14 May 2009

...

My mom passed away on the morning of 12 May 2009. She was visiting her sister in Tennessee when she just closed her eyes and was gone. They said there was no pain, that she was peaceful. That is supposed to make you feel better, but really, it's not much of a consolation.

I was not ready. I thought I had more time, another year maybe. I wish so much that I could have been there to hold her hand. I wanted to do that. I thought I had more time, I thought I could keep working and living my life and now I regret every meal out that I should have eaten with her, every time I didn't visit when I could have. My mother did everything for me and the least I could have done was to curl up in bed and hold her hand when she died.

When you are 25, you do not expect to sit in a room and have a man ask you which urn you would like for her remains. You do not expect to inherit a house and a dog and a canoe, you do not expect to feel so terribly, terribly lonely.

When someone is gone, you have a hard time figuring out where to put them. I know my mom is no longer here physically, I saw her body so cold and still laying on the table. But it's almost like a game of Where's Waldo, she's not at her house, and she's not at the room at Margaret's where she stayed these last months of her illness, and there are her sneakers on the floor, and her wheelchair in the corner of my aunt's house, and her perfume in the bathroom. So finally I decided she's on Monhegan Island, our favorite summer retreat, hiking on the trail just up ahead of me. I can see her climbing the rough stone cliff and at the summit, turning and waving and disappearing into the woods. And that's where she'll be always, on the trail, just ahead of me.

106 comments:

stella said...

i am so sorry for your loss. your words are a beautiful remembrance to your mom

oranji said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Tisha said...

Mercedes,
I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you're going through. Please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.
Tisha

Anonymous said...

Dear Mercedes,

That is where I have been imagining your Mom is as well. We had many long conversations about Monhegan. I always wanted us to be there at the same time. I know she is now there forever.

Love to you --

taiyyaba said...

Mercedes, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that very soon, you'll be able to replace the grief with happy and loving memories of your mom. Allah Yarhamha - may God have mercy on her.

Jen said...

I am so, so truly sorry for your loss. I don't know what to say because I know I have never experienced anything as painful as what you must be feeling, but I wish I could offer you every ounce of strength in me to help you get through this. Just please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carla said...

Just wanted to say you're in my thoughts.

kristy said...

What a lovely yet sad post. There is nothing anyone can say in these times to make you feel better. I just hope that these little thoughts that I, a total stranger, amd giving you from the other side of the world can help just a little bit.

xx

noname said...

Mercedes,

I don't have the words to convey how sorry I am. Your post is beautiful and so sad. Up ahead on the trail is exactly what I think I'd want, too.

Quinne said...

Hi Mercedes :)
Sending you hugs tonight. Count on my prayers. Love, Q

neon mamacita said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's passing. From reading your blog, I too thought she had more time. I'm so shocked and saddened to see this, but your words were incredibly touching. My thoughts are with you and your family. I'm glad to have happened upon your blog so long ago, I hope you'll continue writing.

Pete in AZ said...

I'm so sorry for what happened. It hurts and it's unfair and it hurts...

W7 said...

I am very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

I am a lurker, but I just wanted to de-lurk and send my deepest condolences. I know that nothing I say will make it better, but you are in my thoughts. I am so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother when I was 21 and now fifteen years later I still try to honor her with my own life everyday. Please take care of yourself -- it seems that is what your mother would want.

Rita said...

Mercedes, I am sorry for your loss, I hope and pray for you two.

C(h)ristine said...

so very very sorry for your loss. you are strong and brave and thank you for sharing. i know it will get better. sending you positive thoughts.

Bee @ Contently said...

I am truly truly sorry for your loss. For your pain. For your grief. Your post is beautiful. I recognize some of the feelings you describe from when my mom died when I was 19. It's so hard. It still is. It will always be. I wish you all the best.

claudia said...

