Posted by: Kathy | January 15, 2014

Yes, It’s a Sign

The title of this post is in response to a post recently written by JC called “A Sign?” In the first lines of the post, she says “I have been absent for a couple of months. I think I’m taking this as a sign of healing — that I don’t feel the need to pound out my feelings on the keyboard as much.” I completely agree.

It’s been 5 years since my mom died. Hard to believe. Some days, it’s like she was just here, but then there are others when it seems like she’s been gone for a long time. As I think of my mom right now, there’s a twinge of sadness in my heart, my mind drifting to the smile on her face, my ears hearing the sound of her voice. But I know that the sadness won’t last. It took me a while to heal from my mom’s illness and death, but I’ve done it. For me, that’s a huge step.

When my mom was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I was in shock, and for almost a year I lived in fear of losing her. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often referred to as a death sentence. If sheer will power and love could have kept my mom alive, she’d still be with us today. However, the cancer was stronger than anything anyone could throw at it and we lost my mom to this horrible disease.

After her death, I was filled with sadness, grief, anger, guilt, and an emptiness that echoed with pain. All these emotions, and I had no idea what to do with them or how to process anything. All I could do was cry. For me, because of a bad past experience, counseling was not an option. I talked to friends, but there weren’t many who understood, since their moms were still alive. One friend even called me a downer and was surprised that I hadn’t gotten over my mom’s death after a few months. What our family went through is something you don’t get over, it’s something you heal from slowly.

I found solace in writing. Day after day, week after week, I pounded my feelings into the keys of my laptop, as I poured out my emotions into words. These words showed up as ramblings of pure grief and loss on this blog. A blog dedicated to the loss of a parent. A blog dedicated to my mom. A blog through which I met others who understood my grief and pain, and these cyber friends, like JC, helped me to heal. Slowly, I came out of the fog of grief and pushed off the weight of guilt. The pain that echoed inside me lessened, and the tears of loss became less frequent. And then, I started to put the pieces of my life back together. I found myself and began to live, finding happiness once again.

I miss my mom. I miss her smile. I miss the love she gave to my kids and the time she spent with them. I miss her Christmas dinners and the way she made every holiday special. I even miss her “nagging” me about things she wanted me to do. I can never get any of this back. But now, instead of remembering my mom with pain, I remember her with a smile and a warm feeling in my heart. There’s not a day that goes by that I do not think of my mom in some way, and there are many life moments I wish she was here to share with me. Even though my mom is not physically here, I know she’s watching over her family and these moments are not missed.

So much has happened in the past 5 years. There are times when I feel like I’ve been on an extended rollercoaster ride of emotions. But I no longer have the need to pound my feelings into words, which were often written through a waterfall of tears. Even though I have healed from my mom’s illness and death, I don’t think I will ever really get over it. She was my mom and I miss having a mom in my life. There are days when I still need her. I need my mom. But I’ve learned to figure things out for myself, and I think she’d be proud of me.

There are several quotes and Bible verses that I read during the eulogy I gave for my mom. Most will always apply to my life and the death of my mom. Today, this quote comes to mind: “I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I stop missing you.” I will always love you, Mom, and you will always have a place in my heart.



  1. Let me first start off my saying im not that computer savvy. I am not on facebook or twitter or all the other social networking vehicles. However, I do have email and I would love to talk with you. Your story sounds so much like mine.. I need help. I miss her so much. She was called home far to early. My mother passed of pancreatic cancer April 2010 and yes as I type this message to you I can barely see.. the tears are flowing so heavily. Does it get better? There is no love like the love of a mother. It hurts so much. I am worried, while I know everyone has their own time to greive it hurts so much.

    • Hi Nikki: I am so sorry you lost your mom to pancreatic cancer. I sent you an email this morning. Take care.

  2. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it is a great salve that lessens the intensity of the pain. Bless you.

    • You are so right. Pain does lessen with time, but some wounds cannot be healed with time. I think we get used to the wounds being there – they become a part of us. Take care.

  3. How wonderful that your pain has eased and you are able to move through the day with a lighter heart.
    blessings ~ maxi

    • Thanks Maxi. It’s nice to feel some peace for the first time in many years. Take care.

  4. Kathy, thank you! I am so honored to have inspired you to write such a beautiful post; it gave me chills and brought tears to my eyes. Your expressions of grief and working through it have always resonated with me. As I read your posts I would nod my head up and down in agreement just as I did with this one. It is reassuring that we have made such progress and I know that we will both continue to do so. This progress, in no way, will ever diminish the neverending love we have for our mothers. In fact, I think it makes it stronger if that is even possible. Here’s to our continued healing. xo

    • This is so beautiful and I’m sure your mom would be so proud of you. I’ve been feeling many of the same emotions as I approach the second anniversary of my mom’s death. And just the other day, I heard “Lean on Me” on the radio — which the congregation sung at my mom’s memorial service. For the first time ever, rather than the song making me sad, I heard THIS verse and was hopeful: “If we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow…” Hugs to you.

      • JenC214, I, too, am approaching the second anniversary of my mom’s passing (still can’t say the “D” word), and believe we are on the road to healing and recovery when we are able to recall the loved ones we have lost with smiles; I am now able to smile when I think of my mom but miss her everyday. To healing!

      • Hi JenC: Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m sorry you lost your mom. I relate strongly to music and there are several songs that remind me of my mom. I’m glad you can smile when you heard the song that was sung for her. I wish you all the best. Take care

    • Hi JC: Thanks for the comment. You and I have frequently been on the same page. Sometimes it’s not been a great page to be on, but it’s nice to have others who understand. It’s nice having someone you can relate to in hard times. Thank you. Take care.

      • Kathy, yes we have and it’s been a comfort to me. Thank you!

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