me and mommy collage

This article was written in 2014.

When my mother died I realized that no one would ever love me like that again. I always knew that no matter what I did, good or bad, she loved me anyway. Not to say that my father hasn’t been there or that he doesn’t love me. Or that my son’s love isn’t the best thing since honey-buttered biscuits (Have you had them, they are freaking delish)!

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A mother’s love is never judgmental. It’s kind and forgiving yet bold and endearing. And when you can’t see or hold that love anymore…it’s hard to survive in a world that openly judges and discusses your failures and whispers or ignores your successes.

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MUST READ: Things My Mother Taught Me Before She Died

It seemed like once my mother died EVERYTHING started blossoming for me. You could find my face in magazines, my words were quoted and (OMGEEZY) there was that time I was on the Dr. Oz show. But shortly after she died, I started to feel guilty about my accomplishments. How did I deserve all of this? How could I be so happy when my mother had just died? Was this like the “gen pop” of the Illuminati? Did I sacrifice my mother for my success?

All of those thoughts were just downright silly, but still my thoughts.

The day I got the call that my mother had five days left to live my soul cracked completely open and I could see each piece of who I was laying there on the ground. But instead of falling apart (which I almost do each day I wake up) I subconsciously picked up each piece one by one. To be honest, I didn’t realize until this moment that that’s what I was doing.

stages of grief1

I think I immediately experienced all the stages of grief at the same time. I was in denial about accepting her death so I began to bargain with God but that clearly didn’t work so I got angry which was followed by a deep depression.

stages of griefThe five stages of grief should really be classified as levels and educators of this concept should warn people that you never stop grieving. You just pick up the pieces that you can find of yourself and try to maneuver through each feeling.

The first piece of me that I found when she died was my entrepreneur instincts. I watched my mother quit a horrible paying job to start her own business as a home healthcare professional. My mother was my main supporter when I decided to quit my extremely stressful job at Baltimore City Child Support and move to New York to become a freelance writer.

I haven’t stopped hustling since the day I told her I was leaving Baltimore. Failure was never an option because I was so excited to start something new it never dawned on me. Now failure isn’t an option because I’ve got to give her something to brag about up there in heaven!

The second piece of me I found was a cynical and surly sense of humor. My brother and I bonded over laughter and giggles at my mother’s funeral. I could only laugh at the thought of her funeral since she didn’t want one in the first place. Her eulogy was presented by a man who hardly knew the bare bones of who my mother was. It was like a watching the funeral scene from that Tyler Perry movie (I can’t remember the name and it’s not that important to Google)!

its your granddaddy gif

I still laugh at those moments and others that are so hurtful all you can do is…just laugh. My mother lived by the quote, “It is what it is.” I don’t even question things anymore. I just laugh and hear my mother’s words.

The third and probably the most important part of me I found was how to be grateful. My good girlfriend and co-worker, Danielle never knew her mom. Her mother died of cancer when she was a just little girl. Her mother never spent hours prepping her for the first day of school like my mom did. Her mother never searched for days to find a Black girl-inspired Wonder Woman costume for Halloween like my mother did (because my mother hated White barbies and figurines). There were so many things that Danielle never got to experience with her mother. I quickly realized that I had been blessed with a pretty amazing mother for 36 years. So for the next 364 days, I concentrated on that. How blessed I was to even have a mother like mine! How did I deserve that?

me and mommy in the kitchen

My mother died a year ago (today) and I kinda feel…numb. I was only reminded because my family decided to host a memorial service this weekend. Because of course, I want to celebrate and honor the day she died?! I laughed again and declined the request for my presence.

When I woke up today it felt like…Monday! Not the day mother died. I’m not sure if I feel nothing because I won’t let myself feel something. Or if this day really just means nothing to me.

It’s someone’s birthday today I am sure, I’d rather celebrate that instead.


I wrote a book all about my experience with grief. I’ve gotten thousands of letter from women who have read my book and have since learned how to grieve in a healthy way. I encourage you to join our tribe and read my book.