I hadn't cried in a long time.
You have no idea who I am but you have entered my heart over the last year and I feel so hopeless now that I cannot give you any form of comfort.
You may not have been there to "curl up in bed with her and hold her hand" but you did far more for your mother becoming the incredible woman you are, one that honors the gifts life has given her. All mothers love their children but I doubt they can all be as proud as I am sure your mother was about you.
A warm hug.
Claudia

Plume said...

I've been folowing your blog for some time and when I saw the title of your post I new...
I'm sorry for your loss.

Y said...

Shocked. So sorry to be reading about this. My deepest condolences.

amy said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Deep condolences. Sending hugs and strength to you.

Azita said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You have my deepest sympathy.

Micha said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I was 24 when my mother passed and can understand the feelings you have described. My thoughts are with you.

Ev said...

I add my condolences to those who have posted before me. It is never easy to lose a parent, no matter your age.

Mercedes, what a wonderful way to think of your mother.. ahead of you on the trail. Isn't that what mother's always do? Make the path as safe as they can for their children?

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this "veil of tears".

ganga said...

thank you for sharing your loss and your thoughts. My love and thoughts go out to you. Take your time.

Nicole said...

I am amazed by the clarity of the words you found in such a difficult time. I'm so sorry and will be thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

sincere condolences. i don't know you, but i've just sent a prayer up for you and your strength in this difficult time. r.i.p. to your mom.

HappyTummy said...

i'm so sorry. my thoughts are with you.

Kelly said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

MarcieF said...

I can only echo the sentiments of others here, and while it's no consolation for your pain, my love and thoughts are with you and your family.

Ana said...

I am sorry for your Mom's loss, you're in my prayers.

Allie said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Kalee said...

I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful place to remember her at.

Gretchen Noelle said...

So sorry to hear that she is no longer with you. I am very sorry for your loss as well.

Baking Soda said...

Mercedes, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your post is a lovely one, please don't think that you didn't do enough, your mom knows you did and you loved her.
Take care!

daMawma said...

Mercedes, even when you know it is coming, you are never ready. Your resolution that she is ahead on the path is so fitting. I share your sorrow. -Peg

charlotte s said...

i'm so sorry for your loss... sending you my thoughts and wishes and a big hug.

Anonymous said...

Mercedes,

Deepest condolences to you for your loss. I am so sorry to hear of your mother's death, and hope you find comfort in your sorrow.

Bethany

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss,

May Allah help you through these times, they are never easy on a the person but don't forget to pray for her.

Nada

Amy L. said...

I've never posted a message to your blog, but I read it faithfully. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. ((((((((ComfortingHugs)))))))))))

Lucy said...

What a beautifully-crafted, honest piece, Mercedes. That's an ideal place for her to be fixed in your memory...do be gentle with yourself in the coming weeks and months, please?

Lucy X

Miss Vicki said...

She walks with G*d. Bless her heart.

Shreela said...

Even though I never knew your mother, it's obvious she was a very special and wonderful woman, because she raised a warm and loving daughter who cooked her some of the most loving dishes I've seen.

My sincerest condolences,
Sherri

Anonymous said...

My heart really goes out to you. I have been following your blog for some time, and I sensed from your writing how much your mom meant to you. I read about her treatment, and I was convinced she would pull though.... I am so shocked by her passing. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Swati said...

I am so sorry about your loss. Please remember that you are still not alone - even if a bunch of comments is all it is, there are still people you can reach out to, who are feeling for you. Take care of yourself; your mother will always be with you, in your heart, guiding you down the trail.

Melissa said...

i am so sorry for your loss. you have created quite a lovely tribute to your mother.

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry, Mercedes.

miss yerem said...

i`m very sorry for your loss, mercedes.
I´m thinking of you and sending you strength.
love,anja

BleedingOrchid said...

