until soon when there are no more good byes to give

Tonight I write this post after enduring a very trying day, maybe my most challenging yet. One where nothing, no one, not even the weather cooperated. A day I have been getting ready for for four years, and working towards since last May, and planning for weeks. Working for a week every month on the home I grew up in in Illinois; cleaning it out, sorting and organizing, packing and clearing... getting it ready to sell. This work has been so mentally and physically and emotionally challenging, I can't even begin to describe it all. It has been by far one of the two hardest things I have ever had to do. And, I have forgotten to mention that this task has fallen on me to do alone. Which has made it all the more work, but perhaps all the more rewarding, and in many ways all the more beautiful. 
I was talking to a friend recently about letting go, this idea, this thing, this lesson that keeps showing up in my life over and over. I was describing to him the difference between a kind of letting go that happens through accepting, these are the circumstances where I have no choice in how things go, or if things go, like in the case of my mother's death. That is a challenge in itself, but there is a different kind of letting go that I almost think is harder. One that is more active, one where I can't just sit back and let it happen to me. It's one that requires me to steer the ship, to be the driving force, to pave the way, to be the change, to be brave enough and say, "yes soul, I will follow you!" even when it's painful and sad and heartbreaking, I will not back down and take the easier path. And this, this kind creates something magical. 
I have been on a very step learning curve, as I have never sold a house, but in a bigger way, during this process I learned so much more about who my mum was, and I learned about myself: who I am, where I come from, and what I am capable of. I have been grateful for the many gifts this experience has brought me. 
Tomorrow I will say goodbye and walk away from this house and towards my future. 
And in the spirit of this day I wanted to share some excerpts from some writing I have done during this time. It's been a while since I have shared writing here, but thought it was fitting in this moment. (I have previously posted about it here, and a little about it here.)

writers group check in: 
worked hard yesterday on the house, wondering how i will get it all done alone
i kept telling myself "you only have three more days, and then you get to have YOUR life, and freedom!" 
realized, i only have three more days left, sadness came over me
caught in the center of two opposing emotions
with the past on one side and my future on the other
last night i collapsed in the shower
kneeling on the floor of the tub i cried until i couldn't cry any more
the next two nights i will be sleeping in my mum's bed
last night i went to sleep in my bed, in my room, for the last time
with the moon light pouring in creating fallen shadows
i had dreams about my future child
a little girl

Mum's Bed

Every time before I leave I throw myself down onto this bed
A few tears fall onto the silk quilt. I let out a sigh
I close my eyes and colors flash in their darkness
Alizarin. Teal. Emerald. Black. Mustard. Olive. Black. Peach. Red.

I think about when my mum used to let me sneak up at night to sleep with her when my dad was out of town, which was a lot. She would put both my brother and me to bed, and she would give me a wink. I snuggled up in her big bed laying next to her, feeling special as the one that got to say goodnight and dream with her. I used to have these visions in the dark. I was so young I never questioned what I was seeing.

Laying in bed under the heavy blankets. Staying home from school with a cold, the flu, chickenpox. She tended to me lovingly.

Taking care of her while she was sick. Bringing her little bowls of food to try to get her to eat. Standing next to her while she lay in bed, watching her as she took a sip of water with the pills I brought to her.

Spreading out her beads and gemstones on the dusty pink quilt, putting colors and textures together, planning what we would make the next day. Watching her hold the stones and strands in her hands, examining them, moving them around, feeling them thoughtfully. I loved the way she held things.

Spending six days with her in bed as we said goodbye. I hardly left the bed at all. Watching her body quickly change. Her skin becoming waxy and gritty. Her eyes opening less, becoming glassy and dark. Listening to her breath. Watching her stare off, grappling with the truth and fate of her body.

Sitting next to her holding her hand. Me and my brother and our dog all creating a circle around her as she took her last breathe.
 Looking at her body and not seeing her there. In just one moment she was everywhere.

Laying here now, waiting to be picked up to catch my flight. Feeling the healing power of this bed, and of her room. This place of coming and going of people, of souls, of energy. This place that holds the past and the present. This place of timelessness.

As I lay here, my body finally relaxes, it’s heavy as it sinks deeper. I feel true peacefulness and comfort, feeling grateful but with a sense of longing for what was, feeling years and years in one single moment.

Saying good bye and good bye again and again until soon when there are no more good byes to give. 

photo by me, of our dinning room


  1. This is really beautiful and felt meaningful to me even though it is not my situation. Your eloquence is enchanting. Normally I don't readread blogs, but yours is always an exception.

  2. Oh Lauren, this is such a beautiful post. It's so early to cry but I couldn't help it, your strength and eloquence is amazing and inspiring.

    1. thank you sweet Kate. you are so lovely to comment. xo

  3. beautifully said. i lost my dad a year ago now, it is a continual letting go. your awareness through the process will make the memories stronger and sweeter, that has been my experience. to your future.

    1. Karina, thank you so much for reading and commenting. my heartbreaks for yours as it knows the feelings of loosing a parent. i say a wish in this moment for you, and for your future! wishing you the magic that grief can bring to you, and much healing and love. L

  4. Beautifully written and shared, Lauren. Always so eloquent and graceful in your manner. A wonderful reminder that at the end of it all, we always have ourselves. That can never be lost.

    1. thank you dearest Lili! you have been such a support through all of this, cheering me on, and recognizing and honoring the change this experience has given me. love to you GF. xo

  5. monday morning tears over here, lovely lauren, but tears of beauty! you truly are a gem and i know your path is going to be filled with so much happiness and love and peace. xo joanna

    1. thank you Joanna. thank you so much. i feel the magic of my future drawing near! i am in awe of the souls ability to transform heartache into beauty! not without work ;) but it's possible.
      it makes me think of that quote by Maya Angelou, "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”


  6. thank you all for reading and leaving such lovely comments.
    it truly warms my heart


  7. This is incredibly generous of you to share. This is so moving and genuine, and truly beautiful. Thank you. I shed a few tears for your loss. I find your blog very inspiring. Thank you for it!

    1. thank you so very much Monica, i mean that truly and deeply.