I Am Still Your Daughter…You are Still my Mother

I am still your daughter and, though I often feel motherless, you are still my mother. Our here-on-earth connection has been severed and that sometimes makes things feel…well…ambiguous. One gets so used to defining relationships through physical connections and tangible two-way interactions that when someone dies, it seems as though they cease to exist completely. At least at first.

For a long while after you died I thought, “I have no mother,”  but this defies logic; everyone has a mother. The truth is that I have a mother, but my mother is dead and the fact that you are dead makes you no less my mother. It does mean that you can no longer fill the spaces you used to in the same way that you did before, but you do still fill so many spaces. In fact, I can think of very few cracks and corners where you don’t exist. You are nowhere physically, but everywhere psychologically and so, you are still my mother and I am still your daughter.

Ours is a relationship that many others cannot understand. Just as they say you can’t fully know what it is to love a child until you become a parent, it’s sometimes true that a person can’t fully know what it is to love someone who has died until they have lost someone themselves. I think this is why many grieving people feel like their relationship with deceased loved ones isn’t validated in broader society.  So even if they feel psychogically connected they may ask themselves, am I still a mother, brother, sister, son, or daughter?

For these reasons and many others, it seems like death unceremoniously robs people of their titles and thrusts new identities upon them. Mothers and fathers become bereaved parents; sons and daughters become orphans; brothers and sisters become only children. Identity formation is not something people easily come by to begin with so, for many, this can feel very disorienting. 

It’s normal to feel like all is lost for a little while, but I think in time many people come to see they don’t have to fully abandon their relationship or their identity. True, they will likely grieve how the relationship has changed, but maybe not the relationship altogether. Obviously, things are not how anyone wants them to be, but to quote Downton Abbey which I’m currently binge watching and which you, Mom, would have loved, “It’s the worst thing in the world, except for the alternative.” Which is to say, it’s better than nothing.

I will take what I can get of you and I am grateful for what I have. This is not to say that I don’t feel robbed and cheated by death at times, especially times like now as we head into Mother’s Day weekend, but I have to remind myself that I am not motherless. You are still my mother and I am still your daughter and death cannot take that away from me.

I am still your daughter. I still look to you for guidance. I still allow the values you taught me to serve as my compass. I still read the letters you sent me, cherishing your cursive letters scrawled across the page. I still think about you sitting at the piano every time I sit down to play the piano.  I still pause on old movies when scrolling through the television channels. I still sing my daughters the songs that you sang to me. I still worry too much or, as Dad says, “I borrow trouble”. I still think about you. I still talk about you. I still need you.


Many of you reading this may, at times, find yourself questioning whether you are still a mother, son, daughter, father, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, best friend, etc.  This is totally normal; grief takes a toll on identity and it often takes a long time to understand who you are and how you relate to others in the context of life after loss. 

Regardless of where you are in your grief, I’d like to ask you to give the following exercise a try.  Take few minutes to complete the sentence below:

I am still your [mother, father, son, daughter, brother sister, etc] because…

We’d love it if you’d be willing to share your responses in the comments below or on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter).  With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we think these responses can serve as a reminder of the many ways that love and connection endures.  

Subscribe

May 10, 2018

30 responses on "I Am Still Your Daughter...You are Still my Mother"

  1. Good day everybody my name is Mrs Caroline Gilli am here to share with you my life experience how a great man called Dr Alexzander saved me and my marriage.I have been Married & Barren for for 5 years i had no child. i have never been pregnant i was a subject of laughter from my Friends & neighbors, i almost lost my marriage because of this issue.i was so confused that i did not know what to do until i came across this great Dr online and i contacted him at once i was scared weather it was going to work because i never believed things like this before, so i decided to give it a try and i did all what Dr Alexzander asked of me and today to my greatest surprise i took in the first time and i gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and now my marriage that was about crashig before is now restored. my husband now love and want me better, Am so happy for everything that have been happening my life since i met this Dr Alexzander.
    I want to tell all the women out there who have a similar situation like that the world is not over YET they should dry up their tears and contact this great man and their problem will be gone or are you also having other problems you can also contact Dr Alexzander, here is how you can contact him. browse him on google search engine via his name alexzander high temple. searching on him on google will enable you to get his email address or call his phone number +2347068836760 or whatsapp him through this +2347075823891 many blogs online.
    Thank Dr Alexzander for everything you did in my marriage.
    Thanks
    Caroline Grilli

  2. There is nothing still about (still) being your mother. I am loudly your mother. Was the day I signed papers allowing your adoption. Every day you lived there and I lived here. Out loud the day in your 18th year that we met. Loudly, loudly I am, still, your mother 4 months after you have ceased to breathe. I breathe you loud and clear. You are still, my daughter, right out loud here in my heart, still.