I am sorry for your loss Mercedes, and I cry with you. Know that you are not alone and you are loved by many-

I know nothing will be assuring in this moment, but your mother is with you in spirit every step of the way.

wgaw said...

it's awful. no, it's beyond awful. i remember how it was when my father passed away, how it seemed he was too young, too vibrant, too full of life to leave. that gun-shot raw pain never did go away completely and if you're like me you will continue to feel abandoned. but i promise eventually it will hurt less and you'll be able to smile again.

jennifer said...

I am shocked and saddened to read your post. I am so very sorry, Mercedes! May you be comforted with fond memories and know there are lots of people thinking of you. I hope you can find some strength in that- and feel that you are not alone. Thank you for your lovely posts and recipes!

Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry for your loss.

K8 said...

I am so so sorry for your loss. My little brother died unexpectedly 2 years ago, and there's nothing that can prepare you for losing family when you thought you had more time. My thoughts go out to you - please take care.

Anonymous said...

your post was beautiful...so sorry for your loss.

Michele said...

I am so so so sorry for your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like.
in my thoughts and prayers
-M

Christy said...

I am so sorry for your loss, I cannot even comprehend what it must be like. My thoughts are prayers are with you at this time.

cookworm said...

So sorry - my condolences for your loss.

Darina said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your mom were very lucky to have each other. You are in my thoughts. I wish you all the best.

Betsy said...

Dear Mercedes,

I am SO very sorry to hear about your mom. Although I didn't know her well, I do know she was a wonderful, vital person who will be so missed. Surround yourself with people and places that you love. You are not alone.

Susan said...

My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Mercedes,

I'm so terribly sorry to hear about your mother. Sending you lots of love and hugs from across the country.

Meghann

Erin said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you must be going though. All of my thoughts are with you.

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart is breaking for you.

Lee said...

I'm sorry about your mother, from the heart. And I know she'd be proud of you.

Anonymous said...

i"m sorry for your loss.
i lost my mom when i was 21 and it"s really too soon.
get all the support you can get!

Christine said...

Oh no. I am so very, very sorry. You're in my thoughts.

Windansea said...

I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you...

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad for you and with you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I knew your mom and admired her. She emailed me recently after I hadn't seen her in years, and she gave me the link to your blog. I'm very sorry for your loss. She was a very special person.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your loss. She will always be with you and you will always remember her. I'd like to think that this separation is only temporarily. Courage.

Melissa Ward said...

Mercedes,

Although we are virtual strangers, your pain is my pain. Have been reading your blog ever since I searched for the best tabbouleh recipe some months ago, and arrived here - and yours is the BEST. And fell in love with your charming and intelligent offering of your blog, your sincere self, and your delightful recipes, stories, and blushing vulnerability.

My dear darling soul, it is so deep losing your mother. And all the feelings that occur and interweave are so often at odds with what you think you should be feeling. Know that you are a courageous and loving woman who did the very best anyone could do to nurture and love your mother through her illness. She was an extraordinary woman, as how could she not be having given birth to and having raised you? Please, please consider locating and attending a grieving group, and also individual therapy. I was at such a loss when my mother died when I was in college, and I was alone, too, that it took me a long time of falling into the abyss before I could clearly seek help and assistance in sorting it out. Time will be your best friend. Let it and if need be, yourself, unravel, and please do not try to stop your feelings, the grieving is the healing, and you will heal.

As when you travel on a train and look out the window at the landscape you've passed, seeing it disappear into the scenery, so will your pain and uncertainty pass, with time. Your memories and the love you and your mother shared will distill and age through the years into a sweet, ephemeral elixer, one that will continue to fortify you. She is with you all the time now, wherever you are. You chose the most perfect and beautiful place to be with her, to commune with her presence!

Do not make any big decisions until at least a year, regarding the house, the dog, and other things of the earthly, and practical realm. You are in shock, as you should be, as it is protecting you and even your physical body from the pain. Eat, don't forget to eat, even if it is a tiny spoonful every few hours - and let others care for you, sleep and rest, don't push yourself, and don't push others away saying you are okay now, because you won't be for some time. Be gentle with yourself always.

