On Grief: From a Different Perspective

My family started 2014 full of so much excitement and joy. Harvey was born on January 12th, and we just knew it was going to be a great year. It was a great year. However, it was also a year of great loss. Just to name the three deaths that were closest to me:

I mean, DAMN. Last year was rough…really, really rough…but I’m finally healing enough to take a step back and see how those deaths affects others around me – especially my Mom.

Today is my Mom’s birthday (Hi, Mom! Happy Birthday!). When my Aunt died last year, it honestly wasn’t until Jaime died two months later that it clicked in my brain that my Aunt Kim was my Mom’s Jaime. She was the person my Mom called when she was sad, mad, or just plain laughing her butt off about our crazy family! My Mom losing Kim was like me losing Jaime — you know, with an extra 30 years of friendship and stories behind it. That’s tough for me to even imagine.

***** Jaime & Kim, November 2013 *****
Beautiful women, inside and out.

So today, on her birthday, I wanted to write my Mom a quick letter. When you lose people, it makes you realize that life is a fragile thing. You never know when speaking to someone if it will be the last time. Chose your words carefully. Tell people you love them. You don’t want to live with regrets.

*****

Dear Mom,

I’m so sorry I didn’t understand your loss at the time it happened. As much as I grieved Kim’s passing last January, I somehow completely missed the connection/realization that she was your Jaime…that she was your person. You lost your close friend and sister-in-law. I hate that I didn’t truly understand your loss until I went through it myself 61 days later.

I just wanted to make sure that I’ve told you that I love you to the moon & back…and that I’m sorry for your loss, and that I miss Kim, too.

I am so thankful that you are in my life and that you are a huge part of my children’s lives. I am so proud of the woman you are and the woman you taught me to be by always living a life full of love and respect.

Happy 60th Birthday, Mom. You are nothing but the best. I hope and pray we get another 30 healthy, happy years together.

I love you. xoxo
JJ

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10 comments

  1. What a beautiful letter.

    Wishing your mom a very happy birthday.

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  2. Thanks, Josey darling. I am lucky to know that all of you kids love your mom.. (“You like me! You really like me!!” – I suppose you’re too young to get the reference…lol) 2014 was one tough year, for sure and I don’t know how people get through layers of grief like that without faith in God and the support of family and friends. It is most true that we never know when speaking to someone if it will be the last time…..and that time will come for all of us when talking to people we hold most dear. So just know that no matter what words end up being our last to each other, I know beyond a shadow of doubt that in this family we do love and respect all around. I know in my bones how much my kids love me; and you all should know the depth of my love for each of you. And I’ll see you in heaven. I’ll be the one playing Scrabble with Kim and Grandma Joan. I don’t know if Jaime plays Scrabble, perhaps we’ll have to teach her. 🙂 Thanks for the words you have written, they mean a lot. xxMom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see from this comment where Jos gets her honesty and ability to speak so openly and lovingly. ❤

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  3. What a beautiful letter. You mother is lucky to have a daughter who understands, though I’m sure she’d rather you didn’t.

    It’s my mom’s birthday today too. 😉
    Happy birthday to our awesome moms!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah hon that was gorgeous. And i am glad that your mum knows just how much you really like her! Xx

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  5. kaseypowers · · Reply

    Beautiful. I tear up every time you post about your grief. I can only imagine how you feel but send a prayer for you.

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  6. My mom lost her dear friend to a sudden heart attack when we were younger, and I never thought about how it truly impacted her. Until my close friend,was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago. I think of my mom’s loss a lot now every time my friend gets yet another type of cancer (her 5th was diagnosed last week – she’s not yet 35). As we face the seemingly inevitable, I think about how my mom lived with losing her dear friend. Ugh.

    Your ability to write so openly astounds me!

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  7. So beautiful. And such a realization. I find myself often not realizing the depths of what someone is going through until I face it myself too. Proves that it is natural that we all are a bit self centered, whether we like it or not.

    My bff has hearing loss and always felt ashamed of her hearing aids. I never understood her emotions b/c I loved her no less b/c of her hearing loss. Having Alex, I JUST NOW understand the pain she went though. It’s a hard realization. But a good one too.

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  8. mcmissis · · Reply

    It is so hard for me to tell the people closest to me how much I love them. Bravo.

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  9. I had been meaning to come comment on this because it is such a wonderful post (and because your relationship with your mom reminds me of mine – we are lucky, lucky women). Now seeing that your grandfather has passed made me come comment because my heart hurts for your mom. My maternal grandfather passed away 3 years ago and it was, and continues to be, very hard for my mom. Dads are special people (moms too, of course) and I can’t help but think that dads from this generation, in particular, are special people. My grandfather was a farmer in Iowa and Illinois. I think he would have gotten along well with your grandfather. I know I’m sort of rambling, but what I want to say is that I am so sorry for your loss and for your mother’s loss, and of course for the rest of your family. It’s clear that the love abounds in your family. A small bit is being sent your way from over here as well.

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