What if She Hadn’t Died?
It is hard to explain how much grief I feel, how connected I feel, how important she is to me – this woman that I have never met. The woman who gave me life.
I wish I knew more about how she died, sadly part of my trauma is how little anyone ever spoke to me about my mom, in any regard, most of my life. I know she had diabetes, I know I came early, I know there were complications. I’ve heard conflicting stories that she was able to see me right at the time of my birth vs. she had already slipped into a coma.
I prefer to believe we had a moment together, however fleeting…
She spent 18 days in a coma before finally slipping away from us and leaving me to live a life without her, my mother.
How Could it Be Real?
My childhood was filled with a lot of trauma. I remember a few times as a child thinking maybe it wasn’t real that she was dead and maybe she would still come back to me. I think I just needed to believe there was someone out there that loved me during those years.
No one ever really spoke of her. I was raised by my dad until age 14 and I had little contact with my mom’s side of the family so their stories of her were scarce too.
At a young age I found a box of her things in our storage closet but it didn’t end well for me.
I eventually just turned it off. “My mother is dead” became a part of my life’s script, my emotional connection to it only on the surface.
The Journey of Healing
It wasn’t until much later in life, when I started focusing on my healing and developing a connected awareness of my childhood that the loss of my mom really knocked me over.
As I have raised my own children, as I have succeeded and failed in life – I have not had a mother to share it with. Yet I have seen in my own children just how important all of that is for them, how important I am to them. It has made the realization of my loss and the weight of my grief nearly unbearable at times.
I don’t have any memories with my mom to lean on in times of grief to find solace, no good times to wrap myself in when I feel lost, no words of wisdom left for me to remember the sound of her voice. I don’t even have a picture with her.
I think I will spend my whole life wondering “what if” my mother had not died.
I will always wonder how alike we look, if we share mannerisms or taste in music and food. So many of the little details that most people take for granted are e simple things I want.
What was her favorite color? Did she like thunderstorms? Was she a beach or woods type person? What was her favorite book? So many questions and I just don’t know – it’s such a dark hole I can end up in sometimes, so full of pain.
My mother gave the ultimate sacrifice, she surrendered her breathe for mine. I feel like I have to make sure her death, and my loss is not in vain.
I will always be to my children the mother I never had and always wished for. I will love them, protect them, comfort them, guide them, listen to them, celebrate them – everything I missed with my own mom.
I will make sure that one day when I do leave my children on this earth, that neither of them will ever doubt their own worth, their own capabilities, or my unconditional love and acceptance of them just as they are.
Looking for Ways to Connect With Other Survivors and/or Receive Support as You Heal?
Survivor’s Circle Peer Support Groups might be just what you need.
These small groups meet on alternating Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays via Zoom. In these groups, survivors connect, share, and support each other through the ebbs and flows of healing. Attend a session and experience the magical healing that happens when survivors connect and support each other through shit only we can understand.
You can also book individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon for private support in a closed space. You deserve support as you heal, and I am here to help. You don’t have to heal alone.
On the Journey Peer Support Monthly Package
Get the support you need as you journey through your healing.
As a part of this monthly support program you will gain access to all Survivor’s Circle Peer Support group support sessions every month as well as individual 1:1 peer support sessions with Shanon each month.
I am a trauma informed, trained, and Certified Peer Support Specialist in the state of Wisconsin. I am also a survivor with years committed to my own trauma healing after being diagnosed with (C) PTSD due to childhood abuse. Additionally, I have a professional and personal history of community facilitation and peer work.
I specialize in helping survivors like you make connections between real time experiences and past trauma wounds, identify and communicate boundaries, create self-care plans that work, navigate big emotions and trauma responses, reparent your inner child, and embody your own self-worth through the healing process with confidence and personal empowerment.
These support groups and 1:1 peer support sessions should not replace professional therapy; they will however provide additional support and information.