The Long Way Home

February 10, 2011, 6:38 AM
Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags:


My mother passed away unexpectedly on January 31st. Last week was the worst week of my life and if it weren’t for my family, my friends and my amazing husband, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. It’s as if time slipped into another dimension, and by Monday the 7th, I was pushed back into daily life, ill-equipped to do the simplest tasks.

And there is still  a part of me that doesn’t believe any of this is real. I’m an organized person who has to plan everything in advance.  I analyze situations and intellectualize my emotions because it makes me feel as if I’m in control. I have to ‘know’ everything, there are no surprises for me.  But I’m learning that grief has its own way of doing things.

On Saturday, I was in Dollar Tree buying stupid household shit and I felt a tightness in my chest. A box of Sno-Caps made me cry because my mother used to eat them by the bagful. Am I allowed to watch a movie, read a book? Earlier in the week, at my sister’s house, I expected my mother to walk in the room and join the family for dinner. It felt very, very real that this would happen. Then I remembered why we were there. Her death punctuates all the ordinary things that I do  each day. It is difficult for me to talk about her in past tense, and it pierces my heart  to type any of this. I will never hear her voice again and knowing this terrifies me. I have never felt this much pain.

This past summer, Jeff bought me an alpine souvenir box at an estate sale. It’s also a music box, but we could never get it to work. And on the first day of my mother’s wake, I opened it to get my rings as I usually do, and the tiny strains of a discordant tune began to play. Jeff and I just looked at each other and laughed. The music wouldn’t stop, even after I shut the lid. It played again that evening when I put my rings away for the night, and it hasn’t played since. I know it was her way of telling me that I would get through those next three days. She was there. Is there.  It’s a hard road to normal when nothing will ever be the same.


9 Comments so far
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Jennifer just told me and I can’t tell you enough how terribly sorry we are to hear about your great loss. Please accept our sincere condolences. You are a very special person and a dear friend to us, and please know that you are not alone during your time of grief.


Comment by Agustin

Lisa, I am so sorry to read of your mother’s death. After I loss my parents it took me a while to realize that they never really leave you. The love, the lessons, the ties are always gong to be in your heart. Lizzie


Comment by thevintagetraveler

Lizzie, Thank you for your kind and caring words. I hesitated writing about this in a public forum, but then I thought that it didn’t feel right to not mention it at all. And it’s so true what you say, about how parents live on in our hearts. I have so many things to share about her and writing about it makes me feel as if there is a conversation with her.


Comment by Lisa

you loved her well, Lisa. I know you will miss her awfully, for a long time. I hope you know how many people love you, and are grieving with you, over this immense loss! Love, B, B, M, E, A and Maya (Pooter)


Comment by Becky

My heartfelt condolences are with you, Lisa. Your tribute to your mother is so very beautiful and comes from your heart and no doubt as you thought and put it into words, I believe your mother is smiling and sending you enough love to keep you strong. I thank you for sharing this for those of us that can’t quite express in words what we feel in our hearts when our loved ones go “home”. Peace to your heart.


Comment by Joanna

Beautifully written as always. I have thought of you and your family every day and know that you will make it. You are stronger than you think you are . Love you!


Comment by Michelle

You’re writing is so lyrical, so beautiful. What a tribute to your mom.


Comment by megan

beautiful. it is amazing what a striking resemblance you have to your mother. hugs and love, my friend.


Comment by kim rullo

so sad and so beautifully written. i love you, my sweet friend, and my heart hurts for you.


Comment by roya

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