It Lives in the Little Things

Today I read a letter from a daughter to her mother who had passed away of breast cancer. You can read it all here, but I wanted to share one paragraph in particular with you. Anyone who has ridden this roller coaster may relate to these words:

“I wish I had paid closer attention. The things that really matter you gave me early on—a way of being and loving and imagining. It’s the stuff of daily life that is often more challenging. I step unsure into a world of rules and etiquette, not knowing what is expected in many situations. I am lacking a certain kind of confidence. Decisions and departures are difficult. As are dinner parties. Celebrations and ceremony. Any kind of change.”

The size of my sadness doesn’t always correlate with the seeming size of the hardship. Yes, the big things are difficult – it’s heartbreaking to miss the intensity of her love; I miss her aura; I miss normal life. But at the same time, these are the things I had 26 years to take in. I know them well, I can still feel them when I close my eyes.

“It’s the stuff of daily life that is often more challenging”.

This is why the battle seems unrelenting some days. Because grief lives in the little things. And everyday there is a new little thing to face. New things to know, new decisions to make, new things to experience, without her.

To understand this is to realize that it will never be over. And this is not to bring hopelessness, but hope, and grace. It means realizing that you are a champion right now, when you make it through a day of little things. It means knowing that you will become more and more skilled at facing these daily moments, and after awhile these accomplishments will bring a depth to your life that you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced. Grief lives in the little things, but life has it’s home in the little things too.

To my fellow residents in the Afterwards, love yourself, right now, right where you are. This is my pledge to myself today. I will be proud of myself for making it through all the new that today threw at me. And I will consciously seek to notice the little things of today which presented sparks of life.


5 thoughts on “It Lives in the Little Things

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I never realized the impact my mom made in my every day life, the little things, until she was gone. Take care.

  2. I totally get this. Of course I miss my mom on holidays and other important dates. But I miss her just as much, if not more, on sunny Saturday afternoons when I long for a lunch date to dish about the week’s events and laugh at things only we would find funny. Not to mention all the times I do stupid things…like last week when I washed a disposable diaper and had to resort to google to figure out what to do next. This post is a lovely reminder of all the everyday moments we DO conquer, especially when life can seem so overwhelming.

  3. I am always feeling the pain of losing loved ones. A few of my aunts passed away in cancer. I wish I knew what I know now. The cure for cancer has been around for more than 10 years. My sister got cured in 2 months but the drug companies will not let everyone know about it. is where the cure is. Please share it with everyone. Let us save lives. Governments are financed by drug companies. See the videos that Dr Rath has on exposing the way they are blocking the research.

  4. This is beautiful. I wish I had my living, breathing mother, but her death and the grief of losing her has opened me up to gratitude, the small blessings, living one day at a time. Thank you for your post.

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