost my Daddy, and it may get a little easier with time but i still find myself quite angry and resentlful at Hallmark during Mothers' day and Fathers' day because i feel i have nobody to give those cards to anymore... Wow, i am truly sorry that my responce to your blog is such a downer, when it was my original intent to write something rather *upbeat and cheerful...so, please forgive me, and i do hope you find solice in those little items you do have that remind you of your Mother and take joy in using them as they bring the happy memories of your Mom to the forefront of your mind.

simply me said...

you can start letting go of the things but i am sure she still lives alive in your heart

Velveteen Rabbit said...

thats beautiful...
tiny remnants that at first bring pain, then gradually comfort..

April Van Tassell said...

Ahhhh, you voiced my feelings today. I lost my father August 27th of 2009. I just realized this must have been very close to when your mother passed.

He was 87 years old. Except for the last two years he had always been healthy and strong. I treasure the many photos I have of him, especially when he was my "daddy" growing up. As I became an adult he became "dad".

Thanks for reminding me of him today.

Cassandra Lotus said...

Been there, Baby.
Something to hold on to, to understand right now:
"What a blessing it is to be blind at the point of impact, to not know how-far reaching the shock waves will be or how long they will last." -Judith Guest, Ordinary People.
Read it, it helped me.
And, I'm sorry for your loss.

Jon said...

The same thing happened when my grand dad passed away....Soon I guess the space between memories will start getting distant...

But yes, I feel blessed that I had people who loved me and who left behind memories to cherish...

God Bless, TC... My first time here and am loving it

Marie Grady Palcic said...

i love your post and feel your pain. i wear my mothers shirts, her perfume, and know she's around...
and i believe in angels.

missopinions said...

This is really a heartbreaking read.I cant imagine how it must feel to lose a parent and I can understand you wanting to hold onto anything you can to remember her by.sorry for your loss

inannasstar said...

I'm so sorry, this is a bittersweet post about life and death....may your heart heal a little more eadch day.

Kisma said...

This is a beautiful tribute to her memory.

jennie said...

really sorry for your loss..
i come from HK and really love your blog without reason.

anyway, i believe that your mother is still in your heart forever.

Anonymous said...

really feel sorry for your loss...
i am from HK.

jennie

Suz said...

your description of your experience is a work of art
tender loving honest words

Truth Ferret said...

Nothing like a tear to go with my morning coffee. I don't mind, as tears cleanse away the hurt that still lingers at times.

My mom died on her birthday five years ago this month. It seems as if she is still here, for her love for me and my family keeps us company.

You wrote of using your mom's "things" and I understand. My mom was so generous to us and we have bits and pieces of her household throughout our homes. I'll look at something and say to my daughter, "Nana would be so happy knowing that this is being used by you." Usually, we both smile and hug.

Thank you for sharing such a tender story with us. I appreciate your candor.

ebook lost love said...

I lost three very important people in a five months time. It does get better with time. The best part is the memories, some things you have not thought about in years come to mind. And you just sit there and smile.

http://stephenslostlove.blogspot.com

Matt Conlon said...

That is one of the most difficult parts of loss, picking up the pieces as you move forward after the worst part of life. My deepest condolences for your loss.

I look forward to being at least a tiny part of the joys you choose to share on your blog as you continue to celebrate life.

Kay said...

wow..I sit here in tears after reading your post and the ensueing comments. I realize logically that it is a common human condition to lose loved ones but the heart is not logical. I remember waking up the day after my Dad died, April 30, 2006 and angry because the world went on as if nothing had happened. My world seemed to have stopped... for a while. Everything I knew he had seen, or touched or known when he had last visited me (which had been years before, he lived in Ohio and I live in Utah) became precious, painfully so. How could I throw away that old worn out blanket or chair when I knew he had used them? How could anyone but me sit at the table in the restaurant we frequented, that I still go to with my sons? Yet as much as I was sure it would not happen, life did go on and increasingly I go whole days without thinking of him and crying. Although the other day I was watching something on TV and I just knew he would have enjoyed that. The nice thing is he was a very funny man and all of us remember his jokes and funny ways. I am sorry for your loss..but you are doing what is right for you and writing about it can be so cathartic. I love the way you are using your Mothers' things in rememberance of her. You give her honor.

