Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Last of the Firsts

A year of firsts has come to an end tomorrow on the anniversary of your death.  First birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas without you is now behind us.  It has been a hard year, but it has also been a year of courage, a year of growth, reflection and healing.  To say I am over your death would be a lie, but I am beginning to function with life without you.  On the eve of your death, I feel the urge to write you a letter.  Here it goes:

Dearest Mom,

I know you have seen me shed many tears over you this last year.  I can’t help it, I miss you so much.  I need to, I need to cry, to feel sad. I still sit here and can't believe you are gone.  I think back to this night a year ago when they called us in to palliative, that you were dying.  I remember hanging up the phone in shock.  How could I be in shock?  Silly I know, you were in palliative care, where people go to die.  I think until that moment when I received the phone call I didn't believe you were dying. I have stuck by and believed in you no matter what you were battling throughout the years, and this was no different.  I didn't want to stop believing in you and your power to overcome.  Losing you that day, that was the hardest day of my life.  I pray we did everything right for you and helped you let go peacefully.

I hope that you approved of your funeral and felt love from all that attended.  I remember when we started pre-planning your funeral you said you didn’t want one because no one would come.  Boy, did we prove you wrong.  I know I didn’t give a speech, I just couldn’t, I wasn’t strong enough.  I hope you understand.

It was so hard cleaning out your apartment.  I couldn't be in there alone, and even if Greg made a trip out to the garbage, I had to go with him. Thank you for giving me guidance as to what you wanted us to do with your belongings once you passed away.  It helped make the process easier knowing you approved with what we were doing.  I hope you felt we respected you and your belongings.  I loved going through all your old pictures and special trinkits you had kept from your childhood, precious treasures for us to now cherish forever.  Oh, and we found your cigarettes - busted!  Lol.

A couple months after you passed, I received a text from our daycare lady.  She said Karter was really sad and she asked him what was wrong, he said even though he knew you were in heaven and not sick anymore, that he missed you and started crying.  I had been so consumed in my own grief I forgot that others are grieving too.  I apologize for being so wrapped up in myself, that I didn't comfort and support others as much as I should have. 

I was hoping to somehow feel your presence after you passed.  I felt like I needed a sign that you were ok, or feel some sort of connection to you.  I was waiting for some sign to know that you were around.  In the late fall, I was spending a morning making lasagna’s, chili and pasta sauce.  Definitely something you would have come over to keep me company.  At one point, it was like you were there, I opened my mouth and started to speak to you and turned to the chair at the table where you would be sitting, but you weren’t there.  Even though I physically couldn’t see you, I could feel your presence.  It was such a calming feeling, I had the best day after that.

Then, on August long weekend we were at the cabin, and I went inside to grab Mark and I a drink.  The thought popped into my head “oh, I better check my phone, I am sure mom has called to check in to see how the weekend is going”.  I rushed to my phone and checked it.  But, of course you hadn’t called.  I went outside and shared with Mark what had happened.  He looked up in the sky and said “Aww, hi Grandma Donna”.  Literally, a minute later we had a mishap with the fire in the fire pit, I don’t want to go into details, but I really believe you were watching over us at that moment and was our guardian angel, the outcome could have been a lot worse.

I have felt sorry for myself a lot this year.  A common thought was I am too young to lose my mother.  But, this year I have also seen a six year old, and a nine year old lose their mother.  That is just tragic.  I have been able to start to transition my way of thinking from poor me, to how lucky I was to have you in my life for so long. 

I so wish you could have been at Karter’s first hockey game, I know you would be his biggest fan.  I also know now you have the best seat in the house to watch his games.  But a part of me wants to see you, and see your face light up with excitement when he scores a goal. 

Now that you are gone I have no idea what is going on in Young and the Restless.  Melayna mentioned we should watch it tomorrow when we have a celebration in your honor. 

In closing, even thought the year of firsts is over, I will still continue to grieve and miss you always and forever.  But I will try my hardest to do it with a smile on my face.  Love you to the moon and back Mom.  Oh, and say hi to Elvis for me!



  1. Alynne, what a beautifully written post and tribute to your mom. I will be thinking of you and your family today as reach the 1 year milestone. Looking forward to seeing you next month.

  2. Beautiful post, Alynne. The first year is such a journey. I will definitely be lighting a candle in memory of your mom this week. Take care.

  3. That was beautiful!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. My heart aches for you reading about your first year. So sorry Alynne. You are journeying through your grief with such grace.