While most of my blog posts focus on leadership and learning, this one will be more personal. Today marks four years since I lost my mother to Melanoma. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. My mom was my best friend and a great mother. She loved music, laughing and singing every day. We spoke on the phone almost every day too.
My mom was not a fan of Social Media- she made us promise not to write about her passing on Facebook. We followed her orders and grieved in real life, face-to-face with our friends and family. I hope, four years later, she forgives my need to reflect on this social platform, for my own #mindfulness and peace of mind.
I notice more and more bloggers sharing personal memories publicly. Just last month, the wife of a high school friend wrote about missing her mom, who she also lost to Melanoma. I learned a lot of things from my mom when she was here with us. In fact, for her 60th birthday, my brother and I created a list of 60 life lessons we learned from Nan! But I’m going to share some things I’ve learned since she left us.
- Time is precious. Tell your friends and family you care about them whenever you can, because you never know when that opportunity will be taken from you.
- Memories live on. I may not have my mom here, to wrap her arms around me and tell me she loves me. But I am surrounded by memories of times she did just that, and times we spent together, happy and enjoying life. Nothing can take those memories from me.
- Time does help. You hear that phrase a lot, but you don’t realize it until you’ve come through the other side of an overwhelming, tremendous loss.
- The ocean heals. My mom never regretted a moment she spent with her feet in the sand, her face raised up to the sun, watching the ocean ebb and flow. When I miss my mom more than usual, I will often visit the ocean to feel closer to her.
- It’s okay to be sad. Every year around this time, I feel a little sadder, I miss my mom a little deeper. And that is okay. This year was the first year I planned for the inevitable waves of sadness, instead of letting them sneak up on me. I reread a book that my mom and I loved, that is bittersweet in its beauty and sadness- Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger. Reading this book, that we once read together, not only reminds me of my mom, but it helps remind me of the beauty and power of nature, of love, and of literature.
- Those you love are never gone. Whenever I see a heron or an egret, I know my mom in nearby.
Thank you for allowing me to share these personal memories here.