Thursday, January 15, 2015

love & loss

March 3rd.

Six weeks ago my mom passed away. I’ve been trying to think of a more eloquent way to start this, but that’s all I’ve got. It’s the overwhelming truth that has defined each and every day since. My mama is gone and I’m not sure how to start. It’s the first thing on my mind when I wake up and the last thing I think of before I fall asleep. My mom, my anchor, my best friend isn’t here with me anymore. One day I was eating pizza with her and the next she was gone.

There’s so much I want to say about her. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to convey her spirit to you. Anything less seems not enough. I wish I could share with you her laugh, a laugh so loud it’s how I found her in the grocery store as a kid. I can’t seem to talk about her to anyone yet, other than my family. And most of the time, it’s just whispers of memories and tears and nodding our heads in understanding. One day I’ll be able to share more, but for know, let me say this: There was nothing better than being loved by her. 


January 22nd.
Her favorite place to be in the summertime.

The one thing I can talk about - need to talk about, is grief. It’s something I knew nothing of. I don’t have a big extended family and I lost both my grandmothers and my mom’s father before I was born or before I could understand. I had no idea what was coming.

I didn’t know, as CS Lewis said, that grief would feel so much like fear. Or even more so, that it's not a singular feeling at all. It's not just sadness because someone's gone. It's multifaceted in the worst way. You feel it in everything you do. It's anxiousness and loneliness and fear and longing for someone so much your body actually aches and so much more.

It feels like a curtain that separates you from the normal world. Last week I was checking out at the grocery store and the nice older man at the register smiled at me, commented on how beautiful the day was and asked me how I was doing. I felt so irrationally angry and confused. How can people be happy? I thought. How is it possible that the world is still spinning? Each new day spins me farther and farther away from her and that feels impossibly cruel.

There are moments it still makes no sense to me. How is it that the woman I love so much, who was so full of love and strength and opinions and humor and intelligence is no longer here? How is she not around to bug me about updating this blog and make really bad pie and plant pansies in her garden? How can it be that my dad is without his wife and my brother and sister their mother? Sometimes the weight of it is so overwhelming I feel my body physically can't take it. 

 10414052_1388454381453246_1520023123_n
A last Christmas gift from her.

The other day, someone said to me that mourning was beautiful because it's about love. I spent the afternoon thinking that over and getting more and more angry. How can you say this is beautiful? It’s crying so hard you can't breathe. It's spending hours and days in bed and feeling like you'll never be okay again. It's begging God to make it better. To change it. But then there are these moments when I see her in myself. Her strength. All that she poured into me for 24 years. I remember the hours and hours we spent talking. The hours she spent praying for me. I see her in my dad and my brother and sister. Those moments are beautiful. And that makes me so incredibly grateful that God gave me her.

  There's a passage in one of my favorite books, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver that says "I thought I wouldn't live through it. But you do. You learn to love the place somebody leaves behind for you.”. I don't know if that's true yet, but I see glimmers of it. She left me a very good place.

 IMG_6075-2
"Grace taught my soul to pray,
And made my eyes o'erflow;
"'Tis grace has kept me to this day,
And will not let me go."


I have plans to be around a lot more in 2015. My mom was honey & jam's biggest fan and would be so mad if I didn't continue writing here. I have lots of things I want to tell you about - the biggest being that cookbook I have coming out in May. I'll be back soon.



100 comments:

  1. Oh sweetie, my heart aches for you. I've had so much loss in my life and I know how debilitating it is. Just this morning on the way to work I was thinking about how I feel I've turned a corner and the sadness no longer just seeps out of me. There is hope even though you can't see it right now. If you need/want someone to talk to about grief, I'd be happy to listen to your whispers about your sweet mom.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hannah, your blog was one of the first official cooking blogs that I began to take interest in when I was 14 or so...you inspired me to discover that cooking and food is about beauty and joy, not just eating to get through the day. I loved your blog immediately and especially the spark of joy that I saw in you through Christ, and because you were my first food blog I feel a special sort of love for you and this place on the internet. Reading this was shocking...I feel so overwhelmed for you, though I know that I cannot even begin to fathom how you're feeling. I know there's anger and pain and this desperate pleading hope that God will change it all. I've not dealt with such permanent loss, but though it can't take away the sadness or change the fact of her death, knowing that eternity is ahead of us, eternity with God and with our loved ones, can be the best thing to hold to in times like these. This grief which feels like the world upon our shoulders will be eclipsed in the weight of glory we'll behold then. I know it seems like trying to put a bandaid on a broken body, but looking up and looking to the future beyond this life is sometimes our only hope. You and your family are in my prayers. <3

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am ever so sorry for your loss. Your ode to your mother is so beautifully written and touching...

    All my condolences to you and your family.