In her infinite wisdom your mother let go when she and you were at a distance. She didn't want you to have any more shock than you have had. She loved you so deeply, so thoroughly, know that her love envelopes you now and her biggest wish is for you to live, rejoice in your aliveness, and share your beautiful expressions, talents, joys, spirit, and delectable recipes and dishes with those who adore you. And we, who do not even know you, adore you.

Forgive me if this is too personal a note to write to a stranger. My thoughts and prayers are with you. If you want to write or need anything, don't hesitate to contact me at melissa@mwardonline.com.

Love & hugs,

Melissa Ward

Amy said...

*hugs* I did not realize you were so close to my age...

I can't imagine losing my mother at this time in my life. I will be keeping you in my prayers. I hope you can use this time not to morn what you could have done, but to celebrate the wonderful times you have spent with your mother.

Amy

Miakoda said...

My thoughts are with you and your mother as well. She is in a beautiful amazing realm now, looking at you with nothing but the deepest love and joy. Cast aside your regrets and look back at her with all your heart. She will take care of you, as she always has.

Love.

Anonymous said...

I too am sorry for your loss.
My mother and grandmother were exceptional women in my life for different reasons. Both had opposite personalities; my grandmother was sharp, intellectual, witty but radiated such warmth and strength for her grandchildren. My mother is dark silent horse who loves in a way harder to understand as she lacked the self-confidence to come into her own. Funny how the distance between them closed on my grandmother's death bed. My mother did a 48 hour vigil to be there when grandma breathed her last breath..it was her final way of saying good bye to her mother. This saddened me because my mother dismissed dealing with her own pain and didn't forge a decent relationship with her mother when she had the chance. I guess, maybe you can take solace the relationship that was....
My thoughts are with you even though I am a total stranger

thecatskillkiwi said...

So incredibly sorry about your mother, loss whether its quick, slow, unexpected or expected is just something you can never prepare for. i wish you all the best.

Dad said...

Oof!

Having been away, I logged on, excited at the prospect of a new recipe waiting for me, so your news caught me completely off guard, taking the wind out of my sails.

What's to say that hasn't already been said by your "followers"?

We are all here, waiting for you to get your breath back, waiting for your eyes to dry, waiting for your smile to appear again (it will come, trust me).

We will wait.

In the meantime, let us know when your Mom's $200's worth of hostas have flowered. That might help your smile!

Thinking of you ....

Dad

(no relation)

rookie cookie said...

That was so beautifully written. My thoughts are with you as you seek peace and healing.

Shasha said...

Dear Mercedes,

I am so sorry for your loss ( i know no words could console you) but ur remembrance words to your mom was beautiful.

take care and be strong

Banya said...

I am very very sorry for your loss. I can feel the love you have for your mom from every word of the post. My thoughts are with you.

Stikan Chai said...

Very sorry to hear about your mother. My thoughts are with you.

Melissa said...

So sorry about your loss of your sweet precious Mother. My prayer is for your comfort and peace.
Blessings to you,
Melissa

Rima and Kevin said...

I'm so very sorry. I felt taken off guard by her passing and I don't even know her, except through you...so I cannot imagine how you are feeling. Please know that there are many people you don't even know who are thinking of you and your mother.

Sonia Begonia said...

I know nothing I say will make this better-
but I just wanted to tell you how very sorry I am.
My thoughts are with you.

Kenya Abney said...

My prayers and well wishes are with you. It is rough, I know. Remember that God is with you. You also have people that care about you.

Q said...

I am so, so sorry. Please take care of yourself.

Alison said...

I am truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts go out to you.

Anonymous said...

My mother died when I was 22, May 14, 2005... I understand what your are feeling.

-Giuliana

foodcreate said...

I am so sorry for your loss...

Yosef said...

My heartfelt condolonces.

Anonymous said...

