A Daughter’s Grief and a Mother’s Love

There are so many polite ways to say it; passed away, crossed over, called home, shuffled off this mortal coil. The plain fact is though, my mama died. She died suddenly and quickly on Saturday, March 11, 2023 and life won’t ever be like it was. She collapsed in church, with my father by her side, and a couple of doctors and and ER nurse trying to help her. As horrifying as it was, I feel like there’s some kind of karmic something to passing away in church.

I’ve been trying to write about this for at least a week now, with not much to show for it. The grief comes in waves, even as I put one foot in front of the other, doing the things that must be done. I’ve found that mornings are the most difficult since it’s when I spoke to her almost every day. I’m trying to find some peace in this grief; some comfort in the thought that maybe mornings are the time she comes to me.

I still want to call her, to tell her about things happening in my family’s life. We got new chairs in our dining room and my first thought was that I needed to FaceTime her because she’d really like them. I wanted to call her yesterday as we plan my almost 12 year old daughter’s birthday party. These moments are the most poignant. The minutiae of our daily lives, the firsts we will experience without her are the moments when I want to hear her voice so much it creates a physical pang of longing and emotion.

She taught me and my sister what it meant to be independent, intelligent “strong-willed women.” I’ve written about her, and the other incredible women in my life before, but our mother achieved what we’re striving for, a blend of hard work, smarts, and compassion.

My mama loved completely. It wasn’t always easy, gentle love, but it was complete and unequivocal. She and my father taught us what love is, for each other, and as parents. That kind of unconditional, supportive love is what I strive to provide with my own children.

You were always better with Mama on your side. She believed in the potential of all the people in her life and wanted the best from, and for, them. She was a fierce defender of those she cared about.

I think she sometimes underestimated the impact she had on people. She was kind. I hope she saw the number of people at her funeral, the number of people who have reached out to me, to my sister, my dad, my aunt and uncle, and it helps her understand how many lives she touched and how truly loved she was by so many.

She was, as my daddy used to say, “the woman what bore me.” She was a wonderful and thrilled grandmother. She loved my daddy so much. They were married for 48.5 years. She was Andrea. She was Andie and Andre (what her grandchildren called her.) I love her and I miss her more than she’ll ever know. She was my mama.

7 thoughts on “A Daughter’s Grief and a Mother’s Love

  1. She had to have been so proud of the amazing woman she created who is doing, and will continue to do, so much good. I have’t lost my mom (well, except to Alzheimer’s, which is almost the same thing), but have lost my dad – who I thought would live many more years than he did. If your experience is like mine, she will continue to be such a part of you that her presence never really leaves. I hope that is the case, because it is such a comfort. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katy-

    You have done a wonderful job describing Andrea. She was all those things to her family, and a lot more to the broader Mobile community. Her heart, her empathy to those she encountered in her courtroom and her steadfastness are traits we all should embody.

    Thanks for putting our feelings into words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely tribute to your mama, Katy. She was absolutely a kind and loving lady who touched the lives of so many, including me. I love that God put her in my life to share mothering our Robert and grandmothering our grands.

    Liked by 1 person

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