    Hugs,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so sorry for your loss Hannah. I know it can be as hard as nothing else in the world. It will be tough, but it will eventually be less painful. I promise. Hang on in there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh friend... I can relate so much to what you wrote here. Losing someone you love like this is so painful. My brother died 3 years ago and I swear I am still not the same. It changes you to the core and grieving like that for someone opens up something in you that I don't think ever fully closes. I find myself sometimes feeling so sad, even today, and get irritated at myself for still having such strong emotions about it.
    But what I do know is this... you will survive and your mother will never truly be gone. She'll be with you in everything...voices you hear on the street, whispers of the wind in your face, glimpses of your brother and sister as they get older and yourself in the mirror.
    I wish no one would ever have to grieve in such a way. Yes, it can be beautiful, but it is also one of the hardest things, ever. I can't imagine how I'll feel the day my mother is no longer with me. Knowing how hard it was to lose my brother, I can tell you I am dreading it.
    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers each day. I know we don't know each other but this journey is one you need to know you are not alone through. Much love.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh Hannah... I am so sorry for the loss you are experiencing. I know her void in my life is minor in comparison... Even still, I miss her. I think about her often. Know that her ripple in this life will never disappear. Her infectious laugh, her love of family and friends, and her gentle spirit will be forever remaining. Praying for you all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was such hard post to read. I've got a lump in my throat. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mum. I hope that in time you will start to feel happy again. Thank you for sharing such a personal blog. 'Time is a great healer' and I know it will take time, but one day you will feel better. I hope it will come soon for you. Kaz x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm very sorry for the loss of your mama Hannah. You're so brave to be able to come here and write. Wishing you lots of strength and love during this time girl. x

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so, so sorry about your mom. You and your family are in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm so sorry for you loss. Sending you prayers for comfort as you move forward.

    Wishing you a peace which passes understanding.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am so sorry Hannah. I know a similar loss. Reading about your mom just opened the floodgates again for me. You write so beautifully of her, keep on writing, you will love to read those little memories of her.. how you felt around her, things she said and who she was.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh, that bottom picture!

    I am continually thankful and honored by the beautiful, honest way you post about your mom. It's a gift to all of us who read it. Sending you the biggest hug and praying for you and your family every time I think about this. Love to you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. As simply as your thoughts and words have been conveyed on this page, it's perfect.
    I’m thankful to have come across such a raw and meaningful outpouring of honest emotions from another human being that is reliant upon our Lord God who gave His only begotten Son.

    I've no doubt you'll find peace, and I thank you very much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh honey...my heart.

    You are loved so hard.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My heart hurts for you. I have lost someone very close to me before and it's almost indescribable, a special form of torture. I'm so sorry you have to experience this, Hannah. Strength and healing to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hannah, I cannot even imagine what you're going through. But I'm so glad you shared your experience with us. Now I know a little what your mom was like. I remember reading her comments on your Facebook posts. I could tell that she loved you very much.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I sobbed reading this... I know.. I know.. I am 60 years old and I CAN NOT in any way relate to Mourning being beautiful... Sorry.. i can't see it.. it is a bitter bitter pill to swallow.. it is part of living... but beautiful???? NOT TO ME. i can't see it... that Bible verse that says He has turned my mourning into dancing for me.. and put of my sackcloth.. Maybe when the weeping endures for the night.. and joy comes in the morning.. but the night can be long... and I do know that you will catch glimpses of joy again...And you will laugh again... You will feel light and free again... It will come... Let yourself grieve...cry... it is okay to ask God why.. it is okay to get mad at Him.. He can take it... and HE UNDERSTANDS! And the paradox is that He is who binds up our broken hearts and HE Is really all we have to hang on to, that I know your mom would want you to do more than anything.. to hang on to HIM.. I found grief to be isolating... even tho your Dad and Brother and Sister are grieving.. No one is inside that lonely place in your broken heart with you, you can't be in their grief and they can't be in yours.. and everyone feels the same but totally different... and everyone is desolate... even together.. because that empty place she left is a desolation... I see nothing beautiful about mourning... and this year I have mourned my Mom who has been gone over 4 years now... 2 good friends the past few months and now my father in law just in the last week... i haven't seen mourning as beautiful.. but it is a heavy heavy garment that at times feels suffocating... I too have sobbed til i heard a voice in my head say if you don't stop, you are going to be dead from not breathing... and i wondered to myself if i cared... but i did care... Hannah... my heart breaks for you and what you are going through.. you had the very best mother in the whole wide world... She had the best hubby and the best children in the whole wide world. She left you with a legacy you don't completely know all of yet... Keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep breathing... it does get a little easier a little at a time.. You will have to look backwards at times to realize it... (i was here, now i am here... that is a little better!).. I am looking forward to you cookbook! I have been a fan of yours for years! Even tho i haven't kept us completely..

