My mother and I were not girlfriends and like most mother-daughter relationships, we would frustrate each other and get mad at each other and definitely didn't always "get" each other. But underlying all of that we knew we loved each other and would always be there for each other. Now that's gone. My love for her will remain until the day I die, but her love for me has ended because her life has ended. We will no longer have the laughter and easy understanding, the comfort of common experiences that comes from a lifetime of shared moments.
Each of my siblings and I are still the same people we have always been, but since my mother's death every time I consider one of them, or myself, all I can see are the little pieces of my mother that dwell in each of us. She impacted each one of us in an unique way. In some ways it's amusing and in others it's comforting.
Sadness and grief are devastating emotions. Our hearts have the ability to heal. When I look around my life, so many people I know have lived through losing someone they dearly loved. Their lives go on. Somehow, in spite of their loss, they have happiness and their lives are full. Everyday I am one step closer to that point.
Here's one of the most recent pictures of my mother. It was taken at my house this April on Easter Sunday. It's not the most glamorous picture of her, but she wasn't a glamorous person. She was a loving woman who was happiest being with my father and the rest of her family. This is how I will always remember her.