I'll Never Write a Novel

The Memoir of a Personal Essayist OR Confessions of a Theatre Widow

Friday, August 08, 2008


So, everybody, I am down in the dumps.

No one wants to hear somebody whining on a blog: blah, blah, blah. But that's where I am. Feel free to go read elsewhere, if you'd like. I keep thinking of really funny things to write, I promise, but I just can't seem to make any ideas manifest on the 'net. Some day soon. I finally got it together to write today and I just thought I would let you know that I am just a bit sad.

I think people who haven't experience this kind of loss, like I am going through with my mom, have a hard time understanding. I know I wouldn't have really gotten it before. I wish I could rewind and be better to people around me who suffered this way. But, I just have to vow to be better going forward. There is no such thing as a rewind button.

But, I feel like I have to stop myself from saying my undesirable mantra ever day-- many, many times a day: "I miss my Mom." I limit the amount of times I say it out loud. I am especially conscious of saying it to my husband who must tire of my ongoing sadness. It's just there in my head so often.

It's not that I am sad all the time. I am really not. I have some very happy moments. But it's there, so frequently, gnawing at me, "I miss my Mom." Being surrounded by her family last week while we were at my cousin's wedding was both comforting and heartbreaking. It was nice to be reminded of my mom in so many lovely ways. It was also so hard to be reminded of this gaping hole.

One thing I really noticed is how differently we are all dealing with this same loss. For my dad, my siblings and me, we grieve and celebrate my mom every day. We're always talking about her and we are finding her missing in all the little things in our every day lives. We spoke about her constantly around her siblings, nephews and nieces, and realized quickly that this hasn't been a part of their grieving. It's no better or worse, to be sure. It's just different. They lived 3,000 miles away for decades and miss the regular, but not daily, phone calls. They didn't see her all the time. This wedding was the event they anticipated seeing her at next. And she was gone. And we're all so sad. But it was evident that they were so stricken by our talking about her. They don't live in this sphere of grieving, I guess. It's therapeutic and natural for me. But I think it may have been really difficult, almost unbearable.

I was so honored to say the Prayers of the Faithful at my beautiful cousin's gorgeous wedding (more details to come in a future post!). And I got to say that the Mass was dedicated to my wonderful mom. I looked up to see crying faces. I reminded myself to keep it together. But, I can't always make that reminder, and I feel like, more often, that I am the face in the crowd crying.


Blogger Kate said...


I hope you read my most recent post. I think we're feeling a lot of the same things. I, too, am sure John tires of me saying, "I miss my mom." I know it saddens him as well.

It wasn't until after we got home from NJ that I realized how difficult it must've been for our aunts, uncles and cousins. You are right: We live with the emptiness and the grief and the memories every day. We talk about it; we have each other to lean on. They do not really have that blessing or experience.

It's amazing how this is hitting us at the same time so vividly. (Maybe it's not really that amazing. Maybe it speaks to the wild connection you and I have.)

Thank you for sharing what you're going through. It reminds me that we need to lean on each other even more and not be afraid to say we're sad.

Love you. Miss her.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Rona said...

Lovely, Brave Noreen,

Say it and say it and say it if that's how you are feeling. And if you need a broader variety of people to hear you, call me and I'll come and sit and hold your hand and you can say it again and again. And I can think of many others who would be there as well.

While I can't say that I know the road you're walking, I know two things:

1. Everytime I think about life without my mom, my chest hurts and I have to think about bunnies and popsicles to make it go away. I'm certain what you're experiencing is infinitely more intense.

2. Saying what I think/feel/need outloud, as often and as loudly as I need, is what brings me clarity and peace. I suspect that's pretty universal.

Please know that you are very much loved by me and a multitude of others. You're in my thoughts and prayers often, my dear friend.


8:23 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

Thank you for saying and sharing what you're going through, and for being so open. You are strong and brave, and blessed to have a wonderful family that you can reminisce (sp) with.

The hole gets smaller, eventually, but never goes away, or perhaps just gets covered with loving stiches. There will be moments of sudden crying fests but also moments of absolute joy when you feel she's right beside you.

Each loss is different but there is a sense of understanding amongst those of us who lost a parent. Blessings and healing thoughts to you and your family.

9:40 PM  
Blogger bethany said...

Hi Noreen,

I've been sitting here wanting to comment to let you know that I am here for you, but not knowing what to say, so I'll just say this: I'm here for you, and I'm glad you have this blog to write whatever needs writing. I'm glad to read it and hear what's going on with you, whether it's happy, sad, funny, interesting or whatever. Since I don't see you often it's a way for me to stay involved in your life and by commenting I'm trying to give you a big warm e-hug!

Love Beth

1:58 PM  
Blogger dahli said...

Much like Rona, I can relate, but will not claim to know what you are experiencing. My grandmother was very much a parent to me and the loss of her left me gasping for air for so long and sometimes still. My cousin was married the year she died. Every bridal shower felt empty with out her and after the ceremony was over I excused myself for a good long cry cause it felt so strange for her not to be there. Instinctually, I thought, "Why isn't she sitting with everyone?" and then before I could finish my thought I would remember.
I'm so sorry you are sad, know that you are in my thoughts and I am sending you much love and hugs from Minneapolis.

11:58 PM  
Blogger tacomachickadee said...

I'm kinda in dahli's boat in relating to how you're feeling. So big hugs. All you can do is be honest with your feelings. I cry a lot too. And I'm so not gifted with the right thing to say when it comes to this ... but you're in my thoughts and prayers.

9:11 PM  
Blogger ZestyJenny said...

Oh, Noreen. I wish I knoew the right thing to say, too, but I don't. There aren't words for your loss.

It is ok to be sad. We all love the happy Noreen and her good stories, but we also love sad Noreen, too. You don't need to hide her.

1:43 PM  
Blogger The Olson Trio said...

You have every right to be sad and to miss your mom. She was an amazing women who touched countless lives ... mostly, though, the lives of her family. She was a leader, source of strength, and great believer. How could the loss of someone like that not be felt and felt deeply? Your sadness is completely understandable and is a tribute to your mom. Sending you lots of hugs!

9:33 AM  

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