    ReplyDelete
  18. oh, hannah. i am so sorry for your loss. my heart simply aches for you.
    this is absolutely beautiful and your words gripped my heart. however i am going to be so happy to see you a little more around here and i know your momma would be so proud! i can't wait to hear about the cookbook. sending prayers your way!
    xoxo. -m

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just a blog follower, but hurting with you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  20. So sorry for your loss.
    #hugs
    Take all the time you need xo

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear Hannah, sending you love and strength. The only way out of this is through it. Love is the price we pay for grief. These are the things I recite to myself on the days when it's hard. And there will always be days when it's hard. Find something to pour your mother's love into and go after that. Kat x x x

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh, Hannah. I'm so sorry. I just lost my mom last March. What would have been her 50th birthday is on Saturday. And I'm baking her favorite, a pineapple upside-down cake. It will be bittersweet, but an important observance all the same.

    I won't and can't tell you that it gets...easier, necessarily, but it..changes. Its not quite so gripping all of the time. Take your time. Breathe deep. Know she loves you, and do the only thing you can do: pick up the pieces whenever you need to, and carry onward. (And, if I may: a book recommendation: Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelmann.)
    <3 <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been a lurker of your blog for years and for some reason, I have never felt more compelled to write to you more than this moment. The pain of this journey you described brought tears to my eyes and made me ache for you. I haven't experienced losing my mother, and just the fear of it happening one day hurts me to no end. There are no words that anyone can say to make this better so I won't even try. Please keep writing and sharing your path. I hope that it will connect you with the many people such as myself that are praying for you and thinking of you.

    Jocelyn
    Grandbaby-Cakes.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. So much love to you and yours. I wish there was an easy way to take away this kind of pain. It's suffocating. Just know there are so many people out there cheering you on (including that wonderful mother of yours). I unfortunately have never had a very close relationship with my mother. It's a beautiful thing that you have so much to look back on when it comes to life with your mother. That is a blessing that will live in you forever.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I wish I had words that would comfort you even in the slightest but reading the love you had and will always have for your mom made my cry a lot. Just know that we are all here with you, supporting, even in the background, and praying with and for you. I think it is beautiful the connection you two had and again, will always have. I'm certain she is looking down on you and nodding and telling you that she loves you and will always be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautifully said ... your Mom would be so proud. You have put down in words so many of the feelings I had when my first husband died almost 14 years ago. Sending gentle hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. You did a beautiful job writing about your love for her and I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be without someone who sounds like such a kind, joyous, and caring person. My heart goes out to you, sending comforting prayers to you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I know it feels like you want to crawl out of yourself into the past right now, but it will get better, as wrong as that may seem. Love and light to you and your family; thank you for your words and pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm so, so sorry for you loss. I lost my own mother when I was 10 and I never thought I would recover. I still find myself in tears because I miss her so much, but the joy of sharing memories about her with loved ones always brings joy. It will get better, but there will always be that hole there.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh Hannah, sending you love. I lost my dad when I was 22 and now, more than a decade later I feel that grief just as much, but differently. The time doesn't heal the wounds, but it shifts it, blurs the lens a bit, softens the edges. You are beautiful and courageous. Keep writing through the grief.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hannah- you have such a gift for words among so many other things! My heart aches for you although I cannot even begin understand your pain. I can relate to missing someone's laugh...it's something that never crossed my mind until my grandmother passed. How many times I longed just to hear her laugh again! I'm looking forward to being here more often and of course your book too. Many blessings sweet friend! Your mom would be proud.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I wish I could give you a big hug. You will make it through and when the time is right, you will find happiness in sharing the blessings that your mother was to you. Those of us who have lived through grief, know what is like when you cannot understand how the sun continues to rise, how people can find joy, when it feels as if your world has imploded. Just as each person you see was born, each of us, if we live long enough, must wrestle with grief. Despite protestations, we each have the opportunity to grow from that grief, to become more empathetic and kind. Your Momma gave you the love and support that will ensure that you grow with your grief instead of growing bitterness as some poor souls do. Your mother will always be your support, your biggest fan and proud of you, though it will be from a different place. You will never leave behind the sound of her laugh or her voice and her council when you need it most. There are ties that death doesn't end, though they change. What you fear forgetting, will always remain with you. x

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dearest Hannah,
    I have tears streaming down my face and can honestly tell you: I know exactly how you feel. My mother died in August, and I have been in pieces ever since.
    You have described grief so eloquently here. Thank you for putting this feeling into words.
    We will feel like a shadow of ourselves for a long time. Things will never, ever be the same. This is now a permanent part of our life story, a part of who we are, a part of our hearts. This missing...this feeling of helplessness...it's real and it hurts.
    It helps me to think of my mom watching over me, invisible but very near.
    All my love to you, and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I am deeply sorry for your loss. Letting yourself feel the grief is the first step toward the healing. My favorite quote for times like this is: "You are strong enough to life the life you've been given."