  3. I am still your daughter Dad and you are still my dad. It’s been 5 months and I have felt my identity shaken and my foundation lost. Reading this article gave me comfort and clarity that me being your daughter and you being my dad cannot be taken away. I miss you beyond what any words can describe and really have a hard time wrapping my mind around not having you physically in my/ our lives anymore. My goal is to continue to live to make you proud, take you on adventures ( in spirit still counts) and thrive not just survive. Thanks for loving me so well Dad

  4. You are still my daughter. I cannot see you or touch you but you are still a very real part of my life. I dont say that I have only one daughter now, I still have 2 daughters, one is here on earth with me and the other is in Heaven with our Savior. God’s grace and mercy took you home so that you dont hurt anymore. But we are left behind grieving for you. There has been a gaping hole in my heart for the last 2 months that no one can fill but you. This is my first Mother’s Day without you, I dont want to face it. But knowing that God is taking care of you brings me a little bit of peace. As long as you are happy and not sick then we are happy for you, we will be ok down here. We know we will be with you again. So my sweet daughter, enjoy the beauty that only Heaven can hold, rest in the love and peace that God gives you, and tell the rest of the family that we will see them all soon. I’m doing my best with your girls and making sure they are ok. They will miss you this Mother’s Day, as will I. I love you now and forever!!! Mom

  5. … Think I’ll go read some Emily Dickinson .

    “Hope is a thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul,
    And sings the tune without the words,
    And never stops at all,…”

  6. I am still your daughter because Mum and Dad you made me so I carry you both in me physically as well as in my heart. I miss you both so much and hope you are together somewhere having fun and laughing together.

  7. I am still your daughter because I would not be who I am without you. As I navigate this new journey of motherhood, I feel your guidance, I hear your voice, I remember every embrace, every kiss, every encouragement… every energy you put into raising me. I lean upon you, still, to help me be my best self for my son. I want to make you proud. If I can be just half the mom you are, I know William will be ok. I love you so much, mom. I always will.

  8. Valentino, I am still your mother because you are and you will always be part of my body and my soul. I am still your mother because I feel that you are next to me. I am still your mother because every day I heard your heartbeat in my mind and in my heart. You will always be my son, and I will always be your mama. I love you so much that hurts . I love you with my soul because one day my heart will stop, but my soul will find you, I promised to you when you left, and I promise to you now and every remaining days of my life.. Te ama mama.

  9. I am still your mother because I grew you inside my body. I gave birth to you. I was there for your first breathe. I loved you from the second I saw your beautiful face. I fed you from my body. I kissed your wounds I played with you. I went to ever school function you had. I defended you always. I was there when you gave birth to your children. I Wil always be your mom. I see you in my dreams I feel your presence. I see you in the smile of your children. Always and forever my jiffynerd.
    Love mom

  10. I am still your daughter because since you left 8 years ago, I’ve been parenting my daughter’s alone. I receive no help , I’ve had hardship after hardship, alot of loss but you taught me well. I watched how strong you were and never failing as a mother. I love you and I know you must be walking beside me. How else could I do this.

  11. You are still my son, I am still your Mother. When death took you from me my fear was you would be forgotten and my deepest sadness that I was no longer the mother of a very special son. With the passage of time I realize those that love you will never forget you and yes, I will always be the proud mother of a son who showed kindness, generosity, patience, who was funny, smart and very handsome. A son who made this mother feel loved and appreciated always. I miss you my son, with all my heart. My Damian.

  12. My father died suddenly when I was 17, but my mother lived to 89 years of age. Mothers’ Day is coming up soon. I lost my wife a year ago after a long illness. I keep one thing in mind. My parents and my wife would not want their passing to be a cause of my unhappiness although we are human and we can’t logically or emotionally just turn off grief. I feel their presence. Sometimes I sit on the deck at the back of the house in the evening, and I ask for a sign that “all is well” with the departed. Does an owl hoot mean there is a sign? Does a firefly buzzing by blinking a light man there is a sign? Does a deer coming out of woods mean there is a sign? Some may say these are coincidences, but I can choose whether it is a coincidence or a sign. My advice for anyone is to “Keep Hope Alive.” You may ask keep hope alive for what? Well, I think you have to fill in that blank. Find something you are excited about, and hope to see it to become a positive fruition.