Cyndi said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I have yet to lose a parent, but have lost a sibling...and wish I had more of his things around me. Thank you for sharing.

Supermom said...

I have taken the favorite P.j.s of someone who has passed on and made a quilt for her daughter to snuggle with. This way her mother can still wrap her up and keep her warm.

Alle said...

I'm sorry for your loss, I know the feeling my father passed away of lung cancer a year ago almost to the day. I assure you it get's easier =)

I'm Grace said...

I am sorry for your loss. I just lost my dad 2/9/2010. I have been walking around in a state of total grief and sadness. I find so many things that remind me of him. I try to take comfort knowing he will always be in my memories and they were all good.

silvery said...

my husband's father passed away 3 years ago and we're still using his stash of saran wrap. it's amazing how i always think about him when i break off a piece to use. the connections we make with the ones who have passed on are very strong, however, as you said, when the shampoo is gone, the love you feel for your mom is still in your heart.

Judy said...

Very sweet story, thanks for writing it and I'm Sorry for your loss.

jennthepen said...

I lost my mom 15 years ago and still have a sweatshirt she had in college. I wear it when I need a hug from her. I lost my oldest brother / father figure 18 years ago and still have several of his things. It was hard letting go of the sofa that was his.

Please know you're not alone and that you are free to embrace all the emotions you're feeling. No one can hold it against you.

I think it speaks well of our loved ones that we want to hold on to them just as long as we can in any way possible. If we didn't love them, where would their "stuff" be? I only hope my daughter holds on...

MaliciousGray said...

My father was killed at almost 15 years ago... I was, needless to day, VERY devastated by this.. time goes on.. and now he almost seems like someone I used to maybe dream about (if that makes sense). Not in a bad way... in a very very good, fond of him way. I can relate to the shampoo (among other things). I still have a bag of his shoes.. not sure why.. and other toiletries.. and there's a brush with his hair still in it. In my garage. Moast likely, I'll never look at it, but I just like knowing it's there. Maybe I should get in to it. :)

Ms. Matrimony:-) said...

Letting go can be a hard thing to do:-( I hope you can find peace...

Janie B said...

Letting go is a process. Not easy, but eventual. God bless.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Sorry for your loss. You'll find that all kinds of memories come back to you, and eventually they will be comforting.

Fabuleslie said...

She'll always be in your heart, and you will always have your memories. It's hard to lose people we love. I'm glad you had the time you did have with her. Hugs to you today.

girl with ribbon said...

don't worry...just moved on with ur life..let ur mom up there be proud of you..show her that even if she's not by you side, you still can be her greatest son!!

xoxo

middle child said...

It touches me that you loved your mother as I have run into far too many who do not see the treasure of someone until it's too late, if even then. You are the lucky one to have know and shared such love. God Bless You.

Kimberly said...

It is definitely good to have moved on and i couldnt even imagine how its been to lose someone that close!

Suz said...

My mother died October 2002 and I am just being able to go through some of her things.

Last night I opened her cedar chest and found treasures that made me smile and made me feel close to her.

The missing part never ends but it does get easier. Hang in there.

Bella said...

Those were beautiful words spoken. I am so sorry for your loss. I haven't had to face the loss of a parent yet and can only imagine your pain. Your mother will forever be with you.

MistyS said...

I am sorry for your loss.

Sarah90886 said...

I am so sorry to hear about your mother and its great that you seem to be coping so well. I lost my father at a young age and never got to really deal with it since i didnt know him like i would have liked. But you can always go buy more lavander shampoo and keep the memory goin!

Anna said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother in June and I loved her sooooo much, sometimes at night when I'm in bed with my thoughts I still find myself in tears. It's so hard to realize that you will never touch them again. However, I am suprised by how vivid my memories with her are and they give me some comfort.

pertz_0429 said...

my prayers are with you.........

gogoi-d said...

'Maa''Mum' its a beatuful word and has no comparison with anything in this world. She is our first window and teacher to this Universe. When she departs from us a deep void like blackhole get inside our soul which only time can heal. I understand what one's heart cry when you are alone. My heartfelt condolence to you. Yes' I have lost my mother 20 years ago, she was just 55 years then, but no one can fulfill her absence

Bea said...

sorry to hear about your mom, i can feel the pain, my dad left us 13 years ago, but still i miss him...

nil said...

