365 days

I am sitting on my mom’s pink chair that she had in her office, where she helped people every day as a therapist. It is quiet and all I am thinking is “I don’t want to write a thing, I have nothing more to say”. I feel numb today. I feel more loss and grief and pain, 365 days of living with out my mom than is conceivable to document in writing. I feel as if someone is sitting on my chest, breathing feels difficult; just as it did on the day my sweet and amazing mother breathed her last breath. I spent some time today going through some pictures; and the photos of her before she was sick and after she was sick were salt in my gaping wound. I feel like I want to shout from the roof tops all over again that this is NOT FAIR. LAst year at this time, I was 7 months pregnant. Today I played with my darling silly 10 month old. I look into my daughter’s eyes and feel a terrible heartache that she did not get to meet mom beautiful, smart and funny mom. It is a cruel twist of fate that my mom was over the moon I was having another child.  It is a cruel twist of fate – that each day of the entire pregnancy I was scared, tired and heartsick that my mom was sick. 

About today…. people were kind, and thoughtful and loving with their text messages of support and warmth. It helped ease some of the tightness in my being. Though; more than crying buckets today…. I found myself staring into things; the wall, the sky, the ocean, the ground. Staring, looking, searching for my mother. Everywhere I went today I was hoping to see some sign of love from her. And I found love in my children, my friends and my family of choice. It is not the same, though I appreciate it– it is not the same. Every day I miss my mom– the one person who knew the me-me. The whole me. And now; I don’t feel whole. I feel like a person who can’t breathe deeply, a person who can’t walk fast any more, a person who lost the giddy in her giddy up. While I can certainly rally for parenting time, I am not the same parent I was 366 days ago. I am slower, I am more deliberate, I am trying to be more present and I am just changed. This one year anniversary of my mother’s passing…. has left me in the same state of disbelief – same as the day before, and the day before that….my heart is broken. 365 days. It is way to many days not to hear ‘daughter, I love you”. 



It is coming up on the anniversary of my mom leaving, departing, setting her sick body free. I am in pain in my heart, and entire being. It is hard to breathe. It is hard to talk. I feel anxious and so sad and alone. As the day draws near I find my regrets to be the same. I find my pain has not decreased. I find my chasm of grief is simply held on the back burner…. But a small breath brings the flame close to my heart instantly. I still find myself numb ….. And with daily headaches.
I have a ten month old now. A lovely baby my mom has never met. It hardly seems possible. I would have and could have never dreamt that this would be my life. I feel the empty, lonely feeling of floating at sea with a piece of my soul missing. My best. Friend. My. Mother.
Yes. The year has been filled with heartache and pain and deep love for this new baby.
And the deepest loneliness… More than is describable in writing…. Or in words….more than can be uttered aloud.
It is stuck. In the silence of my heart.


Mother’s Day heartache.

Being a daughter without a mother is indescribable. The pain has been too great to type. I am fuzzy with sadness. Mother’s Day is here and my mom is not. I feel all at once like I will whither away into the cloud of sorrow. The only light I see is my dear beautiful and funny children. On days like this; I have all the why questions.
Why did this happen?
Where is my mom?
Why did such a healthy person get sick?
Why is there no justice for someone who did so much good for others and was such a beacon of light?
Why don’t I have my mom with me when I now have a daughter to raise?
When will this pain in my heart and clenching in my being decrease? And honestly – do I even want it to?
When will I be able to talk about it?
The Why questions do not really end for me? I am left here; on earth with only questions. And love. And abundance of love for my mom. And love that I miss receiving.
Again. The hole left by my mothers absence is more than I can describe to others and normally more than they can fathom.
Happy Mother’s Day to my sweet and amazing and loving mother; Donna Lee Aceves. I miss you greater than the sun and deeper than sky. Every day of my life.


Moving on

I don’t know how people or I will move on from this sadness in my heart. I miss my mom painfully during this new year. We always made it to the beach in lovely January weather. We walked, we talked, we played with the boys in the sand. She (of course) captured it via her amazing camera lens and it would magic show up in a beautiful calendar the following year. I still have a headache. I still have a heartache. I still have – what feels like a piece of my soul missing.
My step dad has a ‘friend’. He is lonely and wants someone to talk with. His grief and my grief are so similar and in this regard – so different. Since I have a full house of kids I don’t find the need to fill the void my moms absence leaves.
I sit here with my cup of tea and feel it and …… Don’t need someone else to fill it up. My step dad can attempt to find a replacement for my mother – after 28 years – someone who can help ease the loneliness. There is no one – after 39 years of mothering- who can ease my loneliness for my mom. No one makes me feel so warm and loved. No one that could put a smile on my sons face like my mom. No one who knew me so deeply. No one who saw the good in a person first.
Yes. My heart is still broken. I can’t run on the adrenaline that my step dad chooses to run on to escape the pain and heart ache he must feel. I sit here, in the silence of my home, drink my tea quietly and feel it. It the deep dark crevices of my soul. I feel it.


