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I'm humming to myself as I braid my 5-year-old's hair. It's a song I haven’t heard in years, probably since the year my mom died. It's too difficult to listen to it even now, 16 years after she passed away, but somehow I'm braiding my daughter's hair and humming my mom's favorite song.
Grief comes in many forms. It hits you smack in the face when you least expect it. For me it's often in quiet, precious mother-child moments that remind me of my own childhood.
Sometimes my grief makes me laugh. When I was little my mom would lick her finger and then wipe my face. I thought it was disgusting and vowed I would never do that to my own children, yet here I am, a finger-licking-face-wiping mom. My son thinks it's disgusting too, and when he told me that I couldn't help but laugh and think of my mom.
One time I was singing and clapping while driving my kids to school, and my daughter asked me to stop because I was embarrassing her. I remember feeling the same way when my mom would clap to the car music, yet here I am following in her footsteps, even if I can't see her footsteps anymore.
I wish I had more pictures of her, but she passed away before digital cameras and social media, before Facebook or smart phones. I hold on dearly to the handful of photos I do have, but I fear and I know that I lose details about my mom as the years pass by. Here's one of the precious photos I love of my mom, taken a few months before she passed away:
My friend has an amazing mother, and their bond is visible even from a distance. My grief hits me hard then, when I see my friend and her mom doing everyday things like eating lunch together or running boring errands.
Mother’s Day is hard on those of us who don’t have our moms, even as we are moms ourselves. If you're a mom who has lost your mom like me, you're in a very special group you never wanted to join. We are bonded together in our grief, in our memories, and in motherhood without our moms.
There's no point in what I'm writing today. Sometimes I just need to share with the world that I miss my mom.
I really, really miss her.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.