real mom real life

capturing the extrordinary moments in ordinary life


with 2 comments

Why is it we don’t seem to realize the true presence of someone in our life until they are gone? That’s been the case for me these last two weeks after my friend and mentor died suddenly at only 53 years old. At her memorial I found myself crying not only because I never told her how much she meant to me but almost more so because I didn’t fully realize how important she was to me until she was gone. I was too busy asking for her help or her ear to listen, to stop and let her know how amazing she was.

Up to this point in my life I have only lost those who’d had a long  life so there was always the comfort of knowing they had lived their life to the fullest, that  it was time to move on even though they would be dearly missed. To lose someone with so much life left to live and who played such a vital role in everyone’s lives has been so, well, just so sad and confusing. I’ve been unable to write and my photos, as you can see, seem to be about the light either going down or pushing through darkness. Even now as I try to organize my thoughts, they feel stuck in a thick fog.

The hardest part is that her loss has turned my work life upside down. She was a compass for so many at work and now it feels we’re all wandering around trying to find our way. Some big life decisions have presented this past week and I need her now more than ever to listen. To help me find my way. I keep trying to hear her voice.  She was the one person at work I could always count on to let me know I was making a difference. And since I can’t imagine anyone filling her shoes I find myself compelled to think about how I can be that voice for those around me. In the helping professions sometimes the only help you can offer is staying present when others can’t or won’t. You don’t really feel that helpful when you can’t take the pain away. In fact, you feel pretty useless. It makes a world of difference for someone to remind you that just being there really is helpful. Whichever path I choose,  I only hope that I can take what she gave me and pass it on to others.

Take a minute and think about that person who lets you know you are enough, maybe in just small ways, and make sure you make a point of thanking them this week.


Written by realmom

April 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have had the same gut-punch feeling when someone so important passes away before I can fully understand and share with them what an impact they’ve had on me.

    You’re right, though. The best way to make amends for that is to make sure all the other people know how special they are to us.


    April 20, 2010 at 9:42 am

  2. You truly captured how, I think, we are all feeling. Thank you.


    April 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

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