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My Mother Died A Year Ago TODAY & I’m Kinda Feeling…

3 Reasons You Should Tell Your Story To The World

Things My Mother Taught Me Before She Died

There Is No Point To This Post! It’s My Mom’s Birthday, I Miss Her & I Might Be Rambling

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9 Comments

  1. SassyNOLa
    April 28, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    The first anniversary of my mom’s death was last month. I thought that day would be really tough for. I had been trying to mentally prep for it for months. But her birthday (Feb) hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked me completely on my ass. I was so unprepared and had convinced myself that I was doing well and dealing. Lies. I was in such denial. The first birthday without her was the first time it felt REAL that I didn’t have her anymore. I got a “5 days left” call, too. She died that night. I think I was in shock for most of this year. It happened too fast and then the funeral and then the first major holidays without, getting back to work, etc. – you’re so busy trying to get through the next minute that you don’t have time or energy to actually process. Her birthday was the first day I really processed. And when I say I was on my ass… I wanted to die for a solid week. It was SCARY, like I started looking for hotline numbers scary. And then I got on emotionally solid ground again and began REALLY dealing.

    I thought the anniversary of her death would be another huge emotional cliff to fall off, but it wasnt. It was just another day. It meant nothing to her or our family history. But I think her birthday will always be that hard because that was a day that was always all about her. So the loss is so apparent and there are no distractions on that day. Just sadness and grief.

    And I definitely thought that grieving was a “time period” or “process.” For me, it’s a part of my identity now and I accept that it always will be. For a time, it felt like my whole identity. I realize now that “healing” really just means you get to a place where you can add other things back into your identity but grief will never be removed.

  2. Dee
    April 28, 2014 / 9:23 pm

    Thank you for this. I was 39 when my mom died suddenly, and I can relate on many levels, although each of our experiences with our mothers’ passings is different. After year 5 ( this Sept. will be 6), I have learned to celebrate the day of her birth (not death) with fun things to do with me, our teens, and my hubby to honor her fun spirit and her great laugh. May you find your cool way to celebrate the life and times of your mom that honors her and makes you smile 😉

  3. April 29, 2014 / 7:27 pm

    I needed to read this today! I really did! Thank you!

    May 3rd will be the 10th anniversary of my father’s death and I’ve been emotionally and physically sick as we approach that date because it’s been 10 years and the emptiness in my heart is still just as hallow as it was the first year. I’ve been struggling to write a blog about my journey loosing my father and depression but it’s very painful and embarrassing. I know more of us need to speak freely about grief and as inspired as I was to tell my story after reading your emails and blog about Kayrn Washington, it’s hard.

    Loosing a parent is a lifetime journey, some years are much better than others, some years I hear his voice as if he’s alive and other days it’s very faint. I miss him. I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. I still haven’t been able to say goodbye. I had 23 years with him and I’m grateful!

    Today… I needed to read that I’m not the only one.
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  4. April 29, 2014 / 9:20 pm

    Wow. Very happy you shared your feelings. After my mom died, it seemed like every one in my senior class in high school was losing a parent. I’d get asked time and time again “when do you stop crying? when do you stop feeling?” so I appreciate your acknowledgement that you don’t. You just keep living. I like the sentiment that you can’t fail to give your mom something to brag about. I think I’ll borrow that one for now. Oh, and could you please stop telling fibs?! You cannot, in all of your 24-year-old- looking self… be 36. I refuse to believe it 🙂
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  5. Dijon Rolle
    May 5, 2014 / 11:26 am

    Thank you for sharing. My mom has been gone for 19 years and there will always be an emptyness there and there are still days that I cry. The anniversary of her death has become a lot easier for me now. I think about how she LIVED on that day and the fact that she is still living through me. I still hear her voice and feel her presence. Her sacrifices and desire for me to be great are what keeps me going. I refuse to let her down. There is absoutely nothing like a mother’s love and I feel beyond blessed to have had her in my life for the time she was here.

  6. J.Cole
    February 8, 2018 / 12:44 am

    I needed to read this. My mom passed away February 2017. This coming Saturday will make 1 year since she left. I am scared shitless (excuse my friend). Thank you for making this post.

    • February 8, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      Try creating a new tradition around your mom’s angelversary. Something that will make you happy and remind you of the love you share with your mom. And more importantly… FEEL it!

  7. October 11, 2018 / 9:01 am

    Thanks for sharing your love for your mother, this is the great way to give tribute to your loved one’s.

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