There’s no pain like the loss of a mother. After losing her mom to brain cancer nearly 10 years ago, the process that happens after the loss of a mother is something Nikki Pennington knows a thing or two about.
The mom and blogger behind Grief to Hope recently re-shared her personal experience with loss in a now-viral Facebook post. Her gut-wrenching words are a reality for so many who like her, know the pain of losing a mother.
“And when she dies you’ll search for her no matter how long she’s been gone,” Nikki writes. “You’ll search for her the minute she leaves in that very room. You’ll search the sky. You’ll search online. You’ll search group forums. You’ll search old messages. You’ll search old text messages. You’ll search old letters. You’ll search old cards. You’ll search for her. You’ll search old high school yearbooks. You’ll search old photo albums. You’ll search the memories of old friends. You’ll search her things. You’ll even search the crowds.”
For many, a mother is a best friend and a confidant. She’s the one we run to in the small, trivial things, and in the hardest battles of our lives. So losing her means losing a part of you. One that can’t be replaced and can never be forgotten.
Nikki explains that it’s a tricky game of knowing full well that her mom is never going to be where she looks, and yet still struggling to believe that she’s actually gone.
“Even though someone told you she’s gone, you’ll still search for her,” she says. ”And when you are walking down the aisle, when your baby is born and when the holidays come around, you’ll search the room for her. When the days are hard and when they are good. When the times are difficult and when they are so good that pure joy is filling your soul. When you are sitting on your back porch trying to sort out all your problems you’ll look over because even if for a minute you’ll be searching for her.”
But Nikki says there IS hope after loss. Even after the loss of a mother.
“Then one day you won’t have to search any longer because you’ll find her,” she said. “You’ll find her in the gentle breeze. You’ll find her in the words to your favorite song. You’ll find her in your child’s smile. You’ll find her more and more as the days pass and then one day you’ll realize she’s been there all along.”
When we learn how to grieve well and accept loss, it doesn’t mean the ones we love are gone and forgotten. It simply brings comfort to the unfathomable pain we never thought would go away.
It’s not moving on, it’s healing.
And with Nikki’s healing, came the beautiful realization that a part of her mother will always be alive in her.
“You didn’t need to search far to find her because you are her daughter and that means a part of her is always with you.”