Living with Grief


Two years ago I got the call that my mother had a stroke. She passed away on this very date a few days later.

How am I doing?


I miss her. I miss her so much I almost stop breathing when I think about her not being here.

I feel lost and alone most days.

I feel different.

I lost my best friend, the one person who could make me feel like I am loved even when I make bad decisions.

I am lonely.


After 9 months I remember I let out a little laugh and it felt so foreign. I even had a tinge of guilt.

At 10 months my husband told me that I can’t wallow in my grief every day.  So I tried to drink less wine and face my feelings.

At one year it hurt. It hurt so bad. I thought, in a way, my grief was getting worse and I had made no progress in handling this tragedy.

But then, my grief turned a corner after a few more months and I was able to think about memories of my mom and laugh, not break down in tears.

Not every time but sometimes.

This year I tried to not think of the way things used to be as much.


I try to look forward to things in my future because I still have so much.

However, I allow myself times to watch her funeral video and listen to all the songs that remind me of her. I cry so hard that my eyes are swollen for three days afterward.

Then….I find that I can go several days and feel joy.

In the depths of grief my solace was and is to read. I read book after book about life after death.

I grew up Mormon. My Mom and most of my family are also Mormon. I couldn’t grasp the doctrine of the church as the only truth, as that and many religions teach.  After trying out living Mormonism with Marc before our children were born we felt that our path wasn’t to be committed to that life. So we never married in the temple or went to church again.

As motherhood took over my life and while living the happiest days ever raising my boys, I didn’t worry about death or where we go when we die. I was happy to say “Nobody really knows anyway.”

I met friends from different walks of life. Some were Mormon, most were not. I was more comfortable with non Mormon friends because I felt more myself. I even discussed issues I had with the teachings of the church with my Mom and questioned her beliefs but her faith never wavered.

There was absolutely no pressure for me to become like her in that way. We had a mutual respect. However, in my immaturity I would sometimes find fault in decisions the church would make and I didn’t hide my opinions.

Fast forward to her death.

Where did she go?

My spiritual journey has been eye opening. I understand and respect my Mother and her religion more than ever.

I also understand myself and life better too. I continue to read. I try different ways of connecting my body to my higher self, my soul and the part of me that knows the purpose of this life.


I don’t claim to have all the answers, however I have peace with what I learned as a child and what I know as an adult, and continue to learn.

I do know this earthly experience is temporary and I understand that this body of mine is just a vessel for my soul to inhabit while I go through hard things and become stronger in this earthly experience. I am learning daily. It’s hard to keep focused on my soul’s mission but I know that my Mother was able to live guided by her soul through her dedication to her church. It was her way of staying focused on her spiritual growth. She did it. Her time came because she accomplished what her soul’s mission was on earth.

My beliefs are simple, broad and follow no religious teachings particularly but I have peace knowing that there is a place for all religions. So many messages are the same. We don’t all connect with one way something is said. I find that the same messages are taught in religion, new age therapies, meditation, self help books, The Bible and even certain people are gifted with knowledge and abilities to help us.

I don’t judge or discount any way one finds their truth. I am still searching daily for my own way to live mine but I am thankful for the peace of mind I have gained in this journey, even though it took losing my Mother to get here.

I treasure the blessings that I have, like my Dad.


My family.


One thing that is and always has been hard for me is change. Life changes daily and there is good in every one and there are challenges too.

Nothing stays the same.

That is the only absolute that I can say.

I have learned so much from my Mom’s example of how she lived, especially since her passing. I think of how she handled situations daily. She left me with a good guide of how this life can be lived simply and successfully.

Mostly, she left me with love. I felt loved by her and that is the hardest thing to be without now. I crave a conversion with her just to get her reassurance that things will work out and that she is here for me.


Although she no longer holds my physical hand now she sends me signs that she lives on. I watch for colorful birds, butterflies and I find nickles and other coins just when I need to know she is here for me.

I am no longer the same person.

Because with her went so much of me.

I am spending this day thinking of the happiest and sad times but I will wake up tomorrow knowing that I am not broken, I am strong and I have a story of my own to live.


And she is still with me.

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You’re a sweetheart Holly. Just like other posts you have written about your mom, this one too choked me up. You were a very blessed daughter, but your mom was very blessed with you.


This is beautiful!

Christine Vandormolen

Oh boy sweet Holly, you got me in tears. What a beautiful post and message. Thanks for sharing I am sending you a virtual HUG from WA. Prayers too!


I was just thinking about you last week. I was listening to Ed Sheeran’s Supermarket Flowers and wondering how your journey through the grief has been going. Anyone who has lost a parent understands the moments you described about how deep the pain goes. It can resurface at any time and surprise us.
I also read book after book. I was intrigued with Allison Dubois, and Doreen Virtue.
Thank you for sharing this with your followers.