Not ready for a new year

I do not want to enter into a new year. I don’t want to enjoy a year in which my mom has not been a party of it. This causes extreme heartache in the depths of my soul. As people ring in a new year with joy and exuberance – all I can think of over and over in my head is…. Please, no, make the nightmare end. Please, tell me this has all been a joke. Please tell me the bright shining light of my mother on this earth still will be with me. In the human form- in the talking or texting every day kind of form. Please tell me my mom will meet my daughter and watch my kids grow. Please tell me heart it will be okay. New Years is often a time of deep reflection– reflection of where you have come from and where you want to go with your life. Well, I don’t want to go anywhere. I have no desire for New Years resolutions, zero reflections, and honestly – I still battle with intense and painful anger. Anger and grief and this chasm of pain… They don’t seem to blend well with ‘starting anew’ in 2014. The only reflection I feel capable of making – is the one that reminds me of how important and special my mom made me feel, made others around her feel and how much fun she had in her life. It’s hard to sit and remember sometimes tho- it causes the missing her to tear through me like a knife. My mom had the best and most loving hugs and would look at you with deep kindness and patience. Her patience for me was amazing. It remains emblazoned in my mind and on my heart her deep deep love for me. Her deep love for my children. She made you feel like you so so special on this planet. I keep asking ‘why’. All the usual and expected why’s when someone so unique and special and healthy gets sick and fights cancer and doesn’t survive. How did this happen? How does this happen to someone who did everything right to care for her body, mind and soul? And then why did this happen to someone so so undeserving of being given a short life. I am still working on trusting love. I can’t quite seem to trust anything anymore. My mom trusted love and – well- what did that do for her? I know, it did a lot of things for her while she was sick.
I miss my mom. Her calming spirit and her genuine smile. I want a re-do of 2013. I need to do it differently. I can barely tolerate going into a new year when I want to re-do the last year if my my moms life. My best friends life. It’s so cliche- but- I just want more time. And I want to do the last year with more love and compassion and grace. I wanted my moms last year to be a better reflection of all the love she put out into the world and gave to others. I want her to feel how she has made so many others feel- loved to the ends of the earth. I wish people could learn from my mistakes. How blinded by grief I was that I could not remain in the present. And tho it is not helpful to judge my grieving self of 2013– I can not help it. While others ring in the new year with joy, I ring it in with such sadness it envelopes me. As I write I think…. Trust Love…. How do I do that? As I was thinking of a theme word for 2014 the only word that popped up was LOVE. I am not sure what this means for me. ( years passed have ranged from peace – as in have more peace, give others peace, manifest peace etc).
Love? 2014…. Year of Love? Maybe I can try it? With my mom as my guide…..


Sleep, grief and …

I can’t sleep. I am so sad. Today was as hard as I expected without my mom. My husband and step dad did an amazing job today of helping to make the day a nice one. Last night, for Christmas Eve, we spent time with my dad and step mom; which was also lovely. The smells of baked goods, (we made cookies Christmas eve morning) and being merry remind me of my mom. My step dad did a beautiful job today of honoring our Christmas traditions with pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) and Mexican hot chocolate. He stuffed the stockings and hung them with loving care. His Christmas presents were kind and thoughtful. My moms sparkly smile and amazing laugh was missing for me the entire day. This balance of honoring her, remembering her and being present for my husband and kids is confusing. My learning moment for today was the idea to create alter area. I need a spot in my house to honor my mom.
People just don’t know how to do grief. It’s weird how no one talks about it or acknowledges the elephant in the room or even offers a kind hug and acknowledgment that this must be a hard time of year.
I made so many mistakes in the past year. So many missed moments with my mom. So many things that could have been different that would have made such a difference in her life when she was alive and would now make a difference for me since she is gone- and yet – if I practice being in this one single moment here is what I know.
I know I am sitting in a cozy warm bed, I know I am deeply tired, I know in this minute that I am grateful for my family and for the roof over my head. In this one minute, I miss my mom so much I feel like throwing up. I know I am super tired and still find myself confused that this is my life.



Today was my twin boys 4th birthday. And my mom was not here. I am not sure how I survived the day. I am not sure I recall most of the day. I cried profusely at the end of the day, while talking with my step dad about my intense emotional connection to my moms camera. Seeing the boys through the same lens she used to capture all the excitement of a you d child growing up. Feeling the anguish of my moms life cut short at such an early age. Today was also a mix of gratitude for my family of choice. They just keep showing up for me in every way. Keep showing up for my family and just helping us in the remembering. They made a song photo books for my boys. The thoughtfulness and heartache involved in creating something like that would have been so difficult. I keep wanting to remember. But I feel so stuck on the past 12 months. So stuck on mistakes and regrets and words left unsaid and actions not taken. When and how do I forgive myself. When and how do I release the anger and self righteous feeling they our family did not deserve this tragedy and that my mom did not deserve this – based on the lovely, meditative life she loved and lived.
I still breathe anger. I still see red when I think of all the ‘what if’s’ and ‘wish we would haves’. Anger. Despair. Pain. Heartache. Insomnia. Ghost.


Layers of loss

My grandmother passed away this week. It is another layer of grief on top of all the pain of the past year. I find it difficult to articulate the amount of heartache that passes through me each and every day.
For both my grandmother and mother to be gone- it is as if my entire history has been erased- it is so jarring and unsettling. Each day I wonder if I will ever see light and then I think if I see the light does that mean I will have forgotten my mom. I often feel so lost. As if I am floating in a cloud. But in a rain cloud with one bad thing after another floating by and crashing into my life.