It’s been five years since Nikki Pennington, a mom and blogger at Grief to Hope, lost her own mother to brain cancer. On Monday, Pennington reflected on her heartbreaking loss in a Facebook post that quickly went viral — and be sure to have your tissues handy, because her words are so moving.
“And when she dies you’ll search for her no matter how long she’s been gone. You’ll search for her the minute she leaves in that very room. You’ll search the sky,” Pennington wrote. “You’ll search online. You’ll search group forums. You’ll search old messages. You’ll search old text messages. You’ll search old letters. You’ll search old cards. You’ll search for her. You’ll search old high school yearbooks. You’ll search old photo albums. You’ll search the memories of old friends. You’ll search her things. You’ll even search the crowds.”
Pennington went on to explain that there’s a major difference between intellectually knowing your mom has died and coming to terms with the fact that she’s gone. Be patient with yourself, because coming to terms with the loss won’t happen overnight — and there’s no “right” timeline for the grieving process.
“Even though someone told you she’s gone, you’ll still search for her. And when you are walking down the aisle, when your baby is born and when the holidays come around, you’ll search the room for her,” the post continued. “When the days are hard and when they are good. When the times are difficult and when they are so good that pure joy is filling your soul. When you are sitting on your back porch trying to sort out all your problems you’ll look over because even if for a minute you’ll be searching for her.”
Pennington’s post ends on a hopeful note, explaining that she has found her mom’s presence through various aspects of her life, and it’s brought her enormous comfort.
“Then one day you won’t have to search any longer because you’ll find her,” she wrote. “You’ll find her in the gentle breeze. You’ll find her in the words to your favorite song. You’ll find her in your child’s smile. You’ll find her more and more as the days pass and then one day you’ll realize she’s been there all along.”
Although the pain will always be there, Pennington writes that she also took comfort in the knowledge that her mom will always be part of her and her children. “You didn’t need to search far to find her because you are her daughter and that means a part of her is always with you,” she concludes.