Keepin' It Real--The Language of Loss

I'm keepin' it real today, friends.
Really real.
Not that I'm not usually real with you...
But today...
today is different.

Even as I sit down to write, my hands are shaking,
there's a not-so-little lump at the back of my throat, 
and I feel tears pushing their way out from behind my eyes.

Something (or SomeONE) is telling me to share with you,
to let you see this raw, wounded side of me.
I keep trying to put it off...
to think of other clever, crafty topics...
but this is what I continue to come back to.

I'll be honest with you.
I'm having a rough time.
I've had a few bad days here, all in a row.
And I feel like there's a few more to be had, too.

I miss my mom.

If you could see my face now...
now that I've written that out...

It isn't pretty.
I've set aside all hope of holding in the tears.
They're streaming down my face...
dripping on to my green shirt.
{I always wear green when I'm trying to make sure I have a good day.}

Fall has always been my favorite season of the year.
Two years ago, smack dab in the middle of the fall, 
Mom went to Heaven.
So now, Fall and I have a love/hate relationship.
I love Fall for all of its Fall-ish-ness...
crisp air, college football, orchards, apple cider, pumpkins,
sweaters, bonfires...
I hate Fall for all of its memories of "lasts"...
the last time I spoke to her
{I told her she was my best friend}...
the last time I took her to her doctor...
the last time I walked into her house
{the house that is now mine}
to be greeted by her...

I'm crying in earnest now...
and I don't know why I'm sharing this with you...
I feel so foolish..
so open...
so naked.

But honestly,
right now, the hurt is so bad.
It feels good to just let some of it out.

I'm so tired.
I feel so worn out most days.

Do any of you have an iPhone?
You know how some days the battery power lasts forever?
And other days, you get to noon and your battery is down to 17%...
and you can't for-the-life-of-you figure out why?
And then, some way, some how, you find that you had some crazy app running in the app that drained your battery power without you even realizing what was going on.

That's what these days feel like.
I sleep like a rock.
And I wake up feeling like I had such a good night's sleep.
And then, by noon, I'm worn out.
I'm cranky.  I'm sharp with my children.  I'm short with my husband.
And after several days {it's actually been a couple weeks} of this, I've finally figured out why.

Grief.  Hurt.  Loss.  Pain.
Missing.  Longing.
They are the apps running in the background of my brain.
And for most of the year, I'm able to shut them down quickly.
But somehow, in the Fall, it's not nearly as easy.

Even as I write this, though, a thought dawns on me.
There is something that feels right...
it might not feel good, but somehow it feels RIGHT
to have this time of pain.
With the pain come the memories...
and the missing her...
and the wishing I could spend one more day, one more hour with her.

Loss is kind of a funny thing.
The only ones who want to talk about it,
the only ones who want to hear about it,
are those who've been through it.

I've never been to Hawaii before--
I want to hear all about it, because I'd like to go there someday.
My cousin went mountain-climbing--
I wanted to talk with her about it--it sounded so interesting.
Lots of people like to talk to me about my vintage finds--
they wish for similar luck while thrifting.

Not many people ask how it feels to lose your mom.
That's uncomfortable.
No one wants to go there.
It doesn't sound interesting.
No one wishes for that kind of luck.

But still...
those who have been there...
sometimes they want to talk about it.
And sometimes they don't.
And sometimes they want you to tell them a funny story or a favorite memory of their loved one...
And sometimes they want you to give them a hug,
and to say that you miss her too.

It's the topic we all avoid.
If you come down with a nasty flu bug, I'm going to ask you how you're feeling.
If you have a cough, I'm going to offer you a cough drop.
If you break your leg, I'm going to offer you a shoulder to lean on.

...and that's the language of loss...
ask me how I'm feeling--
I may not want to talk about it...
but then again, I might...
you won't know unless you ask.

The words have stopped flowing...
and so have the tears...
for now.

I don't know why I felt compelled to share this today,
but I truly felt that I needed to.
I had to.

Please forgive any typo's...
I'm posting this now...
without re-reading it...
without editing it...
without making it all pretty.

go love someone today.
And if you know someone
who lost someone?
Love them a little bit extra, okay?


