« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

January 30, 2011

heart. . .

***Thank you dear Thea for gifting this song to me...***

You have all been so kind.... I cannot imagine going through this without you...

Your love and care have been expressed in so many ways ~
the letters,
the phone calls,
the bath goodies,
the journal filled with your hand written comfort...

the home made meals,
the desserts,
the offered help,
the quiet nod from across the room...

the sharing of your last tissue during a tear tsunami,
the prayers,
the understanding of my silence,
the bright red kite....

the stories, the photos,
the keys to your beach house,
the beautiful flowers,
the music...

You are helping me,
and I love you...

Posted by jen at 02:42 PM   |   link   |   

January 21, 2011

A kind of peace.


It is true, there are so many layers of grief...
And I have stumbled through many of them during these past two weeks at Mom's house.

I have to admit, one layer surprised me. I never expected to find any kind of comfort in this loss.

After a long day, complete with heavy sobs and manatee sized tears, I poured a glass of Mom's favorite wine, and decided to take in the sunset. (Mom is the one who taught me to fall in love with the ocean so I assumed I would just fall into another cry fest. )

But I didn't break down.

I think
a kind of peace.

I found myself feeling so relieved that Mom was free from all she had been going through. I felt grateful that she was in a place of complete contentment and love. I smiled as I imagined her whirling about and enjoying the company of so many good folks who went before her. .....At that moment, I wasn't sad, and I raised my glass and toasted to my Angel Mom with a glad heart...

I know that was a only a moment and the rough days will be back. But I find comfort in knowing that even though this road is so painful, I will have these little moments of being happy for Mom, who really is better than ever.

Posted by jen at 10:02 PM   |   link   |   

January 18, 2011


Postcard from Mom, after a long day

Posted by jen at 10:37 PM   |   link   |   

January 14, 2011



"You will lose someone you can’t live without,
and your heart will be badly broken,
and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved.
But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp."
— Anne Lamott

Posted by jen at 04:49 PM   |   link   |   

January 12, 2011

home. . .


Posted by jen at 07:48 AM   |   link   |   

January 07, 2011


sweet belle,

There is beauty always to be found...

Posted by jen at 09:08 PM   |   link   |   

January 04, 2011

Trying to call.

Mom and Spencer, On the back porch.

So even while there is this constant pull in my heart reminding me that Mom has passed, there are also these tiny moments when I forget. It's like a drop of peace for a spilt second and then it quickly gets washed away with the truth.

I have grabbed for the phone so many times....Wanting to tell her something, or ask her something, or just wanting to say "I love you" after a long day ~ Only to feel the sudden dread when I realize I cant call her.

Today I was especially sad, especially flat. And I did that reaching for the phone thing. (Which made me even more sad.) The only thing I could think to do is to try and remember what my Mom would have told me at that very moment had the call went through.

She would have told me to get out of the house. *Mom and I had a deal, on those really bad days, we had to get outside , even if its just to the back porch, even if its just for a few minutes. So I did that.
Next, I know she would have said something along the lines of "Honey, why don't you and Barron make a cozy dinner, start a fire in the fireplace, curl up on the couch and watch an old movie. Oh, and use your silver and your china, things always taste better when you put to use the pretty delights..."

So we are doing that tonight.

And I do feel a little better. Feels like Mom is here tonight.
I wish it could always feel like this.
One of my wishful hopes....

Posted by jen at 05:46 PM   |   link   |   

January 02, 2011



There is hardly a path, a map, instructions on how to travel through grief.

The "five stages of grief?" While modeled for both the person who is dying and those who have lost a loved one~ it really doesn't fit for me.

*Denial? Trust me, Im not in denial. Mom has died. I have been preparing for this for three years now. She knew she was dying and so did I. We had countless talks about it, and made many preparations for it.
Mom is gone. Im clear on that. Instead, Id call this stage: "The Hard Core Reality of Loss"

*Anger? Perhaps. But not in the way the Kubler Ross model explains it. I do not feel there is someone to blame for what happened. This is life, and death is a part of it. I do not feel envy or jealousy for those who still have their moms, or are celebrating happiness in their lives. Im just sad I dont have my Mom here today. I would have to say Im more irritated and impatient than angry.Not so tolerant of things that normally would roll off my back. And that has to do with just being entirely drained and exhausted and less capable muster up the energy to smile or comfort you when you complain about your sore toe.
I'd call this stage: "Being Out of Reserves"

*Bargaining? Ive never known bargaining to work when it comes to this kind of life stuff. There is nothing I could have done to vanish that cancer from my Mom's body. I had hoped for more time, I had hoped the clinical trial would help, I had prayed she would not be in the kind of pain I saw her suffer. But there is no negotiating here. I call this stage: "The Wishful Hopes."

*Depression? I feel such a negative association with this word. I will say instead, I am heartbroken. Fully and totally heartbroken. And that may mean I do not feel like attending parties or managing alot of conversations. That may mean I prefer to be curled up at home with the one I love and keep the outside chatter at a distance for awhile. That may mean phone calls and emails will go unanswered, but if that is what I must do, then that is what will happen. Heartache has made the entire world seem totally different, nothing feels the same. Id call this stage: "Simply Being Heartbroken."

*Acceptance? How can I not accept what has happened? Seriously, do I really have a choice? And does this mean I see no purpose in life and no need to go on? No. I will keep on. But Im probably just going to be really really sad for a really long time.. I just have to figure out the way that will work for me. I call this stage: "Finding a Way Through".

Now this is not to say others won't go through different stages, and Im not saying there is a right way or a wrong way to manage grief. I get that everyone has their own way, and everyone should. Im just trying to get clear on what my way is looking like.

Everyone has been really kind.
Mom had more people who loved her than most people would have in two lifetimes. We have lots of support, a strong family, and I know we are lucky that way. I know Mom will never have even a memory of the hideous pain she had. To me, that is worth the sorrow I must now face,.. Because there is no sorrow (for me) worse than watching someone you adore go through torture.
I know she is there, I am sure of this. ~ The adjustment to a new way of communicating will take time to get used to, as will the absence of physical closeness. But Mom was specific at how she would contact us before she died, and sure enough she is keeping that promise. I know she loved me, I know she knew I loved her. There is a ton of peace in that.

Truth is, I am pretty lost. Dreading the journey of grief, but at the same time, feeling the grief is the only way to keep close to Mom. I know there will be a future where I will find other ways to feel this closeness, in memories that bring me smiles and laughter and the wonder of Mom's beautiful life. Im just not there yet.

Thank you everyone,
for being there,
for the cards
and the notes,
and the calls
and the flowers
and the prayers
and the ongoing love.
You are making it easier for me as I feel my through this path I have been forced to take.


Posted by jen at 01:43 PM   |   link   |