Losing a loved one

beautiful sunset

Losing a loved one can rip your heart out and send emotions haywire. I write this as gentle tears roll down my face and my mother waits to leave this earth. I am not sure how to feel or if I can feel at all right now.

The song is ended but the melody lingers on…
–Irving Berlin

At this moment the feelings are raw and at the same time full and empty. My mother and I were never that close, I was not the favored child. I knew that from an early age and I also know it now. That in and of itself has been a difficult thing to carry through my life and also come to terms with. Yet that doesn’t lessen the ache of a life of a loved one gone and a relationship never fully realized.

I am hurting and full of questions.

I sit here in wonder about the life she lived. She always spoke of not being her mother’s favorite child and yet she has gifted that fate to me. Why?

My life has been lived trying not to be the things I liked least about my mother’s life. As she lays waiting for her days to be over, I wonder who she really was. How was it she viewed her own life?

Looking back to childhood as far back as I can remember she never had any friends. What kind of life is that with no friends, no one ever? She never spoke of these things, never told why. As a child, I did not know any better, this was my life I thought this was normal.

But this had to be incredibly lonely. I can’t imagine not having one person with whom you could talk to, someone that understood you.

We never spoke of things

Skeletons in closets that was how my life went and that closet. It was like those closet doors were nailed shut never to see the light of day, never ever knowing what was in them.

There were no discussions of life on any level. Rules were followed or else. I did not get to question or wonder, I got to be in fear of consequences. Things just were, you didn’t question.

I grew up with little understanding of life, I guess she had nothing to share, or maybe didn’t know how. Answers will no longer be had on any of the stuff I question, yet my head is full of things I want answers too.

She lived a difficult life

I am not sure how she viewed her life, she never spoke about any of it. My father was a raging alcoholic and we were all victims of a very emotionally detached and abusive life.

I was angry and afraid and mostly not there as a child. The difficulties of that life enabled me the ability to mentally detach. I am not sure where I went in my head but it was far enough away to protect me from the pain. A skill I still have today although I don’t find it useful anymore.

Mentally abusive men feel so entitled they consistently fail to see their partner as someone who has her own needs, feelings, and thoughts and will respond with rage when she asserts them. – Michelle Lee

How did she see her own life, 20 years with a controlling raging heartless alcoholic?  Her mother was less than loving and sweet. I remember my grandmother being more straight to the point, cold and detached.

My grandfather who I never knew, he died when I was 6 months old, was a wonderful man. My mother spoke highly of him and she was the apple of his eye. Maybe losing him at age 20 changed her life. I can’t say I can only assume.

Second marriage to another man who was controlling and had a very selfish men rule and woman are here to serve attitude, which I never ever cared for. He was degrading and also verbally abusive. I also suspect physically abusive. He broke her in my opinion.

over 50 years

I look at the life she lived and wonder how does one go for over 50 years between 2 men who control so much of your life and never walk away. It breaks my heart to know not only did she live this life, but she never allowed herself to deal with her emotions. She never confided in anyone, not her kids, not anyone!

She hid it all and never let it show. More tears as I think of her life while sitting here typing away on the keys trying to make sense of any part of it.

She deserved better, she deserved to be loved, wildly, passionately, deeply. She deserved to be known, accepted and appreciated. That was something he was not capable of.

Who are these men who think that this is how you treat your woman? Over 30 years with the last man and watching her put him before her always.

Apparently, she has been sick for years never seeking medical attention and never letting anyone know that she was suffering. She was always good at hiding things. He was first in her life, she, however, was not first in his.

I have to ask

Who are we protecting when we hide everything about ourselves, our life and our health. I am trying hard not to sound angry, but right now it’s difficult. Those relationships took her spirit and her happiness. Those men cared not for her heart, for if they did, they would have made her happiness a priority.

She will leave this planet with no one really knowing what was in her heart. Not knowing who she truly was and what her life dreams would have been if someone had known how to feed her spirit instead of diminishing it.

Is this a life lived

I sit here wondering if this any way to live a life or even if this is a life lived. To live a life means to be fully engaged and happy. She survived a life and a hard one.

Now I am trying to figure out how to honor the life she wasn’t able to live while at the same time not wanting to be any of those things in my own life.

I am the mother now

I can say I have no more answers about who my mother truly was and will somehow have to leave that here.

What I can say is that I am the mother of my daughters that I wish I had in my life. My daughters are my best friends. I have also spent most of my life talking to my kids about everything and anything. We laugh, we cry, we talk about life and so much more.

Some days they will describe me as talking too much. That is what you walk away with when you have a life where no one talked about anything. It’s gonna take some moxie to get through this. Today I am not sure I have much of that, but I will survive, that is what my mother taught me to do.

I will do my best to continue to be more of the mom I wished I had. And my mother can now be at peace, no more horrible men to squash her heart. She is free to shine. I love you mom.

Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.

—Terri Guillemets


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  1. Michelle, I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom, not only due to death, but also in terms of connection throughout life. I commend your ability to have such compassion for her and her circumstances, not begrudging her the dignity of being really and truly seen for who she is and was in life, how her circumstances informed her behavior, and lessons you’ve learned from her, however indirectly. Your observations are touching, and I’m crying with you now, even though we don’t know each other. I’m glad you have created a different experience for your own children. Best wishes to you as you process this grief. 🙏🐝

    1. Thank you Beth for such a touching comment. I believe the best way to get through life is to embrace what it teaches us. To also see a situation beyond yourself and understand another’s journey.

  2. I am sorry your mama leaves and the only thing left behind are questions. So many times the cycle of abuse repeats itself, she had a detached mom and she was a detached mom. I am so glad to hear you turned it around to become an example to your girls. I hope with time you can find closure and can move on. Hugs to you.

    1. Thank you, it hasn’t been easy but I am changing the cycle. My daughter’s are my best friends. I hope this story can help others change a cycle in life that helps others.

  3. You are an inspiring person, I surely hope you recognize that! You can get through anything at this point in life. Love and light to you and yours.

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