“Grief is just love with no place to go”

For the first time since she died, I thought of my mom, without hesitation, as if she were still here. I was shoveling snow off the front sidewalk and said to myself, this will be helpful if mom stops by tonight.

(insert heartbreaking realization)

For six months now, I have known – so potently – that she was not physically here to stop by, or to call, or text, or hug. But today was the first time my brain forgot to stop the thought before it came. I stood there for a second, looking at the snow, thinking of all the times she would just stop by. I felt sad and lonely that I can no longer greet her face-to-face as a random visitor at my door. I can no longer call her up. I can no longer answer (or ignore) her phone calls. No matter how much I want or wish, I can no longer.

It has been six months since my mom died, but it is like I am in a weird time loop where life feels raw as if it just happened yesterday…

then it feels “normal”…

then it feels surreal…

then it feels raw again…

then fun…

then sad and surreal…

then “normal”…

and so on…

It is a balance of trying to embrace love and grief while at the same time attending to life happening around me. As if I exist in two alternate dimensions, trying to move forward with grace and intention and simultaneously wanting to run backwards in time and pretend this never happened.

When we were cleaning out my mom’s house, I took some towels home. They smelled like her. I would put my face in it and just breathe in.

I can’t smell her in them anymore.

The hospital bills linger.

Her Facebook page needs memorialized.

Her headstone isn’t ready yet.

What is worse than the initial shock of loss, is that it is followed by millions of grief moments that rip open the center of your healing, sometimes poke around a little, and then sew it back up and move on. Finding balance after these continued grief moments can be challenging.

I have talked a lot about gratefulness and embracing the sadness as I heal through grief…

But some days the sadness feels heavy.

Some days the sadness makes it worse.

Some days the grief is just tears. Or silence. Or exhaustion.

And it is also love. It is joy. That is why it hurts so much.


“Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go” – Jamie Anderson

2 thoughts on ““Grief is just love with no place to go”

  1. I want you to know that we are still thinking about your mom, probably more now than when she was with us. We miss her dearly. Please also know that we stand with you in your grief. If you ever need another family to talk to, cry with, or just share stories, we are here. We are thinking about you. Love, Nick and Emily.

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