Thursday, February 25, 2010


mom would have turned 53. *sigh*


i don't even know how to articulate how i feel. today is one of those days that i'm expected to be sad...along with mother's day, the anniversary of her death, and other holidays. but oddly enough, it's not these special days that i feel grief the most.

so, today, i'm just fine. for now anyway. :)

it's often the random day, when i see a mother & daughter together. or, when i open the cupboard and see cream of mushroom soup. or, when there's a NASCAR race on. i could give example after example. those are the things that catch me off-guard.


i clearly remember sitting down and making this layout. it was just three months after she passed away. i was in an ugly, ugly place and feeling like i would never enjoy the birds singing or the sun shining again.

but, today, i still feel the same as i did on this day last year, but somehow, so very different.

i'm still in the camp that time doesn't really heal the pain. but it does change it. it makes it more bearable. it makes the memories sweeter. it makes the heartache dull just a bit with each passing day.

so now, instead of my scrapbooking layouts and memories of her feeling heavy and downtrodden, they are a more positive and celebratory. most of them are informative & not so much a display of pictures. she hated to be in front of the camera.

so, while i don't have many pictures of my mom, i haven't let that stop me from recording details about who she was and what she did. this is just one example.


instead of repeating a photo already used on another layout, i chose to make a large focal point in place of a photo with the word MOM embellished.


i created this layout after being challenged by Amanda Probst & her super fabulous blog called Good Grief. the challenge was to create a layout about your loved one using word association.

i immediately thought of those brainstorming webs we were taught to create in elementary school when learning to write stories.

so i grabbed a scratch piece of paper & my oldest daughter, the one with the excellent recollective memory, and we each jotted down anything and everything we associate with mom (or Big Grammy to her). then together we decided which ones summed up our memories best to include on this layout.


the coolest thing about this whole project is that as we were finding words that we associate with her, we discovered that behind each and every one of these words is a very important story that needs told about who she was.

i forgot how helpful brainstorming webs could be!

if you'd like read a little more about my mom and my journey through grieving her loss--including more layout, you can read all the posts by clicking here.

PS.....i will be bringing back my In Loving Memory class in late April or early May. stay tuned.


  1. Hi! I just want you to know you say exactly how I feel. My mom passed away last Feb ... and you are right. It isn't the days you expect to be sad that are the saddest. I still am not to the point where my layouts are really about her - just too 'pretty' .. that sounds horrible. But I am trying to get to where I tell about her.
    One other thing, I almost feel guilty about how sad her death makes me. Do you ever feel that way too? Like I shouldn't be as sad as say ... a person who loses their child (God forbid that happens!) or a sibling or ??? Because parents do go first? It seems silly ... but I can't help feeling like I am 'too' emotional over it. Does that even make any sense???
    By the way you look just like your mother ... when I saw that layout the other day, I thought at first it was you and wondered at the title. Duh.

  2. Hugs, Tania! And happy birthday to your mom! I know she'd be so proud of you and all you've done in addressing your feelings no matter good or bad and in sharing that with others.

  3. amanda. thank you. :)

    & melanie....HUGS. huge hugs. the first year is the hardest because you experience all those "first time celebrating" occassions without your loved one. it's almost like a double-blow to the emotions.

    i did lots of "pretty" layouts in the beginning. telling the story of how i felt. telling the story of the grieving process. but i think those type of layouts are essential to getting yourself to the place mentally that you can actually create layouts about your loved one. (and let me just say those layouts took foooooorever to finish because i had to walk away & come back & walk away again when the anxiety over it all crept up on me)

    for me, i know that had i skipped over acknowledging my feelings & getting them down on a layout, i don't think the pages i'm creating now would hold as much meaning. i think they'd feel empty to me. because while i'm creating these layouts now, i usually have one or two helpers (little girls) asking a million questions about their Grammy & it's so cool to experience their stories through their personal memories--things i'd forgotten even.

    if they were doing this while i hadn't yet dealt with my own feelings while making "pretty" layouts (non-informative), i personally would have felt frustrated and bothered by their interruption. i hope that makes sense.

    as for the feeling guilty about your level of sadness....i'm honestly not sure how to tell you to remedy that. i'm certainly not a professional counselor.

    i can say, that i don't feel guilt about my level of sadness--but that's not to say, i didn't a year or two ago. BUT, guilt is a completely normal part of the grieving process. don't punish yourself for feeling guilty your grief.

    grief is different for everyone. i've tried to explain this to people before. for example, i only know what it is like to lose a mom. i don't know how it feels to lose a spouse or a sister or even a child. i can only imagine what it feels like. while the grief of losing a loved one seems like it should be universal and feel the same, it simply doesn't. i think it all depends on the dynamic of the relationship you had with the loved one.

    an in event....((((HUGE HUGS))) and you can email me anytime. :)

  4. Sending hugs your way today Tania! We still celebrate Abby's birthday, so maybe you could bake a special cake with your girls today to help enjoy the day. I know it's a hard one.

  5. Lifting you with lots of prayers and hugs, my friend. Celebrate your momma today. Rejoice in her and the memories you have of her and her birthday celebrations.

    Love you to pieces, girlie.

  6. Big hugs to you! I honestly don't know what I'd do without my mom so I can't even imagine what you're feeling right now. So sorry. :(

  7. thank you everyone. i really am in a good place with it right now.

    but, i still miss her.

    i'm doing fine though. it's just always good to reflect and be reminded of how far i've come in the process.

    and there will be celebrating. with chinese food (her favorite!). suzi is taking me out. :)

  8. Really awesome work, Tania. I need to start taking part in these challenges... :-)

  9. I love the word association idea for a layout & you did a fantastic layout using that idea! Thaks for sharing & sending hugs your way.

  10. Hey Tania, I know what your going through. The pain does fade away with time but sometimes certain things still get to you. I was working the other day and for some reason looked at the clock and the date hit me. It was the 25th anniversary of the date my mother passed almost to the minute or at least the minute i found her. She died when I was seventeen. She would have been 36 on her bday the year she died.

  11. Tania, I can feel your heart breaking just by reading your words . . . time does heal, but it never completely takes the pain away. I've only lost a couple real close people in my life, death is definitely something I don't handle very well. The most recent was my FIL . . . it was real hard watching my DH's heart breaking right in front of me and then my childrens, my heart still aches just thinking about that day and watching them go through all of that. He passed away on Veteran's Day two years ago, just two days before my sons and 3 days after mine . . .

    I've got several pics I'd like to scrap, but just haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet. One picture in particular of my FIL with my DH, his brother and sister at his bedside. That picture is just still too hard to look at.

    After sharing with you what I've been going thru there are many things I'd like to get done for my kids, but that too is just too hard to sit down and do . . . there are things that I want my kids to know about me if something were to ever happen.

    HUGS to you my friend!


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