An Orphan’s First Mother’s Day

I don’t what I’m supposed to do. That’s nothing new. I haven’t had a fucking clue on how any of the past 11 months of this hellscape is supposed to have gone. I thought I should say something though. I want to. I want to pen some sort of masterpiece that moves the whole world. I want to channel everything I’ve been feeling into a memorial that captures everyone’s attention and immortalizes her. But I can’t. I can’t acknowledge how I’m feeling this week. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to deal with any of my feelings about it. I just know sometimes it hits me, and in those minutes, or hours, or tear-ridden dreams, all I can do is weep. Weep for everything I lost. Weep for everything I’ll never get to do. Weep for the weight of it all, for the fact that all I want at the end of the day is her.

But, as I said, I can’t do that most of the time. Most of the time I just keep everything repressed. Most of the time I’m just numbly going about my day, feeling nothing beyond the surface because I’ve closed off every part of me deeper than that. Most of the time I’m just living my life by the hour, from one task to the next, until it’s time to go to bed and dream about her, for the 334th night. That’s my routine, because every time I try to sit down and process something, acknowledge anything, my brain shuts down. As soon as I think about anything, like the house that sits empty, decaying from months of neglect, or the ashes tucked away in a corner of my apartment, I stop. I stop thinking and some sort of defensive mechanism sets in, usually a song, usually Kanye West’s “Only One”, starts playing on a loop in my head. I guess out of OCD or anxiety or whatever the hell you want to call whatever mental struggle all of this is.

But I want to write something. I feel like I ought to. I want to honor her. But, if I’m being honest, I want to out of spite too. I want to because I’m jealous of everyone who’s going to joyously celebrate this day. I want to make them understand this holiday’s more serious than some shitty last minute card and a bouquet of flowers on special. I want them to appreciate what they have, because every time I see someone taking it for granted, I get furious. I know I’m going to see a few people making jokes about not getting their moms anything, or making light about being hungover at brunch with her or forgetting to call, and it’s going to take a lot for me to not lash out at them for wasting a relationship I’d give my life to have back. So I feel like I should write something, so they know there are those of us out there who will spend that day at a gravesite, or quietly at our homes with the only part of them that is left. I want them to feel my pain, heed it as a warning to love, cherish, and be grateful for every single second they get.

I want to write something so I can keep her alive, too. She was the greatest person who ever lived. She is the greatest person who ever lived. I want the whole world to know that. I want to write something, so people who don’t know my situation will ask me, and I can tell them how amazing she was. I want to write something that makes someone ask about her, that lets me try to tell them the inexpressible amount of joy and love she made me feel every single day. I want anyone who reads it to be so overwhelmed by her spirit, by the infinite depth of her love, they pause, and feel envy they didn’t get to share the twenty-eight years with her. I want to write this as a last present, as a final gift to her, as something worthy of the perfect human she was, is.

I want it to be a cry for help, too. I want to write this as a beacon for anyone who’s going through what I am. I want this to be a message of kinship, as an inquiry for those who are several years into their pointless Mother’s Days. I want them to tell me how they do it. I want them to tell me this isn’t the absolute worst club to be a member of. Because I’m certain it is. I didn’t ask to be part of this club. I don’t want to be. I want to go back to enjoying the same privilege I did last year. I want to be scouring Hallmark for the perfect Peanuts card, the right balance of cute and sincere, with enough space on the inside for me to calligraphy a message apologizing for not seeing her and thanking her enough, promising to be better this year, and, ultimately telling her how grateful I am, how much I love her. It would have been one with Snoopy and Woodstock on it. I think she always liked those especially. I want to be racking my brain for the perfect gift, for something I can afford, but that won’t be seen as insincere or last minute. I want to be writing this piece as an only son’s guide to the holiday, not as what I am now.

I want all of that. I want to use this piece as a catharsis, as any sort of minuscule progress of healing. As something she’d be proud of. As something deserving of talking about her. But I don’t know how. This is my first orphaned Mother’s Day.


  1. Hang in there, it gets better (cliche, I know). I posted on the old PGP site that I lost my mom when I was in college and this will be my 9th Mother’s Day without her. It sucks, no doubt about it. My first Mother’s Day without her was absolutely brutal and we never even really did much for Mother’s Day when she was alive. But (again, this is cliche, but it’s true), time heals. Relatively speaking. It will never be the same way that it had been, but it will change over time. I’ve been lucky enough that my girlfriend’s mom has become somewhat of a motherly figure to me herself. Celebrating with her with my girlfriend has actually been pretty nice these last few years. It’s not the same (again, it will never be the same), but it’s different and different doesn’t always mean bad. At least that’s what I’ve learned over the almost decade that she’s been gone. But what the fuck do I know?

    So hang in there and grieve. Grieve as much as you need to because it’s perfectly normal and expected to do so. Grieving heals. Again, it will get better. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Oh and stay the fuck off social media.


    1. Thanks, Bill. I appreciate the support man. Good to see you over on The Clock Out. I always liked your comments and seeing you over on PGP.


  2. This is the kind of content that helped build the PGP community. Real people sharing real life shit. Thank you for writing this, your mom raised an incredible son and this was an awesome tribute to her.


  3. This is the type of content that helped build such a strong community at PGP. Thank you for sharing this. Your mother raised an incredible son and this was a worthy tribute to her.


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