No. 200


I had it in my mind to write something about business this morning, as I spent last week at an incredible retreat with some really amazing business owners. But instead, my mind is going to this:

Grief is a strange creature. It appears to come and go without any reason, but more likely, it just slips in and out of the shadows, always there and ready to reappear unexpectedly.

I miss my mom every single day.

Some days are particularly painful. The tears just come, then the heaving sobs. Yesterday it happened at the end of an episode of Queer Eye. Yes, Queer Eye. Because watching a little moment of normalcy in someone else’s life, a woman interacting with her mother, I was suddenly reminded that those moments are gone for me.

Other days are more bittersweet. I see something that reminds me of my mom and my heart warms. The tears are choked back, and even though I’m not crying, my heart is breaking just a little bit.

What is it that they say? “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” Rumi knew the world well. Doesn’t make it any easier though.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter. Growing up, we would hop in the car on Easter morning and drive to my grandmother’s house. After she had a stroke and lost use of the left side of her body, Easters were held at my parents’ house. My mother had trained her little miniature dachshunds to hunt for Easter eggs. Lucy, the older of the two, always needed a bit of help, but Amber, a dachshund-something mix that had been rescued from South Carolina, excelled at the game.

I don’t remember where I was last Easter. My mom was in and out of the hospital so much. She was so weak. One dog had passed before she was diagnosed, the other right before my mom returned home from her surgery. We may have been at my brother’s place, so she could be with her grandson. We may have been at home. There’s so much that feels like a blur from that year.

The year before that, she made me, my brother, and my sister-in-law do a scavenger hunt around the yard at her home. Her scavenger hunts were definitely harder when I was a kid, but I loved them, even as an adult. No doubt I’ll be crafting them for my nephew one day.

Each holiday has been hard without her, in its own way. And with each passing day, I learn this:

Grief hits you over and over again. There’s no timeline, no easy clean steps. You’re just there with it, letting it teach you what matters.

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Jane Reaction

(logo and original branding) is a graphic design and art director who works with with small businesses and creative entrepreneurs, creating cohesive and interesting brands and websites.

Carrie Coleman

(photography) is a wedding photographer, whose goal is to capture the visual expression of a couple's love through timeless, organic images. She is based in Charlottesville, Virginia.