Am I “Over It?”

My mother died 36 years ago this past Saturday, January 9th. That is a LONG time ago. Her death has been more a part of me than her being alive.

January 9th is not a hard day for me anymore. My mood doesn’t change, I don’t do anything particularly special, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I know what day it is. On January 9th, I reflect from time to time on it being the day that changed my life the most, and I then go back to my present world in 2010.

Am I over it? In many ways, yes.

I have no idea what it would look like to have a mom. I can’t imagine someone doing the classic “mom” things for me, or with me. I am okay with that. I don’t expect it, or look for it. I have made my peace with this as who I am. I sometimes think my heart is a little more hardened to protect me from missing any of those things, and from the independence that was forced upon me.

Becoming a mom has probably been one of the biggest things that helped me. Loving unconditionally, and being loved from a child unconditionally, filled my heart in so many ways that took away so much of the sting of not having a mom. Also, I have acquired so many gifts from my loss that I now embrace and cherish.

Am I over it? In many ways, no.

My life is still forever different because of January 9th. There still is a hole in my heart. I know I will never get that love from anyone else in my life like I would have from having a mother. I still have some of the same weird “isms” that developed when I was a kid, coping with loss. I still don’t like conflict. I still feel very different than other females. I still wake up in the middle of the night and make sure my heart is still beating and hope I am not going to die in bed like my mother, before the sun comes up. I also have no expectation of anyone to be in my life for a long period of time. I expect them to have a season—long or short—but I am often okay, or not surprised, when the season ends.

I am really lucky my world has become largely filled with Comfort Zone people. When we are together we create our own majority –those who “get” loss. That is the world I feel most normal and at peace. It is a world filled with most of the finest people I know. These are people—kids and adults—who see the world with added dimension, colors, and depth because they HAVE experienced loss.

I was asked recently if I would give up a year of my life to have one more day with my mom (or dad). My answer was no. For me, my life is now filled with such a wonderful (and goofy) husband and my two kids. I love my life right now. I hate to give up a day with them, and would never sacrifice a year with them, EVEN if it was to have one more day with my mom. I think that means I am at a healthy place and a good place in my grief journey.

Photo Credit.


  1. Patricia said on April 19, 2010 at 11:45 pm ... #

    The 14th anniversary of my father’s death is this Friday. I lost him when I was six, and I understand when you say you have no idea what it would look like to have a mom. I have no clue what it would look like to have my dad right now. I came to that realization about six months ago and it really helped me cope. I thought this year would be easier because of it, but for whatever reason it isn’t. I love what I have now. My husband is wonderful, my life is beautiful. But I still struggle with that, “Why doesn’t the world stop today?” mindset. All this to say, I really related to your article. I found it truthful and insightful.

  2. Ryan said on May 18, 2010 at 1:36 am ... #

    my birthday is January 9th, my friend’s son (he’s 2 now) is also on the same date. I hope that there is some consolation that life entered into this world the same time that it left.

  3. Corinne said on July 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm ... #

    Today is the 13th anniversary of my mother’s death (I’m 18 now) and I really loved and related to your article. When I think about it, 13 years is such a long time and I have no idea what having a mom would be like. I’ve never been to a Comfort Zone Camp, but I hope to volunteer soon!

  4. Mikhaela said on January 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm ... #

    Wow, I get this. It will be 27(?!) years for my Dad on the 12th. I lost him a few weeks shy of my 15th birthday, and I can honestly say the event was life changing for me, along with the rest of my family (Mom and three younger brothers). I miss him every single day, but I know he is with me. I especially hear that huge silly laugh when I do something that I know he would enjoy.

    We will get through this… we will….

  5. Kaylene said on March 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm ... #

    I could so identify with the comment of not knowing what it felt like to have a mom, I have always wondered what it would feel like to pick up a phone and say, Hi mom! My mom died when I was 12 but was diagnosed with a chronic disease when I was 2. I still have painful memories of watching the disease slowly take her life. I still can not speak of them out loud for fear of what it will open up. I often wonder how different I would have been had I had a mother daughter relationship, wow even saying that out loud seems foreign. But then I like the person that I am and so that should be ok right??? I recently went through a divorce and that comes with it’s own pain and loss compounded with the knowledge that losing my mother at an early age was a factor in it. Now I struggle with trying to heal from it all, wondering if I can love or be loved.

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