Mom is Gone-But I Must Go On

Mom is Gone-But I Must Go On
Model. Photo: William Stitt/Unsplash.

By Nicole Harding

I am liking, loving and smiling at the hundreds of images filling my feed of “mom and me.” There is even a Facebook frame for it. Nice.

My smile and good cheer are genuine, yet I can’t help but feel conflicted.

While I am a proud mother of 3, I am a daughter no more. Mom is gone.

I was adopted on the day of my birth and my mother was an incredible parent to a needy child. She saved me and then she raised me. I haven’t been needy in a long, long time. But not needing things doesn’t mean that I didn’t need her. I want to explain this to her. Do a presentation. Write a song. Demand that she understands.

And now she is gone. I am a daughter no more.

I want to tell stories of big plans and even bigger, grander memories that smooth the ache I feel in her absence. Those stories don’t exist because in recent years our relationship was complicated. How do I explain that complicated doesn’t diminish the pain, it deepens the loss?

Gone is a chance for a card that might perfectly capture what I wanted to say. Gone is a gift that might lighten the weight I could not bear seeing-so I didn’t see it nearly enough. Gone is a call met with just a little joy. Gone is a chance, a hope, a prayer that this time would be better. All gone. Knowing this can be crushing.  This loss catches you off guard when you pick up the phone or hear a song-or a picture pops up-or a cousin pops by.


Grief is an incredible paradox for someone with a cheerful disposition. I silently scold myself for laughing too loudly or looking forward to a planned event.

What is wrong with you? I ask myself. How can you get up and go on and know that she is not here?

But I do.

I go on because if she taught me anything at all it was that nothing in this life should bring you to your knees and even if you find yourself there, it is a place you cannot stay.

Get up! That is what she always did.

So, I click and scroll and move through the days like I do on my Facebook timeline, mostly happy with a chance of tears. My life is like the weather in a sunny place. The sun is shining but a downpour can happen at any time.

I will celebrate Mother’s Day with my loving children. I will choose to be happy. I will not let a mark on the calendar rule my emotions.

I can’t be so sure if I can manage the mark on my heart.

Real talk.
Nicole is the founder of Brown BabyCakes. Like her on Facebook.

Nicole is the founder of Brown BabyCakes.

Nicole is the founder of Brown BabyCakes.

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