April 06, 2024

F - Facebook Posts


Theme: Grief Work and Healing Journey

Sharing my grief and my grief journey on Facebook helped me a lot, especially in the beginning. I didn't think I'd want to share something so personal, but I felt called to because I was lonely and also because I knew others could relate. I'm glad that I shared these things; the responses and love I received made me feel less alone...for a moment. Having a community really matters.


I was having a hard time a moment ago. Thoughts…grief…regrets…guilt… I went into my mom’s room, laid down on her bed, and cried…hard. I spoke out loud to her all those thoughts and regrets and guilt. My cheeks are sticky from tears.

After some time passed, I looked over and saw her Bible. It was right where I knew it should’ve been, but I hadn’t seen it there before now, as if it had been hiding. I opened it and saw this poem that she’d taped onto the page where you can write whom the Bible was presented to and from whom. (She’d bought it herself when she was 19 with her confirmation money. Says so on that very page.) The old, folded up piece of paper taped to the page contains the poem “Immortality” by Clare Harner.

I love that poem. I’ve used it in an unpublished story. The instant I read that first line and recognized the poem, I started sobbing all over again. To find it in that moment, after I’d been struggling with grief and talking to her, it felt like a message from her telling me not to cry, it’s okay, and that she’s everywhere.


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush, 1am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.


I went to a Grief Share meeting this morning. Part of the lesson was about how you lose more than a person. I lost my mom (primary loss), but I lost so much more (secondary losses) than that, and it’s those losses that make it harder. In my workbook I wrote down a list of what I’d lost. One of them was: bedtime goodnights. Just last night I realized how much I miss this.

Every night for years my mom would come out to say, “Okay, I’m going to bed.” And I’d say, “Okay. Hold on.” And I’d set aside whatever I was doing to go into her room. I’d keep her up for another 30 minutes to an hour talking to her. Then I’d tell her goodnight and either go to bed myself or go back to what I was doing. I’d even tell her that it was my nightly ritual; I had to come in to talk to her at bedtime.

I really miss that. I wish I still had it.

Other losses: my writing buddy (I’m the only other writer in my family), my confidant, my other pea in the pod (she’d call us two peas in a pod), my car ride passenger, my book/reading buddy, my fellow movie/TV show watcher, and my holiday fun/traditions buddy.


You want to know something else I miss? 

Having someone in the house to talk to for like random comments and small talk. But I have found myself a few times saying something to my mom as if she was right beside me (because she was/is). 

For example: I had found an unopened jar of hoisin sauce in my cabinet that my mom had planned to use for Asian cooking. I thought I wasn’t going to ever use it, but then a few days later I made salmon with a hoisin sauce and brown sugar marinate. When I opened the jar, I said, “Look at that, Mom, I’m using the hoisin sauce!”😆

It was a funny moment. Those are good. The loneliness of always being alone and having no other human close by…not so much.

BTW, the salmon was amazing. It was a recipe I found in my mom’s stash. She had written “great” on it. I hadn’t remembered it, but she was right.


One of the hardest parts about going through my mom’s belongings was finding the things she didn’t get to finish or use. I had found two unfinished scarves, one blanket, and countless bookmarks. Then there’s the stories she hadn’t published or finished (picture books, middle grade, adult). I definitely have regrets about not being able to help her publish more of her work.

(BUT three of her unpublished picture books and one adult western romance will be going to the moon on May 4th to be part of the first intergalactic library. This venture is called Writers on the Moon. Link to her website with details in the comments.) UPDATE: The lander didn't survive the trip, but it may happen yet.

I also found things she planned to use at book events for decorations or to give away as swag (like the ladybugs in my previous post.) We collected those things for Space Coast Book Lovers 2020, which was canceled because of the pandemic, and for my mom’s health we didn’t go to any events in 2021 or 2022. It’s sad she never got to use them at her table.

I donated the unfinished scarves with all of her knitting, crocheting, sewing, and craft supplies that I can’t use (because I can’t knit, crochet, or cross-stitch) to a local Lutheran church that has craft circles.
(My mom grew up Lutheran, and we had talked about me bringing her there when her back got better from pain. That just didn’t end up happening…)

I tied off the ends to the unfinished blanket and am using it as if it’s finished. Pictured below.


The bookmarks without backs and borders went to the church. Maybe they can create something with them/out of them. I kept the bookmarks with backs and borders but that need “tails,” since these bookmarks dangle. I want to see if I can stitch them on a quilt I made (with her help). Although it’ll take me forever just to sew one on. Also pictured below.

Oh, and this is kind of related to going through her things, but not craft related…

I used to never understand why people got emotional over the clothing of their loved ones who passed away…that is until now. It’s because they lived in those things. Daily. Memories are attached to them. We can picture them wearing them. Their scent is still on them.

So, yeah, I get it now. Seeing my mom’s closet had brought me to tears. That was another one of the hardest parts about going through her things. The wacky shirts she wore to treatment and radiation that she became known for, the button-up shirts I got her after she got her port, her nightgowns and large bedtime T-shirts, her skirts…yeah…hard. I kept some things, donated the rest. Left a handful in the closet that I’m not sure if I want to keep or later donate. Anyway, that’s it for now. For this post anyway.


One more post…but not as long as the last.

I hate driving past or going to a place in the same area as where my mom used to have doctor’s appointments (treatments, radiation, lung specialists, cardiologist, primary care). Or going near either of the closest hospitals. Especially the one where she passed away. Even going the same route and heading somewhere right on the corner from three of them, as I did today, is hard. My destination was a couple blocks away from where she got radiation, her lung specialists, and one hospital. I had tears in my eyes as I drove, when I was just leaving my neighborhood, because I knew where I’d be going.


I honestly don’t know if anyone wants to keep reading these posts—if anyone is sick of them—but writing them and sharing them has helped me, so…

Last night, I went through my mom’s medical papers for what to keep and what’s not needed anymore. Among them were the two notebooks with doctor’s appointment notes, as well as two notebooks where I tracked her vitals, symptoms, pain, meds, etc. The latter of the notebooks made me sob because I still harbor thoughts that I could’ve done more, done better. 

Rationally, I know that I did all I could and there was nothing more I could do, but grief and the thoughts and feelings it creates isn’t always rational. I have a lot of regrets and guilt. Even hearing how great of a caregiver I was (from friends and even her primary care doctor) hurts because, near the end, I don’t feel I had been. It was becoming too hard on me and I hadn’t handled it so well and she saw how hard it was on me. So…yeah…guilt. Lots of it.



B - Beach

C - Church

D - Donating

E - Epistle (Letter from Heaven)

F - Facebook Posts


  1. I love that poem. It always brings tears to my eyes.

  2. I remember that post. The hard thing about grief is that you have to risk letting others know to find those who can help you walk through it.

  3. It's a beautiful poem you found in your mother's Bible.

    Ronel visiting for F: My Languishing TBR: F

  4. I'm glad that you found a community on FB to support you.

  5. Beautiful poem. I can see why you find it helpful. My prayers to you.

  6. Thanks for being so honest, Chrys. It's probably painful to write all that down, but certainly therapeutic.