Tag Archives: Grief Loss and Bereavement

The Post-Thanksgiving Post

I know, I know… I didn’t post for Thanksgiving.

I was overwhelmed with memories and gratitude. The big guy (my hubby) kept asking me why I was so quiet.

–> I was in a mode of reflection. All day, and most of the break.

I enjoyed being with my family (and several extended family members and oodles of Holden’s now-college-aged-friends), grateful that all six of us were together.


It was just a year ago that we very sadly took Bruce, my father-in-law, to live out the remainder of his life in the nursing home. He died on May 17th, barely a shadow of the man he had once been.

Alzheimer’s does that to a person. The disease begins slowly, robbing a person of their memory and eventually their ability to function at any level. But the soul peeks through, providing glimpses of that fine loved person—keeping loved ones connected to the human who is decimated, almost unrecognizable. While the patient dies, a slow disconnected death, those who live on struggle to come to terms with their grief and letting go and the inability to say, “Good-bye.” It was over a decade-long, emotionally-draining “good-bye” for us.

“Good-bye.”—I don’t like the expression. There’s a certain permanence to it.  I don’t say good-bye to my kids; I do ask (and pray for) them to stay safe though. Instead I say, “I love you.”

I said good-bye to my brother the day before his first death, not knowing that it was. I didn’t get to speak to John before he died again.  I wish I could have. I know John heard me say I loved him before I said good-bye because he said, “I love you too, sis.”

In the profound sadness and the grief that can swallow you whole as you let go, there is the light of gratitude and thankfulness—for the lessons, the love, joy, laughter, and guidance. I didn’t say “good bye” to my mom or McCoy or Bruce. Instead I said, “I love you. I’m thankful you were part of my life’s journey.”

Obviously, like many, I occasionally wander around in my memories and the mishmash of sorrow and gratitude.  The emotions settle down, becoming more nimble on their “feet.” And I become accustomed to the “new steps” and dance in the light.


Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Family, Rite of Passage, The International Mom

Between Us

She connects you and me, two strangers, through the sacred bond of motherhood. We stand on either side of loss and grief. We stand on either side of her life’s journey.

I respect you. I empathize with you. I will forever be thankful for the difficult decision you made. Without it, she would not be with me.

I love my child and so it is I love you as well, because you are part of her. You exist within every cell of her physical being. You exist deep within her memory stores. I’m sure of it. Some day she may want to know more, but for now she feels secure in her ingrained knowledge.

She has some of your characteristics and some of mine. She is western and she is eastern. She is poise, wit, and grace. She is ethical, committed to goals, and thoughtful. She is physically and emotionally strong. She is wise beyond her years, an “old soul” who knows who she is and is comfortable with it.

You gave her life and overcame great obstacles to bring her into this world. You ushered her to safety, risking yours, so that she would end up within my loving arms.

I give her a home, unconditional love and guidance. I laugh with her. Cry with her. And now, I hold her hand as she steps over the threshold to discover the mysteries of herself as she embarks on womanhood.

I wonder how you feel, as the years speed by, about the decision you had to make. I know, as a mother, you think of her continuously. I wish I could convey to you that that she is fine—content, balanced, joyous, and beautiful. She is deeply loved and cherished by her family.

Every time I look at the moon and stars, in the deep quiet of the night, I send prayers and thoughts your way, believing you can feel my intentions and that they will find you healthy and happy. At peace.

She is our blessing. She is my heart and your soul. Born of you, adopted by me. Our daughter.



Filed under Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Claiming, Identity, Loss