I didn’t need a reminder that my Mom is gone. Not even a friendly reminder. Especially not a friendly reminder from an automated email system telling me that “Mother’s Day is coming soon! Order now and save!”

I didn’t need this same cheerful email to remind me that last year I bought the
“Hugs and Kisses” bouquet of purple irises and red tulips. After all, they were my signature Mother’s Day gift: a vibrant and energetic collection that screamed springtime. There was nothing subtle or forgettable about this annual bouquet.

I didn’t ask for the reminders, but there they are in my inbox, making sure I haven’t forgotten anything about my Mom or her place in my life. I read these messages and want to shake my computer shouting, “I have not forgotten ANYTHING, you fool! You stupid, stupid fool.”

If someone were to ask me how long it’s been I would need only a minute to calculate that the long, surreal January night was exactly 10 weeks and 3 days ago today. Weeks and days…the last time I counted time in weeks and days I was cradling a newborn.

Like the bizarre way the clock can simultaneously stand still and race forward when you are raising babies, so does it move when you have lost someone dear. It was only moments ago…It was a lifetime ago…I will never ever be OK…Life is somehow still marching on.

I find these contradictions surprisingly grounding. They tell me that I don’t need a clock or a calendar to remind me that time is not what it seems, or that life is too short to be fearful and too long to be unhappy. They remind me that even though time erases moments, the important ones are indeed unforgettable.


  1. I’m so sorry for your loss…having been at my husband’s side when he lost his dad I know that the first year is terribly hard, but it does seem to get a bit easier over time. Still, she will come back to you in ways and at times you never expect, and that’s a gift that doesn’t ever fade.

  2. I wish I had more comforting words of wisdom, but I don’t. Other than this is a beautiful post and I am keeping you in my thoughts.

  3. My mom died five weeks ago tomorrow. I don’t even know what I want to say here, I just know I wanted to say something. Thanks for sharing your thoughts which echo mine and break my heart all over again.

  4. Like Yuliya wrote: Unsubscribe.

    I remember feeling the first year after my mom died was like a running track. With each day and month and season, I kept moving forward and life was still happening, yet no matter where I was on the track, I could always look across and see clearly the details and feelings of the day my mom passed away. Whether approaching or passing the anniversary of her death (February) or clear on the other side in the warmth of summer, it’s a day I don’t forget. (((hug))) to you, my friend.

  5. I am a little late with the response, but just wanted to add a ‘thank you’ for sharing your heart – it helps frame what is inevetibale for some of us…unforgettable for others. Sending love.

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