Monday's Musings (on Tuesday) - Learning to Live Again After a Loss

Last Mother's Day, I was in shock. My mother had passed away two weeks prior. I was numb, trying to comprehend that she was gone. 

This year, I wasn't in shock. The emotions of missing her threatened to overwhelm me. It's hard to keep living when someone you love so dearly is gone. 

But we had planned a vacation right after we got our son home from college, before he started work for the summer. We planned a trip to the beach. Over Mother's Day weekend.

I'm really glad we did, even though it was bittersweet. 

But I learned a great lesson. 

You see, my parents had rented beach houses for all of us siblings, kids and grandkids to get together. They did this for years. It gave all thirty-some of us a place to meet and spend a week, swimming, doing puzzles, hanging out. It was a gift of amazing proportions. 

Mom loved the beach. Even after her stroke, once she was strong enough, she and daddy started finding houses with elevators so we could keep meeting. 

Two years ago, mom told us it was the last trip. The traveling was too hard on her. We hoped for a change. But she was right. 

So last fall, my husband found us a beach house that could accommodate us and our kids. We enjoyed the time at the beach, so we returned for Mother's Day weekend. 

That was this past Sunday. I cried a lot leading up to it. Oh, how I miss mom. 

But here's the lesson I learned. And the cool thing is, my mom taught it to me. 

She taught me how to live again. 

My mom lost her mother when I was in the 6th grade. I missed my grandma, but had no idea what my mom went through at that time. I'm sure she missed her greatly. But we didn't talk about it back then. I didn't think to ask. 

Until last year.

With my father-in-law in hospice care last spring, we knew his death was fast approaching. I told my mom during a call that I wanted to know how she had handled her mother's passing to help me deal with my father-in-law's passing. 

But she never got to tell me. She got weak, entered the hospital and passed away. Before my husband's father passed. 

Talk about an unfinished conversation. 

There I was, wishing for the answer. But I told God I would trust him that mom had taught me everything she needed to. 

Now I've learned she is still teaching me. By her example. 

So what lessons did I learn? 

To grieve for mom is normal. To hurt and miss her is normal. 

But she focused on us kids after her mother died. She spent years devoted to daddy and us. 

That's what I need to do. And I learned that this past weekend. 

To enjoy my kids. To laugh at their laughter and silly antics. To focus on the future. 

I was so afraid I'd forget things about mom after she was gone. But I'm not afraid of that anymore. I have wonderful memories of mom and dad raising us, loving us, teaching us to love God. 

My mom lives on in my heart and mind. And she showed me how to live again.

I will never forget her. She will always be my mom. I will always remember her love.  I will always love her.

And she, of anyone, would tell me to go on living. Enjoying the journey I'm on. 

Mom, thanks for the awesome example!


Learning How to Live Again After a Loss (click here to tweet)

PS Sorry for the missed Friday post...we had major internet issues on vacation. 

But come back Friday for tips on Focal Points and how they can impact your photos! 


  1. Mary you have an absolute knack of making me want to reach out and write back to you :) Hugs from Australia. In our family we tend to celebrate the life & then follow it up with a British stiff upper lip approach of putting on a brave show, as the person who died wouldn't like to know we weren't coping with our loss...., you pain is so real and so raw (more hugs again!) and I love you for sharing it with us. I also love that you had a wonderful weekend of fun and laughter (final hug from me!)
    Have a happy week.
    Wren xx

    1. Oh Wren, I LOVE hugs! :) Your comment made me cry, in a good way. My husband's grandmother was English. (I once called her British and got a stern reprimand! ;) I understand the stiff upper lip. (I adored his grandmother by the way!) I'm humbled that sharing as I do touches you. My mom would love that as well. Thank you for writing back! I so greatly appreciate it! And I have had a good week!


  2. You touched my heart with your honesty, Mary.

    My mom's been gone since 2004 and I still miss her. The joyous memories have replaced the pain. But, she will always be my mom.

    I'm having internet issues too. Friday's post appeared on Saturday and Tuesday's post is going to have to wait until tomorrow. God's timing is always perfect.