one year without her

Last year, my mother was dying– slipping from the hands of those she loved, carried away on an invisible current, far beyond the horizon.

Those final days were busy; turning Mom and medicating her every two hours around the clock, caring for Grandma too, coordinating family phone calls, cooking food, cleaning house,all while grieving hard. I would gaze at my dying mother with a broken heart, filled with regret for all that she would miss, all that I would miss. Some moments I would rage and shake with body sobs that emerged from the abyss  and other times I felt like a shell of a person, and if a strong wind blew my way I would crumble to ash.

Mercifully, it was gentle:  She fell into a deep coma and on December 13th, as we held her hand she took her last breath.

Anger comes and goes like the weather, and at the moment my fury of a few weeks ago has drifted away. I am sad, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t miss her.  But I also feel  peace and comfort, as though she is sending me a hug from beyond. I can’t explain it, I can only accept it.

025 - CopyPerhaps she is still here, among us, in the flowers and the birds and the water and the sunshine.

38 thoughts on “one year without her

  1. blessedbebeth -

    You were incredibly blessed, as was I to have this rare and special (and hugely difficult) gift of being there when she crossed over. You are such an inspiration to me. I will light a candle tomorrow in honor of you both and your incredible journey together. I wish you softness when you land.

    1. bornbyariver Post author

      Thank you for your words of kindness. I wouldn’t have been anywhere else except by her side when she took her last breath- although she did try to quietly slip away while the family was in the next room eating pound cake. Tricky.

  2. infertilityawakening

    May you feel her warm embrace in the hours that feel longest and the days that feel darkest. No doubt her spirit lingers over the beautiful things you love to remind you that she is loving you always. Deepak Chopra has wonderful writings about death. He says that those we love release only from the body yet remain, just a you say, in the flowers, in the sunshine, in the raindrops. My grandmother, whom I loved most on this earth, always comes to me with the coo of doves-just when I need her most. Wishing you gentleness throughout these difficult days.

  3. Martha Goudey

    There is no other anniversary that is harder to bear than the anniversary of the passing of a beloved. I offer up a blessing to you for this day, this week, this month, this year, that you will continue to reap the blessings along with the pain of missing her. You were robbed of physical time with your mother, but I believe she is in all the things you love so much.

  4. Loni Found Herself

    I, too, will be thinking about you today and tomorrow. There is no way around the pain of this, but if I could make it better (for anyone), I so would. It’s a pain I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

    “Perhaps she is still here, among us, in the flowers and the birds and the water and the sunshine.”

    I think she is. The sentiment actually reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “Copenhagen” by Lucinda Williams. She writes:

    You have disappeared.
    You have been released.
    You are flecks of light.
    You are missed.
    Somewhere, spinning ’round the sun.
    Circling the moon.
    Traveling through time.
    You are missed.

  5. Christine

    As hard as this must be for you, I want to thank you for sharing it with the blogosphere. I am sure your beautiful words will help many. Thank you. Peace~ Christine

  6. Kathy

    I can relate to so much of what you wrote. The last weeks, days, hours of a loved one’s life are heart breaking. I understand the sadness, tears and grief. I have felt the anger that is right at the surface, springing out whenever it wants to like it has a mind of its own. I wish you peace on this difficult day. Take care. Hugs.

  7. kjpaints

    She is here with you, I swear it with all I have that means anything. Take it on faith for now, but in time, you will feel it, I promise. I don’t know you, but I’m sending you all the love that I have. Blessings to you tomorrow. I pray that you’ll get the sign you’re looking for. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open for it. It will come.

  8. Mari

    I am breathing slower now. My father has lung cancer and I sometimes feel so helpless. But I am there I will always be there, for every second of it all. Thank you for sharing this immensity of yours, your mother. Peace and love to you and yours.

  9. walkinginmyconverse

    I can relate to this post in a big way! The rage I felt during my mother’s last weeks and immediately following her death, was more intense than I can venture to explain. Now 18 months have passed, and while I still long for her every day, I genuinely feel like she’s here. I haven’t had any dreams or “visits from the beyond” that some people experience, but I can still sense her in everything and I don’t feel so alone. My siblings feel the same way; perhaps, both of our mothers are sending a constant stream of invisible hugs. That’s certainly a very comforting thought.

  10. kellig

    as long as you live, she lives. she is alive and moving and laughing through you. My mom hangs out at my day spa. she loved it there. I had long felt her presence there, and then I had a new client who is a “spiritual counselor”, and after her lovely facial and some hesitant questions, revealed that my mom was hanging out with me. it is very comforting.
    it snowed here the day before yesterday. the last time is snowed, my mom was still alive, and I spirited her out of the rehabilitation facility for some wheelchair donuts int he softly falling beauty. i love the snow, but it was a melancholy feeling, and it still lingers…

  11. Allison

    I’m really glad you’ve found those breaths of peace and calm. Something happened to me on the anniversary of my mother’s passing, and I would wish the same for you…continued peace and calm and a newfound ability to think of your mother with both happiness and a tinge of sadness, but without the sharp point of grief. Much love to you.

  12. Clanmother

    I lost my father last year. Everyday I miss him. – his life gave purpose to mine. The human experience includes loss and sorrow, yet there is hope. I hear it in your writing. An profound and moving tribute…

  13. cancer4me

    Yes, I believe you are right. You will find her essence all around you. What a beautiful way to celebrate your mom. She is so fortunate she has you to love and remember her. Without having my own children as a legacy, naturally I worry who’s gonna look after and remember me! You have a beautiful thing, it’s inspiring how you celebrate your relationship with your mom.

  14. Cameron


    I’m so sorry for your loss, it sounds like your mother was an incredible person. I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?




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