What My Mother's Death Taught Me About Self Love

real grief moments Sep 26, 2018

I knew she was dead before they told me. Call it the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Call it intuition. Call it fear or otherwise…All I know is, I knew. 

Growing up, my mom was the textbook definition of a soccer mom. She was that mom with the mini-van and the cupcakes. The one who sewed all of our costumes (and our friend’s costumes) and never missed a P.T.A meeting.  

She filled our proverbial cup first. She deserved to fill her own. But she didn’t know it. 

She had long silky dark hair and black eyes that looked at me with both deep love and deep hurt. Her eyes held secrets that sometimes bubbled up in gentle fits of rage.  

She was beautiful. But she didn’t see it. 

She was shy and had a certain coyness that perhaps stemmed from childhood trauma, deep-seated limiting beliefs and an unmet need to feel like she belonged. 

The truth is, she did belong. With me. With us. But she didn’t feel it. 

My mother was an artist. She could literally make anything beautiful. Sometimes (when she had the time) I’d catch her making jewelry in her garden or painting or crafting or sewing -just for the love of it. 

She had a gift. But she stopped using it. 

She looked outside of herself for joy. Or perhaps to simply soften her suffering. She began drinking heavily. She ran away to another country. She started using crack-cocaine. 

She had bliss as her essence.  But, she couldn’t find it. 

My mother taught me many things: to tie my shoes, to braid my hair, to cook and bake and make daisy-chains in the springtime. But, most of all (in her life) she taught me how to love others. And… perhaps more importantly (in her death) she taught me how to love myself. 

She taught me how incredibly loved and special you feel when your mom shows up to your classroom on a Tuesday with cupcakes - just because. And…to make sure that if I go above and beyond it’s because my own proverbial cup is so full of love that it can’t help but spill over and radiate to others. 

She taught me to look in the mirror and own my beautiful blue eyes (she envied my blue eyes). And… to look deeper and heal any hurts that may be imprinted on my soul. 

She taught me to be humble.  And…to question my beliefs to make sure they are of service to myself and the world.  

She taught me to create things for the sheer joy of making something out of nothing. To share my gifts with the world making a it more beautiful place. And…that I must never stop focussing on what brings me joy because joy is what aligns me with my truth. 

She taught me to enjoy the luxuries of the material world. To let loose a little sometimes. And… the importance of placing healthy boundaries around my blissful heart. 

My mother always told me that I didn’t want to be like her. But I always knew I did. 

Call it the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Call it intuition. Call it fear or otherwise…All I know is, I knew. 

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