Tuesday, July 2, 2013

To everything there is a season...

The street where I grew up
It's Tuesday night, I am alone in my childhood home, and I am sad, filled with memories and longing. For those of you who don't know, I lost my mother suddenly in January. My husband and I were here for her 86th birthday at the beginning of the year. We played countless hands of Pinochle, many of which she won, and she kept score without missing a beat. She was tired, but generally in good health. We said goodbye on January 10th and early in the morning of January 12th, she had three massive strokes. She never woke up. 

Since that time, I've been busy, busy, busy. I had writing conferences in March, April, May, and June, and a blogging event in Chicago last week. Plus, there were several trips across the state to get my mom's house ready to be put on the market. 

My childhood home

For some, selling a parent's house is little more than a necessary burden. For us, it is a heartbreak. I grew up in this house. Yesterday, as I drove down the street, the yellow For Sale sign ripped through me. No! I wanted to shout. You can't sell this house. Of course, I'm being emotional and totally unrealistic.

As I said, I'm by myself in my childhood home. After returning from Chicago last week, I realized it was time. Time to grieve. Time to let go. Hopefully, time to heal. You see, my busyness prevented me from experiencing the necessary steps in grief. As a result, I'm rundown (still getting over pneumonia) and depressed. I can't seem to focus. I'm tired. I have no motivation. I'm missing deadlines. Quite simply, I'm just not myself. If you've ever delayed grief, you probably understand exactly what I'm going through. 

I decided the best place to grieve was in the home I was going to be parting with. I drove here yesterday, had dinner with my best friend, Dawn, and then spent the rest of the night (at least until 2 or so), screaming, crying, and calling out for my mommy. It wasn't a pretty scene and I was so thankful for air conditioning and closed windows as I threw myself across her couch, clutching her blanket to my aching chest and weeping. I gave way to the gut-wrenching sobs that have been lingering below the surface, wading in the stagnant waters of delayed grief. 

This is something I could only do when I was completely alone, so I'm thankful for my husband who agreed with me when I said I had to leave him for awhile and travel this journey by myself.

I had hoped Mom would "show up" and comfort me. She didn't. 

Now, I'm sitting in the kitchen listening to the clock tick off the seconds. The refrigerator hums and there is tapping on the keyboard as I write. Other than that, silence. The silence my mother listened to night after night, week after week, month after month, when she was all alone. When I was too busy to visit; when I couldn't take a week off and come to Manheim to spend time with her... but now am finding the time to come and grieve her. It breaks my heart. 

"I'm sorry, Mommy," I cried over and over last night. "I'm so, so sorry." 


  1. A honest and brave post at what if feels like to lose your beloved parent. I'm so sorry Hanna. You just get through it one step at a time.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. I keep thinking about losing my mother these days. She's 70 and I think her own mortality has been on her mind since she hit the same age her own mother was when she died of breast cancer. I believe she was 64.

    Again, I'm so sorry for your loss and I hope your taking the time to mourn her loss helps you get through it.

    When I lost my baby son 7 years ago I delayed my grief and it caught up with me too. Take the time to cry and be sad now. I'm glad you see the value in that.

    1. Thank you for sharing your own thoughts on this sensitive subject. Life is so hard at times... and equally wonderful.

  3. Sometimes life feels like one big "woulda-coulda-shoulda", doesn't it? But if your mother was anything like mine...she wouldn't have wanted you fussing over her. She'd have been proud of you and happy for you. When my mother died I created a lovely place in my mind to shelter my grief...a mossy wooded glen with sun beams streaming down, with a brook, and an old log to sit on. I go there often knowing that my mother loves it there and so do I. We all know and share your grief. Lean on us.

    1. Thank you, Jan. Your words were like a warm hug.

  4. I just have no words. I felt everything with you as I was reading, and I'm praying for you to be comforted.

  5. Sorry to hear of your loss. It is very hard to let go. In time you will heal.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. This is clearly why I was just not myself while in Chicago. I hope I didn't seem too aloof.

  6. Oh hun... *HUGS* I think grief (though not over loved ones departed, not yet) is still trying to catch up with me, and I don't know what to say but I am so sorry for your loss, and so glad that you were able to take this time to grieve and say goodbye. You are in my thoughts and prayers ♥


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