I Miss Her So Much

Part of surviving my mother meant withdrawing from her, so her painful comments had to fly farther to reach me.

Starting the work of writing the book this weekend (unfortunately, what I am doing could not yet be called ‘writing’) has brought her so close to me that I can once again smell her skin, see the way she draws circles with her toes absentmindedly when she reads, feel her laughter tickle the back of my neck.

She was magnificent. And I miss her so much.

I can’t believe I will decorate this house without her. And how is it possible that I continue to make birthday cakes for my son, without her good counsel? How dare I dream to write this book instead of having her with me?

I don’t know how any of us survive the ache of those we loved now gone. And yet, we do.

I turned 45 this weekend, and she wasn’t here to see it. She missed 44 and 43 and 42 as well. And when I turned 41 she was already in the hospital. The day the doctor said “tumor” for the first time was my birthday, and my son and I were in the hospital room with my father when he said it. She would celebrate her 70th birthday 13 days later, allowed home before the surgery, a store-bought cake instead of the elaborate dinner my father had planned. He told the restaurant to keep the deposit, his act of faith, and ignorance, in the face of so much to fear.

I always knew I would write about her, that much is clear. Now, whether that idea came from her or me, I can’t say. So much of what passed between us was hopelessly confused, hers and mine becoming the glorious “ours”—she and me against the world, just as Paul Williams sang to her when she sat in the living room in the dark, tears in her eyes, the record turning slowly on the turntable.

I love you, Mom. And I still can’t believe you’re gone.


About stacy

I am a writer, author, mother, former magazine editor (last at Redbook), optimist, and, above all, a searcher. I'm still searching for whom I'm really meant to be, after a series of very jarring losses. Since then I've been trying to figure out what's next. Or, in other words, how to fill in the blanks.
This entry was posted in grief, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to I Miss Her So Much

  1. alexandra says:

    That’s exactly how it is, Stacy. Grief is complicated because the loss that is a physical pain and the frustration of not being able to change the reality that they’re not here, and the wish that things would have been different.

    I look forward to your book, so that I can work on peace and healing. At this point, I can’t imagine ever adjusting to the loss of someone who knew me my entire life.

    So much love to you, friend , and you look exactly like her.

  2. Rita says:

    My grandmother will be turning 97 in a few weeks. I look at her and often wonder how she can bear the loss of so many people. Because I’ve come to know that we never really get over the loss of those we love–particularly, I think, those who loved us when we were young and so vulnerable. It’s not that I spend every day wracked in grief. But sometimes, the grief of those I lost 10, 20, even 32 years ago can still bring me to my knees. And although I wonder about my grandmother’s load of sorrow, I know how she bears it: There really isn’t any other choice.

    And for whatever it’s worth: I would call starting the work “writing.” It counts.

  3. Marci Rich says:

    Oh Stacy…I had to open this post when I saw the title. I instinctively knew it had to be about the loss of a mother. Mine will have been gone 14 years in September, and although our relationship was complicated (whose relationship with her mother ISN’T?), I also miss her every day. I’m glad you’re writing a memoir about her; I’m in the midst of one as well. It’s not easy crawling through the dark, back into childhood, and rooting around in the past—hardly what I’d call a pleasurable activity—but I hope that the result will have been worth the sorrow. I wish you every success with the writing process, and, of course, with the outcome.

  4. Rita Arens says:

    I wish I could give you a big hug.

  5. D. A. Wolf says:

    It’s never simple. Not three years later, not ten years later.

    I try to focus on the gifts in my own complicated relationship with my mother, gone more years than I can fathom. It seems like last week when I got the call that she had passed.

    All I have for you is my belief that your mom would be so proud of who you are, what you do, the way you give.

    Happy belated birthday. Sending love.

  6. teamgloria says:

    happy birthday!!!

    as you know – we’re not far behind *eek*

    and thinking of you as you remember your loss.

    write on.

    tis a book that needs to be written out of the body. many will find it helpful. just like your others.


    _tg xxx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *