Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beautiful Mourning

It's that time again. April. April 30th to be specific. Mom's birthday. She'd be 67 today.

I miss her.

(It's easy to see why everyone loved her.)

(Look at how beautiful she was!)

Usually, at this point in the year, I start to dive deep into the darkness of mourning and depression. It took me a long time to figure out that April, May and June were taboo until therapy has taught me the meaning of the "Hat Trick" and how to start coping.

The "Hat Trick". I've mentioned on my other blogs about it. April - her birthday, May - Mother's Day, June - The anniversary of her passing. It has debilitated me long enough. It has sent me into a tailspin for 19 full years. It has made me contemplate ending it myself for many, many years.

And it returned every April. Without fail. Subconsciously at first...then I began putting the pieces together.

But this year is different.

This year, I intend to celebrate and embrace her, not mourn her. I've mourned long enough. I have suffered her loss with every new event - boyfriends, marriage, the birth of my daughter, anniversaries, birthdays...I have had enough mourning for a whole lifetime. After all, she's been gone more than half of my life this year. 19 years. I'm 36. Almost 2 decades gone. God I miss her.

(I might have been 1 here, she was 32.)

17 is a terrible time to lose your mother. And after all these years, I am finally learning that I have survived terrible losses and events in my life...and emerged stronger and smarter.

Going through it all, I never realized how strong I was becoming. But today, on her birthday, I can honestly admit what I see. She actually set out to do what she wanted to do. She wanted to make me a strong and independent woman. And while I may not agree with her technique, (that's a joke) I can finally appreciate what I've been through.

I can embrace my loss in a way I never have before. I can take my loss and use it to give me strength and courage to get through anything. It is my badge of honor, my tribute to her. I can see her in me and myself in my daughter, that gives me strength. Hope everlasting.

Finally, I can say. "I love you mom" without feeling anger, fear and emptiness in my soul. Finally, I can use this newfound courage for good.

Finally, I can celebrate her birthday as a joyful memory and wish her a happy birthday with all my heart. Yes, I'm crying as I type this. Yes, it was many, many years of therapy and medication to come to this crossroads. Yes, I was very fearful that if I stopped mourning and began accepting her death that I would officially lose her for good. Finality. It's what I feared most.

But I know now that the finality is only physical. My heart still feels her near me, still feels her embrace me when I need her love. I can still feel her watching over me, protecting me. And I can finally be okay with it. No I'll never be 'over' it, no I'll never forget her love and her soul. But I can be 'okay'.

The season has come to embrace her as is. As the part of my heart that no one can ever take away. This mourning, has made me realize I have entered a new phase in my life.

And I want to thank her for helping me find this peace. I have been waiting for a long time and working diligently to find it. I would have never found it without my mother's love, guiding me to this peace.

Peace of mind that she is with me always. I'm sure that was her dream.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you and miss you.

(You were always beautiful.)


  1. That was a beautiful post, JJ.
    Your mom was and is beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing that with us today.
    God Bless,

  2. I'm in bits here! I'm so happy that you ave a new acceptance - it's still hard I have no doubt - she is beautiful - and that beauty lives on in you and Fa - you look just like her!

    Here's to your Mom - and may you feel her loving embrace surround you today, and in the days ahead.

  3. oh jj, you are sooooo strong !!! you are a survivor and i have no doubt there is an angel up there beaming with pride !!! rock on - celebrate her beauty and live this life we are given.

  4. awww sweetie! YAY! You had me with goosebumps and tears here, so so happy for you to see the light, the good stuff and the love. It is so hard to put away this stuff the angry and the pain, but the freedom is so worth it, I promise! HUGS

  5. She was indeed very beautiful. My mother turned 67 on April 22 and I am very grateful she is still around (I lost my father early). Keep blogging and when the next few months get rough on you, we'll all be there for you. Much love in the blogosphere. I feel it daily and I hope you do too.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. And you're right, she was a knock-out.

  7. just beautiful, hon.

    and you know we're all out here to help you through the tough times ...

    sending hugs.

  8. What a beautiful post. I'm so happy you have found a way to celebrate her life instead of mourning her death. She would want that for you. My mother died 12 years ago this Dec. Her birthday is in September, we found out she was dying in October and she died in December. Those months were so hard to get through for many years. The first time I hear a Christmas song it brings tears to my eyes. This post puts things in a new light.

  9. A beautiful woman, indeed. *hugs* I am glad you are at peace with where you are in your life, and I know she is your very own guardian angel. She'd be very proud of you :)

  10. That was really good. I'm proud of you :)

    For some reason your feeds haven't been updated in my reader...

  11. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my mom at such a young age. I'm so sorry for your loss. She was amazingly beautiful.

  12. That's outstanding. Good for you.

    You should be able to celebrate your mom's life and appreciate everything.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. Now we know where you get your good looks!

  13. I hope you know your mom is always looking down at you. Guiding you when you don't even know it.

    I can definitely see the resemblence between you and your mom!

    Big hugs and sorry I got to this post a day late....

  14. And I am destroyed... ...


    I'm so fucking proud of you.

    And thank you for sharing's a tremendous gift you just shared with us.

    And you're right. She was incredibly beautiful. And I believe that she still is...

  15. Gorgeous photos, JJ! I'm happy to read this post about your acceptance. And I'm glad you're celebrating your mom's life.

    Many hugs!

  16. What a sweet tribute to your mom. I'm glad you are finally able to remember her without as much pain.

  17. No matter how long ago it was - the pain was real and damaging.
    This is a wonderful tribute - and a wonderful way to accept and overcome.

  18. She was so beautiful! And I know she lives on in you and your gorgeous daughter daily. This was a beautiful tribute, girlie. I'm so sorry you lost her so young. You truly inspire me with your strength. xo.

  19. So glad to read that these 3 months aren't as bad as they once were and that you're getting along.

    She was beautiful. She'd be so proud of you now.

  20. She sure is beautiful... and yep, now we know whare you get your looks...

    and that was a beautiful post, girl.

    Sending you hugs....

    Not sure you ever really "get over" losing a loved one... you do learn to deal w/ it better. My little brother was killed by a speeding car when I was 14 and he was 11. I still feel crushed when I think of it. It's been over 30 years...

    BUT, I know I will see him again.... and he's just up there waiting for us to join him.

    I am sending you hugs...
    I honestly could NOT imagine ever losing my mom.

  21. Thank you for sharing. She was gorgeous. And I'm glad you can celebrate her life more than you mourn her death.


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