Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tough Going

I hadn't snowshoed since my mom died until today. 

My sister in law, Leanne and I went out earlier today for a hike, and it was tough going. I've never worked so hard at snowshoeing. Since I haven't  been out, there were no trails and no base. We tried to walk on snowmobile tracks, but even that didn't help so much.  

We went across the field, and through the  swamp. It was deep. So deep. We made it to the place where I usually enter the woods to go up to the first beaver pond, but the snow was just too deep. Absolutely impassable. We turned back, hiking along our path through the swamp. I wasn't done, though. I NEEDED more time alone, more time in the woods. 

I set off for a short hike through the woods, and down to the lower field. 

Sometimes the hardest things we do are the most important. The hardest things to say, feel or do physically. Sometimes we need to push through to the other side. Today I needed physical exertion and silence. I needed to get back outside, where I haven't been since my mom died. I feel everything when I'm alone. I needed to face this today.  I'm glad I stuck it out, but it was tough going. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Dear Mom, 

Tomorrow Henry turns four. FOUR. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed. 

I am really struggling today. Tomorrow is the first "event" I've had to go through without you. I've planned just a small party- but it's still plenty of organizing and baking that I need to do, and to be honest, I'm having a hard time putting my whole heart in to it. 

I am hurting terribly thinking of how much Henry adores you and how his memories of you are soon going to start to fade. He talks about you, and he knows you are dead, but I don't know that he really understands it yet.  He asked me yesterday when we were in the spare bedroom if we were getting it ready for Granny to come and visit.  We actually have many moments like this, and they are sad, but not devastating.  I like that you are still close in his mind.

Well-intentioned people will tell me that "it's okay, you will keep your mom's memory alive through your stories", and yes, of course we will do that, but these words are not comforting to me. 

I want to scream, "IT'S NOT THE SAME". It's not the same, and it never will be. You will never have a living, breathing relationship with Henry ever again, and that hurts me. I know it hurts you, too. I can feel it and I will carry that with me forever. 

Mom, today, tomorrow and for the rest of my life I hold you close to my heart and I will miss you every second of every day. 



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Make Friends and Influence....Birds

When I was younger, I spent a lot of time visiting my grandparents at their home on Ahmic Lake. They had many different bird feeders for many different kinds of birds, and bird watching in the winter was particularly interesting. 

Now, we definitely don't have the extensive bird feeders that they did (and still do now that they've moved into Parry Sound), I did learn a thing or two about feeding birds from those days, like how Blue Jays are very social, even friendly birds, and absolutely love peanuts. 

If you want Blue Jays to flock to your house, go out and grab a bag of peanuts in the shell. Toss a handful out every so often, and call out to the birds - I have my kids yell out,  "hey, Jays!".   Pretty soon, you'll have Blue Jays flitting about, and they will come and call to YOU, eventually. They are bold birds. 

On these bitterly cold, but brilliantly sunny days, making new bird friends has been an activity my little kids have loved, even if their yelling at the birds through the windows makes it near impossible to get a decent photo. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Hardest Part

Dear Mom, 

I want to tell you about the hardest part. The hardest part wasn't finding out you had died. It isn't going through your things, and it wasn't even turning my back and walking away from your casket in the cemetery. The hardest part was at the end of your service, when we followed your casket out into the cold and snow. 

A piper was playing Amazing Grace. Michael, Matthew, Mel, Duncan, Mark and Luke were your pallbearers. I held tight to Henry's hand (Rick had taken Clare to another room), and we walked up the aisle out of the chapel. I couldn't look up- I didn't want to look at everyone looking at me.  Holding Henry's hand was the only thing that kept my feet moving and me upright. 

When we got outside, they placed you in the hearse. We were all sobbing. Deep, soul wrenching sobs. Your boys, Katie and me. I tried so hard to not completely break down because Henry was with me and I didn't want him to be scared. 

I remember Matt standing with his head down, hand on your casket, sobbing. It was cold, but we didn't feel it. Snow fell lightly all around. 

And then that was that. They closed the door to the hearse. 


And that was the hardest part. 

I miss you so much. 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Three Weeks Ago Today

I don't know how it's already been three weeks since my mom died. It's been three weeks, and most of the time it doesn't feel real. 

I don't really know what else to say except: three weeks and I've barely scratched the surface of the emotional iceberg that I'm carrying around with me. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015


My mom died in a car accident. 

My mom DIED in a car accident (not just injured). 
MY mom died in a car accident (no one else's). 
My MOM died in a car accident (my mother). 
My mom died in a CAR ACCIDENT (sudden, immediate, too soon, preventable). 

No matter how I say it, it somehow still doesn't feel real, and yet no matter how I say it, it's still my reality. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Grief is a delicate thing.

I find I'm moving through the world cautiously, trying to move slowly and mindfully. I don't want to do too much, take on too much, or expose myself to something that will be too much.

Yesterday, I felt great. I woke up to my alarm, took a supply job, and had a fabulous and rewarding day.

Today I woke up feeling strong, and I decided to go grocery shopping. On my way there I passed an accident on the highway. Nothing horribly serious, but it wrecked me. 

I ended up in the parking lot of the grocery store gasping for breath and sobbing. 

 What hit me had today was the fact that my mom died all alone.  This will always haunt me, along with the words my sister spoke to me the day she died, "they worked on her at the scene...". 

Something happened after I saw the accident, though that I need to share. The very first car I saw after I got off the highway was the exact same car as my mom's. EXACTLY the same. I don't know what to make of that except to say in the time I needed her strength, she was there.