This is my house not on Pinterest!


This is my house not on Pinterest!

Living room window. I love the late afternoon sun and how it makes the room light up with a soft pink glow.

Do you use Pinterest? Frankly, it annoys me. It is like a collection of what people like. I feel frustrated most of the time when I am on it. It makes me feel like I need to get busy cleaning or crafting or being inspirational.

My friend and I have thought about doing a Pinterest board of our messy homes. We are both moms to young children. At best, after my house has been thoroughly cleaned, it looks nothing like a Pinterest photo.

I guess I don’t like Pinterest because it induces so many feels of inadequacy in me. No thanks. I already am way too hard on myself as it is.
Anyway, it is a great place to get ideas. I always wonder who these people are that live the Pinterest life. Like who does their cleaning? Is it a maid? Housekeeper? Husband? And what motivates them to be so crafty? Are they distracting themselves from a real problem? Then I realize there is no way to really find out who is behind the pin that has me thinking all these deep thoughts because it is repinned so many times.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. I am distracting myself from grief. I recently had a birthday and instead of being happy on my birthday, I was incredibly sad. It took me the whole day to pinpoint exactly why. It was because this past birthday was the first birthday without my mother. She passed away on Christmas Eve. The reality of her death and the fact that she is really gone has hit me hard this month.

We shared a birthday (her a birth day) for almost four decades. I miss her so much and there is so much I want to know about her. So many stories I kick myself for not recording or writing down that she told over and over and I barely listened to them because she told them to me so many times.

This photo was taken in 2003 on Christmas Eve. My father passed away in December of 2003. This photo was taken at my best friend's house.

This photo was taken in 2003 on Christmas Eve. My father passed away in December of 2003. This photo was taken at my best friend’s house.

I’ve been looking out my windows a lot lately wondering where she is. Where can I access her? People are so kind to me about my grief. Sypathetic. Some empathetic. I know in my mind I am not the only woman who has lost her mother. But I feel very isolated in my pain.

I am thinking about starting a Pinterest board on death. Yes, seriously. I often post my blog posts to StumbleUpon and I always wonder why there is isn’t a topic for grief or death. I guess it is something people don’t classify easily. I still can not classify what I am feeling.

I am reading books with the theme of loss and death in them. They give me comfort. I recently read “Still Point of the Turning World” by Emily Rapp. This is what I wrote on Good Reads about it:

I was fortunate to read an ARC of this book. This book was beautiful. The author is a Wyoming native so I enjoyed reading about references to my home state. Her son, Rowan had Tay-Sachs disease. He recently passed away. She has a popular blog (Little Seal) about her journey with her son.This book came into my hands shortly before my mother passed away. It was a serendipitous gift. It provided me such comfort as I often read it under the covers with a flashlight in my own cocoon of grief. Emily Rapp is a talented writer who is able to immerse the reader into her story without being overly sentimental or completely grief stricken. I recommend it highly. It is not just a book about loss, in fact, it is quite the opposite; it is a book about love and life.

I also just finished “The Long Goodbye: A Memoir” by Meghan O’Rourke.  I enjoyed this book. The author’s name is Meghan and my name is Megan; her mother died on Christmas day and my mother died Christmas Eve. I would recommend this book as well.

I am currently reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  I love this line in the book: “Just as I’d seemed to be doing okay after my mom died. Grief doesn’t have a face.”
I love this memoir. Cheryl Strayed makes writing a memoir look effortless. As a writer, I know it is not effortless, but a skill and a craft.

View from my living room of my porch

View from my living room of my porch

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9 thoughts on “This is my house not on Pinterest!

  1. My condolences to you Megan. I often wonder exactly “where” my mother is, after she died. Hard to reconcile the complete disappearance of those we love, but I also can’t engage the fantasy of re-uniting with my family members in a place called Heaven, so there lies the conundrum. But…I think it is a fantastic idea to create a Pinterest board on death. It is a fascinating subject, and I’m sure there are lots of people interested (I stalk crosses at unfamiliar cemeteries when I travel; take photos, read headstones…I enjoy it & don’t find it a bit macabre; I later learned my sister does this too). Be the first to start a Death board…I bet there will be lots of beauty, heartache, wonder, consolation & a whole host of unpredictable responses from curious, interested people…

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    • Monica,
      Thanks for your great response. I did create a Death/Loss board. Apparently, there are quite a number of death boards. I totally understand how you feel. My mom always called death, “the next great adventure.” It gives me peace that she has a strong faith in Heaven. I am still processing exactly what I believe. Death has a way of making you figure out EXACTLY what you believe. I do find comfort looking up at the stars and thinking of her. I hear a lot of people say they feel the presence of their loved ones. I do not have this feeling. I beg my mom (or God or whatever) to make my mom appear in my dreams so I can “feel” her presence. Doesn’t work that way, I guess because I have not had any dreams about her lately. I did have a dream shortly after she passed where she literally told me “I went to the light.”

      I still have the urge to call her. Sometimes I even think about calling the nursing home and asking for her. Just to see what they would say. Awkward moment 🙂

      “I often wonder exactly “where” my mother is, after she died. Hard to reconcile the complete disappearance of those we love, …” — agreed. Definitely hard to reconcile or even understand.

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  2. Hey, Megan– I lost my parents within a year of each other thirty-five years ago. I now see how young I was, that in survival mode I was numb as I did the immense and overwhelming things I had to do. What you have I envy: clearly, you unreservedly loved your mother. I have spent all these years in exorcism of everything I internalized of her–which was chiefly being hypercritical and learning how to shame myself. One day I hope to forgive her. Your idea is fabulous. xj

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    • Jenne,

      Hi! Thanks for your comment. I hope you can forgive your mother for yourself. It is hard to forgive those that hurt us that we love. It sounds like you had a difficult time to say the least. I can’t imagine losing both parents within a year. It is survival mode like you said. I read your bio and it is very interesting and impressive. I was lucky to meet Robert Bly in Cheyenne years ago. He is so very interesting. I look forward to reading your memoir and blog. I love horses too. I am sorry about your injury.
      I am also eager to read your memoir piece about your Italian love.
      Here is the link the death/loss board on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/memomuse/deathloss/

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  3. My mom died at 54. I was 23 at the time. After years of turmoil between us — she drank, I was a selfish shit of a teenager and I’m sure of the cause/effect of either — we had only a short time to know and love each other as adults. There’s so much about her life I still don’t know and even after 40 years mourn the loss of opportunity to ask all the questions I would like to ask now. I’m reading Cheryl’s book, too. But here is a link to a story she wrote about the immediately aftermath of her grief that might make you think you’re doing a lot better than you think you are. Go easy on yourself, Megan. You will always miss her, but it does get less painful as time goes on.
    http://thesunmagazine.org/archives/2192?print=all

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    • Jayne,
      Thank you for your comment and sharing that with me. I am very lucky to have had my mother with me for as long as I did. But like you and so many others have said, the loss and mourning will always be there. I did read that piece in The Sun. I felt for her when she lost her mother’s ring in the lake in Wyoming. I am having to deal with not being able to have a certain piece of furniture my mom intended for me to have. Not going into details, but it is hard to let go of the physical items of our loved ones. They are windows to the person we have lost. I did have to let go of that piece of furniture for my own sanity but I will always wonder what was in it as she had put things in there for me specifically.
      The great struggle of life…dealing with loss in so many things. I digress. Thank you for your comment.

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