:-)

Laraine Eddington said...

I have gone through similar phases during the past year; each one sad and sweet.

Barbara Hemming said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother several years ago and one thing I learned is that our mothers are always with us: in our memories, in our faces, in our habits and mannerisms, in favorite expressions that suddenly come out of our mouths...they are all from our mothers and somehow never leave us. Surprisingly, we pass them down to our children...may we leave them with memories as wonderful as your mother did.
http://goodwordsforwomen.blospot.com

TracyB said...

So sorry for your loss. A year ago today we lost my mother-in-law. Moms are so precious. But I know that she is not in pain now, and I will see her again someday.
I try to do something she would have liked when I'm sad about missing her. Like drinking a root beer in her honor (her favorite drink). Or making her famous potato salad for supper. I envision her smiling down at me from heaven.

Anonymous said...

And she always will be in your heart. I believe that is what immortality is...our deeds that live on in the lives and hearts of those we touch.

Nancy

Dachena♥ said...

Its always hard to lose someone that meant so much to you. But in time we realize that the person never really leaves us, only in the physical sense. They are indeed in our hearts!

A Fitness Minute with Pat Anderson said...

I've enjoyed visiting your blog.
Time does help lessen the pain... Funny, one day you will wake up and just remember the times with her, without feeling pain anymore.

domsfortuna said...

I can only imagine what it's been like. My grandma just recently passed, and it doesn't even feel like she's gone, ya know?
You'll always those little reminders like items of hers or certain things she liked. That's how I try to manage, it's truly unfair.

I give my condolences.

Mary Prescott said...

beautifully written...

tillie said...

Six months prior to my retiring, my Grandma passed away at 99 1/2...still lived in her house, drove her car in her tiny town in Oklahoma and cooked herself a good mean every single day. My umbilical cord had always been tied to her and the house had been mine for 30 years. After flying here on weekends to check on the house, I decided to keep the house and move from the D.C. area into this tiny town and her house. She is all around me....even tho' I've totally remodeled and made this house mine, she is here in my heart giving her approval. My grown daughter says she is sure I've 'channeled' her.....because I do so many things the way she did. I laugh at that, of course. As you begin to use her things it will make it so much easier.....and you'll feel inside why she had those things....and most importantly, you'll really realize how much you meant to her. :)

Megan said...

I truly believe that letting go of someone or something doesn't mean you never loved them. I think it means you love them that much more, to have the strength to go on with your life and be the best you can be because that is what they would have wanted.
I do not know you, probably never will, but you are a very strong person.

Deedee said...

Chris - a poignant and heartfelt post. I really enjoy your blog.

April said...

This was such a touching entry. I am genuinly sorry for your loss.

LESAPEA MUSINGS said...

I'm glad you are able to share your heart with me. I hope your memories of her will guide you through this time.

devilson said...

i'm sorry for your loss
Be strong, and always remembers that she will always be with you no matters what happens.

Adrian,
http://mylife-devilson.blogspot.com/

Museling said...

When my aunt died, it was her little jar of mentholatum that served as a constant reminder of her. Somehow, I ended up with it in my own medicine cabinet and to this day, whenever I see it, I think of her. When we lose someone, we have no idea just how many little deaths we will have to experience as we let go. Though we don't walk the path alone, sometimes it feels as though we do.

Museling said...

When my aunt died, it was her little jar of mentholatum that served as a constant reminder. I somehow ended up with hit in my medicine cabinet and to this day, every time I see it, I think of her. When we lose someone, we don't realize the many little deaths we have yet to experience as we let go. Though we don't walk the path alone, sometimes it feels as if we do. (By the way, I'm new to blogging so if I post this twice, please forgive me. I'm still getting the hang of it.)

TwentySomethings said...

Hi there, I love your blog. I myself have just started a blog. Do you take these pictures yourself? If so, you have a fabulous camera!

jacque said...

I am so sorry for your loss; I'm sure it's extremely difficult. You seem to be handling it very well, and I think it's good you finally decided to start using items she left behind.

You have my prayers.

iGoldfish said...

So sorry for your loss. I just came across this entry and it is really touching.
Something about that last line in the entry made me smile. Maybe it's because of the simplicity of it, you know. Not many people think about things such as shampoo and stash of matches as a memory of someone they lost.

o_0 said...