  1. I'm calling my mom now.
    Thank you for posting this, Erin.

  2. That is exactly what I needed right now. I have the same kind of relationship with Fall. I love and miss this time of year up in New England, but also it is the anniversary time of my Grandmother's graduation and my niece Gabrielle's graduation. Next week on the 2nd will be 4 yrs since Grammy went home and was whole again and on the 4th two since Gabrielle was able to walk and run and all the things she never would have been able to do here. Thank you for opening up. I truly needed someone else to put into words how I have been feeling! Love ya!-Ruth Gibbons

  3. My mom just came for a short over night visit and there are times when she drives me nuts! But mostly we had a good time and laughs and above all else, she is my mom.
    This is such a great post Erin. So real and raw and true. Hang in there girl. I've never lost anyone close to me, so I won't imagine how it feels, but I will pray that you continue to feel God's comfort during the hard times.
    Ps. I really enjoy following you on IG:)

  4. Please hold my hand.... <3 Love you girl! It's been 6 1/2 years since I said goodbye to my Mommy for the last time. The pain gets better...sometimes.

  5. This made me cry. I dont cry so often anymore, but 2.5 years ago i lost my mom. The first year was miserable. I truly couldnt function. Im in a better place now but there are days when it hurts deep and i have a little cry.
    I know what you mean about talking about it. In the beginning tho i didnt want to because the sympathy would set me to crying. I can now talk about her without that raw pain. Heres a hug for you, sweetie

  6. It's been 12 yrs here.

    And now I need to go call my friend who just had her 1 yr anniversary without her mom.

    <3 <3 <3 this!!!

  7. Well, you may have stopped crying but I've started. I haven't lost my Mom but in losing my grandmother 10 years ago, it's still hard. I can't talk about her or think about her without sobbing uncontrollably. I don't think it ever gets easy. Hugs to you for each day getting a little less hard. Hang in there!

  8. What a touching post! I'm sorry for your loss and feel extremely blessed to still have my parents... I can tell you that the unexpected loss of my Nana almost 20 years ago can still feel very raw and like it just happened... I never know what will trigger those memories and most of the time they just sneak up on me... I will pray for you...

  9. "Death.
    It's the topic we all avoid.
    If you come down with a nasty flu bug, I'm going to ask you how you're feeling.
    If you have a cough, I'm going to offer you a cough drop.
    If you break your leg, I'm going to offer you a shoulder to lean on."

    this rocked me to the core. its the "d" word. we don't even want to say it. i will be more conscientious to care for my loved ones better.

    romans 12:15 encourages us to share with one another so we can go through things together. i'm almost certain thats why you felt the need to share this

    you'll find comfort that can only come from the Lord. i'll be praying for you. fortunately the good news is you'll get to see her, hug her & tell her you love her again. its so easy for us to think this is the end. the good thing is its not :)

  10. i just found your blog via the naptime diaries mentorship (im in the shop group) and your post is making me ugly-cry. i am so sorry for your loss and have no words to tell you except that I pray that you feel God's love extra today.

    also, your iPhone analogy really resonated with me. beautiful word pictures.

  11. Beautiful. Raw. Real.
    Thank you for being human. It makes me feel like it's ok for me to be human too.
    I'm calling my mom now.

  12. This is so beautiful! I am sorry for your loss. You're right about grief being something so hard to understand. I lost my mom 11 years ago and gosh it still hurts. It makes me cry big tears and I totally associate the season she passed with it too. Hugs!
    The phone analogy makes perfect sense too. It's a beautifully perfect image. We get drained quicker some days than others!
    PS I'm in the mentorship program with on Naptime Diaries :) I'm excited to get to know you better through it :)

  13. That was beautiful, thank you so much for sharing your heart. I teared up as I was reading just thinking about my own mom dying and really can't imagine what pain you must feel. I just said a prayer for you as you deal with this hard season.
    (PS - Looking forward to getting to know you better on the NP Mentorship:)

  14. Erin, I have to be totally honest with you. I couldn't read this post in its entirety because it was too painful for me to even read. Death of a loved one would be one of the hardest (if not the THE hardest) thing to walk through, and it terrifies me. I am so sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry people (like me) are uncomfortable and afraid to talk about it. You are so brave for sharing your story.


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