  13. I am still your wife cause you took apart of me with you when you left my heart . I pray we will be together again soon my love always.

  14. I am still your daughter because I miss you more than ever, even though you left this life for life eternal almost 11 years ago. I’m your daughter because I have your (and dad’s) senses of humor. And, I’m still your daughter because I’m your favorite! LOL. Mum I miss you so much. I’m sad that you are not here to see what has become of your youngest grandson. Sad you’re not here for all my silly questions. Sad you weren’t here for Jordan’s graduation, and so much more. If it’s any consolation, I’m kind of glad you are not here to see what’s happening with the families of my brothers. Let’s just say you nailed it, unfortunately. You were my biggest cheerleader, my North Star, my sounding board and my friend. I sure wish that you hadn’t transferred your membership to the Church Triumphant so soon. Tell Dad and everyone I love them too.

  15. I am still your daughter because when I look in the mirror, I have your eyes. I remember your voice and your laugh and I laugh like that too. I am still your daughter because I am because of you.

  16. I am still your son and you will always be my Mom. I miss you terribly and think of you all the time, nearly 6 years after your death. It’s insane to think it has been that long and I still miss you so badly. I wish I had more good memories of you and I wish you had lived a more peaceful life- away from all your mental and physical pain. But I cherish the good times I remember with you. Thank you for always making me feel loved and encouraged, despite your own struggles. It’s hard to consider moving farther and farther forward in life without you. I can’t comprehend that Anna and I’s children won’t know you. How do I find the words to describe you and your immense love but complicated life to people who will never even meet you? I still need you. I wish you did not choose to leave, but know that I forgive you and I understand and I hope you never doubted for a second the ocean of love I have always and will always have for you. “When you die there is nothing you keep, there is only a reflection.” I’m your only reflection and I hope I reflect in a way that makes you proud. God, help me. I hate Mother’s Day.

  17. Louise McOrmond-PlummerMay 10, 2018 at 8:31 amReply

    Ken, I am still your wife and you still my husband because you were my sweetheart and my best friend for 30 years, and nothing will ever replace that. I am still your wife because your death certificate marital status read “married” and that is no less true because you died. I am still your wife because those who keep suggesting I must “move on” and meet somebody else do not understand that it is YOU I am lonely for, not any man in general. I am still your wife because, when you knew you were dying, you said you’d wait for me. I am still your wife because it has been 18 months, and while my greatest fear was losing connection to you, my love for you remains as strong as it ever was. I am still your wife because of the unconditional love we shared, even when I drove you crazy. I am still your wife, because one day we will be together again, and that is my most cherished wish.

  18. I am still your mother because I still think about you every second of every day. I still do so many things for you just in a different way than I would do if you were still here. You are still so much a part of my life even though I can’t hug you and can’t hear you tell me you love me. I am still your mother because my love for you has not changed, if anything it has grown even stronger if that is even possible. I loved you with all my heart in life and I love you with all my heart in death. I am consumed with you every day always wondering………What else can I do so you know how much I miss you and love you? I gave birth to you and nothing can change that, therefore, I am still your mother and you will always be my son!

  19. I am still your daughter.
    For 8 long years we didn’t talk to each other. We danced around each other. My children were the conduit. Five months ago we had three weeks before you died to close off our lives together. I held you and cared for you as you left us. My daughters and I cleansed your body and thanked you for what you gave each of us as women. You were my mother and you are my mother. Your mother left us four months before you left us. I am now the senior woman in my family. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t have anyone to rail against or to say “but I’d do it this way”. Who am I now that my mother and grandmother has gone? I thought we might have time and I thought we might ‘fix’ things and now time has run out. I hope as dad says you are looking out for me and loving me like you couldn’t in life. I am still your daughter and you are still my mother and I miss terribly what I didn’t have.

  20. I am still your daughter because you are still with me in spirit. xxx

  21. I miss you Mom and Dad. I am still number 4. I wouldn’t be here without you.

  22. You are my son –
    I met you when you took your first breathes
    I held your hands when you took your first steps
    I gave you a Mother’s love
    You gave me a son’s gift
    You grew into a searingly wonderful man
    You had a wisdom and depth to you
    You had doubts and dreams
    These are things I live with
    These are things I cherish…
    8 years later ….
    Because you are my son
    Because you are my daughter’s sister
    and my partner’s son.
    Because you are you
    and I am your Mother.