I'm very sorry for your loss. My grandmother raised me so she acted as my mother and my father. When she died, I lost everyone so I feel your pain. Hope you get some more lavender shampoo!!

nobodybutme said...

" it was only a kindly word,and is a word lightly spoken,yet not in vain, for it stilled the pain of a broken heart that was nearly broken." I did not want to comment but I hope this says everything.

Andre said...

I have never lost a persn close to me but i do know people who have. things will get better you have to keep going.

Laura said...

My mother passed away 2 months ago and I can understand where you're coming from. I too have surrounded myself with many of her personal belongings as well as made use of a wide variety of them. These everyday items become so precious now that she's gone. And when they run out hopefully we are ready to really let go and eventually be satisfied with their lasting love and our memories of them. I'm sorry for your loss and wish you well.

A Frozen Moment Of Time said...

God bless your mother, and yourself as well. Remember, she's with god now, up in the place where all angels reside, heaven. Be grateful for the memories you two shared together.

chris said...

i am missing my mother these days but there's a marked difference between my my grief six months ago and the way i'm feeling now. time does heal. anyway, that's why i decided to write about it. and to use up the shampoo.
thank you all for your thoughts and good wishes. i am overwhelmed.

augustus said...

Death ends a life, but not a relationship, that struggles on in the survivor's mind to some resolution you will find.

I sometimes think that it should read "may" find---Since I lost my mother at a very young age, I relate to JUST THIS SIDE OF CRAZY's comment--rejoice that you had your mother for so long.

Stephanie said...

Just wanted to say, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my own mother to breast cancer 14 years ago. Eventually, it does get easier. Thoughts are with you.

Truth Ferret said...

Isn't it amazing that in this world of blackberries, IPods, Iphones, and all the electronic dodads so many people have responded to such a simple and pure thought---love eternal. Thank you for your touching reminder of what is important, Chris. Your heart and memories haved touched so many, myself included, of course.

Next weekend, we are traveling to put flowers on my mom and stepdad's graves. She didn't want us to visit THERE often, as she wanted the time spent with them before they died. It's soon her Double birthday (birthday to Earth and Heaven are the same day.)

I'll be sad and yet still amazed at how long it's been (five years), because some days it feels as if she is right in the same room with me. I guess that's because she really is here in my heart.

Nerissa said...

ohh sorry to hear that...

Sara Lynn said...

this is very sad :(

Truth Ferret said...

Boggles the mind, doesn't it, that your simple words and heartfelt emotions touched so many of us?

chris said...

Truth Ferret: you can say that again! but don't! ;-)

Tone Deaf said...

Deep man.

alok said...

get over it !!, thats what human race is all about..
cheers

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing.

Generation Girls said...

What a precious post. Thank you for sharing.

mythoughts said...

Very touching

Blissful_Serenity said...

I am so sorry, it is hard to lose someone so close to you. The only thing we can do I suppose is just wait for the pain of losing that someone surpass and pray for the day when you can see them again!

~Makayla~

Anonymous said...

I relate to your loss too. I have not lost my mother, but I lost my husband unexpectedly when we were both in our 30's with young children. Time does help, but you will always miss her. We never want to forget those we loved so much.

roseysmom said...

The anniversay of my mother's
death is is just three days away. My brothers and sisters have all been calling each other, never referring to it directly. But every conversation seems to turn to memories, to "do you remember..".
The little crystal bottle that held her favorite perfume is tucked in my jewelry box. Some days that scent reminds me of all we have lost. Other days, it brings back the warmth and joy of a life well lived.

always on the run said...

hey totally understand your feelings . lost my mother too. its heartbreaking. sorry for ur loss

alwaysontherun said...

sorry for ur loss. i lost my mother too.

Selah said...

your words touched me...i lost my mom 6 years now and i am still grieving, I am starting to forget her voice...the only thing I have left of her is an ankle braclet that she wore and now i wear all the time....
losing a mother is very hard...only is someone has gone through it only then will they understand

Kelly Jeanette said...

