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Being a mom without having mine

this was a post originally published on the now defunct blog - wifessionals.  I never posted it here so I thought I would share.  Last night, for the first time, Addy asked me about "mommy's mommy" - if she could come visit, where her house was, if we could go see her house, etc.  You guys, it was like a punch to the gut.  The thing about these losses that we suffer, it doesn't really get easier.  The adage "time heals all wounds"?  not true.  we learn to live with them, so that they don't swallow our entire lives, which is good and needed.  because life deserve to be lived.  yet, every once in a while we see the loss for what it is- gut wrenching, soul numbing, blackness.

In case you were wondering how we handled it. I simply said that grandma couldn't visit because she lived too far away.  I know that Addy didn't really know what she was asking and I am certainly not in a position to lay down concrete views of heaven on a two year old.

Happy Friday everyone!  First of all thanks to Kaitlyn for letting me share my story.  It is something that while obviously close to my heart, I have wanted to share as I know other people out there are going through a possibly similar situation and the grief that I experienced in this new phase of life is something that caught me completely off guard.  Okay now that that's out of the way, my name is Bria, I am a stay at home mom of one and a half (the second is baking!) and married to Jim.  I blog infrequently and informally at Wiggle Life and would love it if any of you stopped by and said hello!

My mom passed away when I was eight from breast cancer.  I was an only child due to the hysterectomy and double mastectomy she underwent at the diagnosis of the disease, when I was one.  At the time, one of my most vivid memories is everyone telling me how young I was to lose my mom.  Having only a child's perspective at the time and up until that point having had my entire life with her, I remember thinking "I'm not young, I'm eight! We had lots of time together!"

However, as the years passed, I began to realize how much we were going to miss out on together: school dances, prom, graduation, first night at college, first boyfriend.  These realizations hurt and so I mostly stayed away from or "redid" typical mother-daughter things.  The biggest example that comes to mind would be my wedding, my wedding was planned in 40 days and I got my dress off of Ebay, rather than face shopping without her.  Looking back, I'm not sure if I was really aware that I was avoiding the typical mother-daughter things or just thought I was "forging my own way."  My grief for my mom, while still present, had subsided with time and stayed mostly in the back of my mind and heart.

Then, when I was twenty-five my daughter was born and with it, my grief was reborn.

All of the sudden, I understood the bond my most must have felt for me and how difficult it was for her to be sick.  All of a sudden, I realized the disease from her perspective (as much as I can).  All of a sudden, I realized just what growing up without a mom robs you of, and it hurt like hell. 

I was also grieving in a very fresh way.  I was grieving as a mother.  In my heart, I know only a small fear when I think of leaving my daughter; my mom faced it as a reality.  In my heart, I have years and years with my child; my mom was given months.  In my body, I feel the aches of too little sleep and too much toddler mania; my mom knew a body riddled with cancer while still trying to parent.  I understood as best I can without her here a small fraction of the pain that she must have felt and it broke my heart.

There is other grief, my charming toddler will never get to make her grandma laugh.  I will never have my mom know me as a mother.  We won't have a family picture taken together marked "3 Generations".  However, my biggest sadness is just feeling this hole, day in and day out, in my heart and knowing that on earth, it will never be fully healed.

 Even through my sadness and new understanding though, being a mom has given me the strength to move through my grief in a new way.  Some of my memories of growing up seem a little clearer as I go through similar situations, I was also able to read the journals my mom had written about her illness for the first time.  Knowing the strength my mother had in her life has given me strength to be the best possible mother in mine. 

I am due October 8th with our second child and while I am sad that this will be yet another milestone we will not share, the greatest joy I have is knowing that my mom would be proud of me.  I carry that knowledge and the love I know she had for me around with me every day.  There is not one part of me that doubts the involvement she would have in my children's life if she were here and while we will never experience togetherness again on the earth, I will do my best to honor her as a mother through my journey every day.    

If any of you have ever experienced anything similar to just want to talk, please feel free to email me at


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