Losing My Mother

On October 3rd, my beloved, beautiful mother, Kathleen, left this world. Although we had been expecting her death for some time, I have learned that all the anticipation and preparation in the world could not soften or lessen the blow of the pain and sorrow that came after. In fact, the first day or two after she died, I was mostly ‘okay.’  I thought maybe I’d prepared myself enough to get away without the kind of sorrow my father’s death brought.

But…I am sadly mistaken. Underscore sadly

Unlike Daddy’s  death, however, Mama’s is quite a different feeling of loss. One that has taken me over and left a huge hole in my soul. Almost like a piece of me died, too.  But, I didn’t really notice right away — I had taken care of the business of funeral and burial arrangements, gotten through the services, and right after that went on a pre-planned driving tour across several states, distracted and happily taking that welcome break to just get away for a minute… knowing full well that I had a great load awaiting my attention upon returning home. Mom made me the executor and I have so much to take care of. So, when I got home…it all began to sink in.

I find I am slipping in and out of the darkness of grief, like an animal moving stealthily between the shadows and light. I emerge from the depths and shadows of my sadness only to find it no better in the light. Sort of a ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ thing. I easily fall back into the abyss when left alone with thoughts,  clutching onto memories, and then longing to hear her voice, her laugh. Sometimes I feel like the sadness is choking the breath out of me. I know this is normal. I hope.

I am ‘good’ if I can keep my focus off of this hole in my soul… if I can be distracted, or find the power to overcome the utter inability to pull myself up and out of this chair and join the land of the living.

I am downright soggy today.

Damn it! I really had this handled, in the beginning, I did. Really.

But, as the first month has passed, I am keen to notice the effect has grown more, not less.

I feel like I can’t square this notion that she is no longer of this world.

Is it possible to be a 50-something ‘orphan?’ If so, then I am… an orphan, now.

Thank God I have a sister in this with me… she’s an orphan, too, I suppose. At least we can be orphaned, together. We are relieved that we only had to bury our parents ONE TIME. We couldn’t imagine having to go through this loss and stuff again.

I want to share my Mama, and my take on what she was all about, with you over the upcoming posts. She was very much a one-of-a-kind personality, boy! I think you will enjoy getting to know her, and while I am ‘sharing her’ maybe, just maybe, I can begin to feel better, too.  I hope you will return to see her story.

For now, here are some assorted pictures of her from her young adulthood, early marriage and motherhood years… my always special, always beautiful, inside-and-out, Mama.

Graduate R.N.  circa 1959



My beautiful picture

Mom looks overjoyed at the prospect of having a baby, NOT. Maternity was something she learned one day at a time, lol. I am that bun in the oven, 1964.

My beautiful picture

Late 60’s — it looks like I must have had to pee, here. lol. We didn’t have kiddie car seats, we had ‘harnesses.’

My beautiful picture

My parents, newlyweds, here. 1963

My beautiful picture

Mom with my baby sister and I…1966. Daddy always liked to take family pictures after Sunday morning Mass, while we were all dressed up and looking good.

12 Responses to “Losing My Mother”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. I hadn’t read this when I commented earlier. Despite how much we know and for how long we know it, nothing really prepares us for going forward without a loved one in our life. I hope you can enjoy some good memories as you work through the difficult task at hand. I look forward to learning more about your mom. It looks like she lived a good life if service to others.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is wonderful to see you again, CJ!! I am sorry for your loss, but I honor your mother for being one of the very best!
    For them ALL !!


    • Thank you, dear GP. My mama never commented much about her time in the ‘women’s Air Force’ as she termed it. I remember the first time I saw that beautiful picture of her in uniform and asked her about it. I was stunned to find her discharge papers in with other miscellaneous stuff, not in the place where Dad’s important service papers were…she always put others’ needs before her own, and I am thinking she didn’t think her service time was as ‘important or notable’ as Dad’s. It was only when I found her papers that I discovered she had been a 1st Lt. Wow! She was apparently assigned as a nurse in her unit. She received a flag and the color guard and cemetery detail came to do her honors at her graveside. I am very proud of her…I miss her terribly. Thank you for your comment. I, too, appreciate all that our service men and women have given to us, for all Americans. Sending a salute and a hug…thanks, again, it is nice to see you and to be back.

      Liked by 1 person

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