Posted by: Kathy | October 4, 2009

Words of a Stranger

Every relationship has its ups and downs, times when things are going well and then times when there are disagreements. This is a “typical” relationship, I know this, but when it came to my relationship with my mom, I didn’t see things that way. When my mom died, it was the bad times I remembered, and the arguments we had had haunted me. I was plagued with guilt over our relationship. I kept asking myself if my mom knew how much I loved her. I would talk to my mom, telling how sorry I was and that I hoped she had forgiven me.

In the months following my mom’s death, up until a few weeks ago, I cried a lot. There would be days when I wouldn’t be able to stop crying, everything would hit me the wrong way, every little thing seemed to start the tears again. And they weren’t just tears of loss. I cried tears of guilt, shame, and remorse. But no matter how much I cried, my tears didn’t wash away the pain or the incredible guilt I was feeling. It was awful. I couldn’t really tell my mom I was sorry since she’s no longer here, and I just felt at a complete loss as to what to do at times.

I share my blog site with anyone who I think may be able to relate to it. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I participated in a pancreatic cancer walk last Sunday. The man who set up this walk, Todd, lost his mom to pancreatic cancer, so I believed that he could understand and relate to what I’ve been going through. My dad had asked me to send Todd a picture of my mom for a wall of remembrance at the walk, so I sent him an e-mail with a short note and the link to my blog site. Todd sent me back an e-mail and what he wrote broke through my guilt and shame and all of the bad. He made me see the truth with just a few simple words, but I believed those words – the words of someone I had never met.

Todd had read the poem I placed on my site for my mom’s birthday and he wrote “It sounds like you and your mother had a special bond similar to the one I had with mine.” I read these words and I realized that he was right. After 10 months of punishing myself I realized that my mom and I did have a good relationship and that we had shared a lot of good times together. It was my mom who I turned to when I needed to talk or wanted an opinion about something. Even though we didn’t always agree, I respected her thoughts and wanted to know how she felt about things. And most importantly, I know my mom knew how much I loved her.

There are times when I’m still sad. I truly miss my mom and having her in my life. But it’s the good times I think of now and the things we did together as a close and loving family. I’m grateful that Todd responded to my e-mail and that his words helped me to see things more clearly, to see what I really shared with my mom.


  1. Reading your site is like looking into a mirror. I have just went through the most difficult times of my life. My mother passed away November 9th this year from pancreatic cancer. My mother was 68. I can hardly talk about it without falling apart.
    My guilt comes from the charles capps book I gave her on healing. She prayed over her body everynight in hopes that god would heal her. It never came.

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