I want to like May, I really do. But I just can’t. Hear me out.

May brings new life. It ushers in a tapestry of flowers and abundant sunshine and the promise of endless summer, of bonfires and warm nights. For me, the stark contrast of loss against a backdrop of such beauty has always been too much to reconcile. Beauty should be born in May. It should not die.

May 14, 1995 was Mother’s Day. I had turned eight years old two months before. I still have a framed photograph from that day of myself, my mom, and our family dog, sitting in the backyard in the sun – my mom in a brightly striped beach chair, me in the grass next to her, leaned in close and clutching on as if to say, “Don’t leave me.” In retrospect, I wonder how much I was actually able to appreciate on a day that’s all about appreciation. Did I thank my mom for all that she did for me? Did I make her a well-intentioned but less-than-impressive card by hand? Did I give her a gift? Did I say, simply, I love you?

Six days later, she did leave me.


An excerpt from my essay "To May, with Loss," published by The Manifest-Station in 2015. This essay (and all of my other writing) is available at my Linktree page:


As both Mother's Day and my mom's 27th death anniversary approaches, I'm reminded yet again (as I am every year) that not only is grief not linear...it is not time-limited. It doesn't go away. It makes no difference how long it's been; it will always hurt, especially on anniversaries/birthdays/holidays/milestones. It just hurts differently with time.

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