Yes. She is on the trail ahead of you. My dad's been "overseas" for the past 8 years since he passed. It was simply easier to imagine him on a trip than suddenly and forever gone. I actually have dreams where he calls me and I ask him where he has been....

My deepest sympathies to you. Your post was touching in so many ways.

Anne said...

Oh my dear,
I've been away for a while and just signed in to find out about your mother. I am so very sorry. I too was 25 when my mother died and last night I dreamed of her as I often do these days. Her appearnace in my dreams is helping me through a long and serious illness. I'm telling you this because she will always be with you in your heart and your memories. You got to be with her so much. what a blessing. Anne

kicran said...

Haven't visited your page in over a month. I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of your mom, Mercedes. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kristin

Chris said...

Oh Mercedes, read this blog today... My thought are with you.

breadchick said...

Mercedes, I am just reading this and I'm so very, very sorry for your loss.

Your grace in sharing this tough time with your readers has been an inspiration to everyone.

You were so supportive last year when I lost Wren and please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

tania said...

mercedes,
my heart goes out to you during this sad time. i am so sorry for your loss and wish that i knew you and lived near you so i could offer a hug, a shoulder cry on and a batch of brownies. from what you have shared with all of us, your bond with your mother was truly extraordinary and unbreakable. i know that she is still with you, even now, but i also know that that is not really enough. it never is. you are in my thoughts and prayers, sweetheart.
love,
tania

Wendy said...

May these few words express my sincere sympathy for you.

Mark Scarbrough said...

As others have said, I'm so sorry. But your words. I've been away, haven't been reading blogs--so I sat down to read through some this afternoon--and I think I'm done. Because you stunned me. So beautiful. I found myself puddled with tears. There is another place your mother is: in your writing.

A tall redhead said...

Hi Mercedes.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's passing. My mother passed away from cancer five days after I turned 27 (she lived in DC), so I know how shocking and painful it is to lose your Mom at that age. It's far too young. Your description about her being just ahead of you on the trail is exactly how I still feel (it's 8 years later for me).

My Mom is with me all the time, in various ways. It can never make up for her not being alive for the rest of my (and her) life, but it is profound. I am not a particularly spiritual person, but I do know she is with me at times. And I also know, that if there's a way, your mother is with you also.

You will feel horrible for a long time... and then slowly, your mind and body will begin to remember the good things. It's natural. If you would like to talk about it with someone please contact me at [gaylordrice@gmail.com]. I know I don't know you, but talking with someone else who has lost their mother, especially at your age, can be helpful.

Hang in there. It hurts so much because of the love you share with her.
-Ms. Gaylord Rice

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about you mom. i can only imagine what you're going thru. Just remember, she's in a much better place.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mercedes, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have never commented, but have followed (and admired) your blog, and I was very sad to read this.

Jennifer

Kimmie said...

My father died when I was 24. He has been on a *trip* ever since. I keep thinking I'll get a postcard, but he must be having so much fun that he hasn't gotten time.

Bless you and may God bring you comfort as you mourn the huge loss of your mum.

Kimmie
mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Luisa said...

I'm so sorry - I've been delinquent about blog reading and I just saw this post today. Mercedes, you're in my heart and my thoughts. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.

Hilda said...

Oh Mercedes, I've been completely off the radar for a few months and am only reading this now. I'm so sorry for your loss. I think that is a lovely way to remember your mother and your post is beautiful.

Michael said...

I have been intrigued with your blog since I found it via google about an hour and a half ago. I was looking for a good blue velvet cake and it brought up your recipe. I really like your writing and the way you describe things... with such passion! So, I continued to read beyond the blue velvet recipe and what I have found is a true gem.

I would like to give my condolences, even after a year. This really made me cry. I don't even know you, but wow. I am sitting here bawling. lol. at first I was not going to say anything, other than a thank you for the recipes, but... I have to keep coming back here. You are just an intriguing person and I am so glad you blog.

One of the very best blogs I've read and the fact that it's about food is amazing. Please keep this up!!!