Posted by: Kathy | March 14, 2013

Weekly Writing Challenge: Abstraction

Upside Down

On November 16, 2008, pancreatic cancer took my mom from me and turned my world upside down.


On the 1 year anniversary of my mom’s death, her headstone was unveiled, and we went to the grave site to honor and remember my mom.

My mom is buried in Forrest Hills Cemetery, which is about a 45 minute drive from my house. It is not a long drive or a difficult one, but it is a drive I rarely make. Buried on a hill, along with her grandparents and parents, the setting of my mom’s grave site is truly beautiful and is always peaceful. I visited the grave on the 4 year anniversary of my mom’s death, and as my dad and I stood on the crest of the hill and let go balloons in her memory, I felt my mom’s love within my heart. I believe she was watching my dad and I that day, because even though 4 years have passed, my mom is still deeply missed.

I do not like visiting the cemetery because it is a strong reminder of all that I lost in my life when my mom died. It is also a “foretelling” of things to come since my dad insisted that his name be put on headstone when it was made. I know my dad is going to die one day, but it is a day that I am not ready for and I hope is a long time in coming. When I look at the headstone, I focus on my mom’s name and the plants that grow around the base of the stone, trying to block the sight of my dad’s name etched into the marble.

My mom’s fight with pancreatic cancer and her death changed my life, changed me, in ways I could have never imagined. For many months after my mom died, I was lost and it felt like my world was truly upside down. Although grief has taken its course (and its toll) and I have healed, there are still days when my mom’s loss hits me and my life is turned upside down.

Always on my mind. Forever in my heart. I love you, Mom.



  1. I stopped by to thank you for giving me a *like* on my Abstract Life Portrait post. I was immediately taken in by this post and many of your others. I too lost a parent, 7 yrs now. I can feel your tears and heartache. It’s like no other loss. Keep writing. I hope it brings you some solace.

    • Thank you for your comments. I appreciate you dropping by. Writing has helped me to heal. I’m sorry you had to experience the loss of a parent. You’re right, losing a parent is like no other loss. I lost my grandmother a little less than 3 years before my mom died. But at age 92, she had lived a long life. My mom had so many plans, so many things she wanted to do, but never got a chance to do them. The loss for my kids also hurts. One day at a time. 🙂 Take care.

  2. Hi Kathy, I can feel your upside downness with you as I lost both parents recently within a time period of 3 months. I do believe however that the more we remember them the more healing we find.

    • Hi. I’m sorry you lost both your parents. Loss of a parent can truly turn everything upside down. I think of my mom every day, in some way. I also keep her memory alive for my kids – a promise I made to her. I wish you all the best. Take care.

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