I understand completely. My mother died in October and I had moved into her house to take care of her these past two years. It's hard sometimes, when I see her Bible, her clothes still here, even her wheelchair. Sometimes I think I hear her calling me.
My thoughts are with you.

sandi said...

i enjoy reading your blog and was particularly touched by this photo. i kept a few small things of my brother's when he passed--one of them is a tube of hair gel. thank you for sharing how important the small things are to the memory of love.

Elizabeth said...

I just threw out a bottle of shampoo that I bought on a trip to the west coast. I was there to take care of my dad. It was one of those shampoos that claims to restore the color red to hair. My dad was a former redhead then mostly gray. I remember him saying- "hey this might work for me, I think I'll try that." It was his last trip to the store. It's been in my shower for a year and I just tossed it out on Friday. Thank you for the reminder that we, as people, have more in common than we realize.

stephanie said...

i too lost a love one this past Aug. - my dad- he was a man of very few possessions so what little he had was divided between several members of the family. his recovery bible is now one of my most treasured possessions. when i flip through the well-worn pages i feel like he is next to me. thank you for this post. helps me to feel less alone in my pain.

Susan said...

do you mind if I ask if you were really close to your Mom, because my Mom has become my best friend and I can't imagine life with out her, and what I will do...when the time comes. She is 65.

Erin said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can sympathize with you. I lost my Mom unexpectedly 7 years ago...I was 25 and she would have been 51. I don't think it matters the age tho...when you lose your Mom, you lose a sense of security and a very dear loved one. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Grant New Homes said...

Beautifully written

Eva said...

my mom and i had a terrible relationship for years. now, as we both age and mature, we are both becoming more mellow. i used to throw away everything she gave me, for one big reason because it smelled of her (weird, i know, but i associate lots of things by smell). now i hold tight to every little thing she gives me knowing that someday she'll be gone and i'll wish i could smell that smell again. i wish you nothing but sweet memories and the healing that a bit of time, and a lot of love, can bring.

somnath said...

my core melts likes wax...
n it will soon dry up too...
i am sorry to your loss...it hurts.. !!

randolph.ann said...

Your post hit home for me as well. It's part of life to lose those we love, and why not cherish even the feelings of loss? Those feelings represent the connection you have to your mother, which will never die.

Beautiful Canvas said...

Aww...that's such a sweet post. I am sorry for your lost. I lost my dad when I was a teen so I know how tough it can be.

Miss Marie said...

use her stuff!!!! it definitely helps!!! you're setting her free everytime you use something of hers. thinkof it as relinquishing her soul into the world whenever you utilize somethng that is hers.

Joy said...

Although i feel your loss by the end of ur blog i had a smile on my face.Knowing your at peace.

Diane said...

This really moved me, such a simple image that can mean so much. I am sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing such a personal memory.

Circles in Time said...

I remember this time, and being around you then, it broke my heart.If I didn't tell you then, I'm telling you now how blessed you have been to have had this wonderful bond with her.

Wrytagirl said...

I lost my mother some years back, and still now the penny's randomly drop, and I suddenly understand what she meant...or what she must have been going through. Makes me sad that I can't ring her and say; Hey, Mum, I GET IT!

Rob West said...

that post was very touching. I am sorry about your loss.

m A c said...

it broke my heart

NaomiCHECKIT said...

thats really sad actually....
:( but sometimes it's good
to let go and move on.

suenosdeuomi said...

Endearing, how you used your Mom's purple shampoo and yes, familiar. Odd what we will do to keep the connection alive. I drank my mom's coffee and smoked her cigarettes, even though I had given up smoking over 30 years ago. A friend took her mom's medication! I brought purple clothes pins back home across the ocean with me, not because I needed them. And her suede cleaning towels, and several elephants of varied sizes. But it is not about the things, but the connection, the heart. I am touched, thanks.

CyndyandJames said...

I absolutely love this and just happened upon your blog today! Very beautiful and uplifting. I have suffered loss too, and have had to go through what you are dealing with. Keep your chin up and good luck with everything! Thank you for such a beautiful blog!

HamzaSidra said...

memories of a person you have lost....you cherish forever. Its important to remember the good things...

When I lost my mum, I could still smell her everywhere....and for days, weeks, months, I would hold her clothes against me and just smell her....its strange the funny things you remember....but these are what make good memories....little eccentricities....(excuse the spelling)..

Destination Jungle said...

its all life and understanding it the way you do still amazes me.i love your blog.