Loss is the price we pay for living and loving. If we’re honest with ourselves and each other, we don’t move on or get over that pain.
“It’ OK That You’re Not OK” by Megan Devine is the best book I’ve ever read on how to cope with and help those we love cope with life-changing loss. There is no done with that date or easy to follow stages to a grief recovery finish line.

I remember the menu on our last Mother’s Day. All her favorites. Bacon wrapped filet mignon, asparagus in hollandaise sauce, twice baked potato and strawberries for dessert prepared and served in the kitchen of the first home I owned on my own in my Davenport, Iowa hometown.
Lilacs were in full bloom on the bushes at the edge of my postage stamp sized backyard. I picked a generous bunch for the vase on the dinner table. Dad drove with Mom beside him, as she almost always was, in the four door Ford sedan we’d dubbed the Johnmobile. After the dishes were cleared and cleaned – no dishwasher at my little bungalow – I handed Mom a white handbag (a physical memory that rests on the shelf in my Nova Scotia bedroom closet) and told her to look inside. Her smile got bigger with each gifted treasure removed: two casual tops to wear on every summer day to come, cosmetics, lotions and her favorite perfume.
While on my lunch break a couple weeks later, I spied a Sunday Mass worthy matching skirt and blouse in beautiful shades of her favorite peach and magenta colors. I used my credit card to cover the pricey purchase I had gift boxed and wrapped. “What’s this?” she asked when I handed it to her. “Another Mother’s Day present,” I replied. The sounds of pleasure and look of pure delight as she lifted the gift from the folds of tissue paper more than made up for the balance owed.
Her generous loving heart stopped beating on the ninth of June. My dollars and sense mother would have told me to take back the clothes with the tags still attached. “There are plenty of nice dresses in my closet,” she would have said. Dad chose to bury his bride in her new skirt and blouse because “she loved them,” he said. Mom was at peace in the last gift I gave her.

I cried as I wrote this 29 years later and that’s OK. 

Leave A Comment

Recommended Posts