  23. Levi, I am still your mother because, as I told you repeatedly, I love you more than anyone and anything in this world. You moved on to another place 18 months ago, but you will always be with me. You will be my darling daughter forever. You taught me so much in that 22 (almost) years and shaped the way I think and feel. You know now that I was just kidding about taking off from loving you on February 29s. I cannot help but hope we’ll be together before the next one. You would have written this so much more eloquently, but I won’t apologize. Sometimes eloquence is useful, sometimes it serves no purpose whatsoever. Sometimes a broken heart clouds a writer’s mind. You’re still my favorite kid, and I know that I am still your favorite mom.
    Mama and Daddy, I am still your daughter because your love gave me life. I miss you both more than you ever knew. Your love and guidance made me who I am, whoever that is. It is difficult to figure things out these days. I’m glad you two are together again after so many years. I’ll meet you at the gate. Wait for me there. I think I’ll have a great big smile on my face. See you then.

  24. I am still your daughter because without you I would not exist.
    I am still your daughter because I love you with every single beat of my heart.
    I am still your daughter because because we have a connection & a bond that defies life & death.
    I am still your daughter because I love you too much to be anything but.
    I will always be your daughter & until we are reunited in death, you will never truly die because I continue your legacy through myself & children

  25. I am still your daughter because without you I don’t exist.

  26. I am still your daughter and you are still my mother. I know this because I still want to share things with you and am reminded you are no longer here, but somehow I know you know about those things. I feel your strength, at times, and I know it is you who gave that to me. I see you in other people I see during my day. I can still hear you laugh. I feel you in my heart.

  27. I am still your mother, just as I am still the mother of your brother, whom we both lost three years ago. People say, meaning to be consoling, that nobody expects to outlive their children. I don’t take issue with them on the spot: they’re trying to be empathetic. But let me say it now: Once you’ve lost one child (and that happened to me fifty years ago for the first time), you take nothing for granted. That’s why I made you and your brother carry those annoying little cards (“MO-ommm!”) with your emergency contact information and “permission to treat in medical emergencies.” That’s why I struggled so hard not to “hover” over you as your grew up, and became the wonderful, productive, funny, and well-loved adults you became. But I knew there was always a possibility that I would, indeed outlive my children. It happens. And it happens different ways – after years of fighting illness, like your brother, or overnight, from a fatal accident, or a sudden physiological incident – like you, in February; and your toddler sister so many years ago. What I learned from that – and am still learning – is two things: (1) Whatever moment we’re living now is the ONLY guaranteed moment we have Enjoy it; don’t tarnish it with fears and worry about plans that may or may not happen. It’s now; it’s here; it’s real. Take it and keep it and treasure it. (2) The second thing is that, with or without living breathing children, I will always be your mother, and you will always be my children. I still think of you a thousand times a day – I note events and vistas and experiences as if you were there at my side. I talk myself through my irrational and petty fears again and again – using insights and examples you taught me (I always said you were born more mature than I’ll ever hope to be! ) And I share jokes with you – I see things through your eyes; all the comments and asides we would have shared with each other STILL get shared. The fact that you aren’t physically here to build on unexpected thrills and gripes and incidents and anecdotes is minor. There is, in me, that part of you that will still and always respond in a slightly different way than if we had never had each other. You – all of you – are my traveling companions through the rest of my life. I figured out the other day that, totaling all your ages, I’ve put in 101 years of being a mother. But the clock hasn’t stopped ticking. You are all part of every remaining day and night of my life. I’m richer for your birth; I’m a better person; and I feel more alive knowing that I hold you in my heart every step on the rest of my journey. I’m still here. Love to you all, Mom

  28. I wrote this blog post I’m Not a Motherless Daughter She just Isn’t Here originally several years ago. To say I am motherless is to state that my Mom and Grandmother were never here. Hope it is ok to share the link to the post. http://www.howtomakealife.com/not-motherless/

  29. I am still your daughter, even though you reject me and show me no love. You are still my mother, even though my kindness and good intentions will not be well-received. Elusive celebration of another Mothers Day will bring more sadness, no doubt. Anticipatory grief continues on in all its complexities.

  30. I am still your mother and you are still my son. I commune with my sweet boy often. I ask him questions and he answers. One time I was apologizing to God for being angry that “you took him.” I heard Jeff say, “Mom, it doesn’t work like that here.” I have had several times like that but it took about a year before I was brave enough to hear him answer me.

Leave a Message

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer

WYG provides general educational information from mental health professionals, but you should not substitute information on the What’s Your Grief website for professional advice. Please check out terms and conditions here

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1-800-273-8255

PhotoGrief

Share Your Snapshot

Grief In 6 Words

Submit a Story to Us

What's Your Grief Podcast

Listen to our podcast

top
X