Jamie's Blog

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What do we do when our mothers are gone?

Mothers's Day was never special, until now.
This year is the first without Mom.

My husband said, "We have no mothers," and though our relationships with them were far from perfect, we gazed in dumbstruck wonder at this incomprehensible reality.

Wanting to write a Mother's Day tribute, I watched videos of her, and felt a vice close around my heart.  I stared at the screen, hands heavy and still.

Then I heard the familiar pop signaling a friend's greeting in the Facebook chat room.  It was Shelley, a survivor sister, wishing me a happy Mother's Day.  It made me cry.  She understood. She made me laugh, too.

She gave me mother comfort.

Reminding me that no matter how good or weak our mothers might be, they can never fill every need.  Some leave patches of pain for us to mend, while others leave fathomless holes in our hearts.  All of these wounds of unmet need remain for us to comfort ourselves.

But not by ourselves.

In the eyes and arms and words of others with love, even mother love, to give.

Thank you Shelley.

Thank you, Mom.



  1. And thank you Jamie. Heartfelt, and beautiful.

  2. Lovely piece, Jamie. Thank you for acknowledging the 'mother' comfort we girls can offer one another. As the saying goes: friends are family we choose. I feel very blessed with the fabulous friends I have.

    1. You are so welcome, Karen. One blessing of loss is the ability to bond with loving friends.

  3. Beautiful. We can offer and receive "mother comfort" from our friends. I hadn't thought of it like that before, but you're right. We women do exactly that. It can't replace the real thing, but it does help. It helps knowing others understand. It helps knowing in this we aren't alone either. Thanks for this piece, Jamie.

  4. This is so poignant, so beautiful and so deeply touching for me on the occasion of my first mother's day without my own beloved Mom. The picture you have chosen is just so wonderful - what a beautiful mom you had and what a beautiful picture of your love for her. Thank you for sharing this with me Jamie - it's a precious gift to know I am not alone. Marie x

    1. Marie, I am so glad this was meaningful for you. May I be so bold to think that perhaps you received a wee bit of mother love from me, your survivor sister? That is my hope.
      Bless you, dear sister. Jamie