    One day at a time.

    D

    ReplyDelete
  35. I'm so so very sorry for your loss. I've been feeling YOUR feelings for the last 2+ years after the loss of my Mom. It's a crappy club we are in - this I know. Condolenses to your family.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I was reading this post and when I got these words: "How can people be happy? I thought. How is it possible that the world is still spinning? Each new day spins me farther and farther away from her and that feels impossibly cruel"....I gasped. I have felt that exact feeling and have written word so similar. When the pain of loss has you in it's grip, it's hard to see the happiness or beauty in anything. I know, I know, I know. I do want to tell you this. It gets better. It never goes away completely, but it does get better, and in time your heart will sing again and happiness will be brought back into your life and you will think of her and smile, and giggle and belly laugh even. I promise it's true. xoxo Lisa

    ReplyDelete
  37. Teddy Macker's poem comes to mind. An excerpt: "dear lord in this time of darkness//may we be unafraid to mourn and together and hugely//may dignity lose its scaffolding//faces crumble like bricks//dear lord let grief come to grief//and then oh lord help us too see the bees yet in the lavender//the spokes of sunlight down through the oaks//and the sleep opened face of the beloved//and the afternoon all around her//and her small freckled hands Peace to you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is heartbreaking to read. I'm very sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in my thoughts. All my love and support from Oslo, Norway.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I've never come across your blog before today (Heidi at Foodie Crush sent me your way), but my heart breaks for you. I lost my mother when I was 16 and it was absolutely devastating, so I have an idea of what you feel--no one really grieves the same and I remember how angry it made me feel when people would tell me that they knew how I felt, so I won't even try to tell you that. Coming up on 12 years later, I still have days where it hurts so badly that I don't want to get out of bed, and sometimes it makes me sad and angry that those days don't happen more, because it feels like the world is forgetting her--that *I'm* forgetting her, even if I know that I'll never forget her.

    I have no words of advice for you, and I wouldn't even pretend to be wise enough to do so, but just keep breathing, and keep your loved ones close. Live your life the best you can for as long as you can.

    You'll be in my thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Dear Hannah,

    My mom left six months ago, after a long illness. I though that I will be prepared. But, no matter how much we think that we are prepared for what’s about to come, what’s about to come takes you to where you have not been before. I wish I can say it will get better, but it will not. I have not cried as yet, it is still about to come. But, I wanted to share with you something my six year old daughter told me recently. “Don’t be sad Mama,” she said, “Grandma is in the castle of Heaven and she will live forever. She will live forever because she is inside our genes and our hearts. That’s the biology of life and there is absolutely no reason to be sad.” Be in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hannah, I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother. This post was so beautifully written. It's good to share your pain with others. Most of us know what that heartache feels like. As if you have a hole in your heart. Just know that you will get through this. It will take time. Again, I am so very sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  42. "There was nothing better than being loved by her." Oh Hannah! The way you honor your mother is breathtaking. I'm hoping you'll find God walking even closer with you, step by step, carrying the weight with you.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The love you describe that your mom gave to you is so beautiful...courage to you! Someone recommended this book to me...The Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James & Russell Friedman

    ReplyDelete
  44. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom almost thirty years ago, when I was 7 and she was 32 and I haven't been the same ever since. My heart goes out to you. xx

    ReplyDelete
  45. I'm so sorry. The world isn't the same when your mother is no longer in it.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dearest Hannah, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family in the loss of your beautiful mother. She was a vibrant and life-loving lady, seeing her laugh, reading your words, knowing she lived her life through her faith, a nurturer at heart, she was all a mother could offer.
    May your days become kinder, as she walks by your side.
    Hugs
    ~Jo

    ReplyDelete
  47. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I have to say though that this post was absolutely beautiful to read. It’s obvious how much she meant to you, and you have certainly grown in a positive way through your experiences. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am so so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain and sadness you must be feeling. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh Hannah, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. You've written about the grieving process so vividly here, it really resonates. Thank you for that. Your mother sounds like an absolutely amazing woman. Sending you giant hugs from California.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Oh Hannah (my 16 year old daughter is named Hannah), my heart breaks for you. The one fear I have is dying and leaving my daughter ... I am so sorry for your loss. Speaking as a mother I can tell you that your mother would have loved you sweetheart more than anything in this world!! Take each day at a time, she is with you, she is part of you, feel her love of you and I wish I could take the pain away. Take care Hannah, Ann xx ps: I just started following you on Instagram (acottageandquilts_ann).

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hannah, thank you for sharing here in your time of grief. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I hope that you find in these comments kind grace in shared sorrow. May the Lord be ever near to you and your family. May you know His kindness anew. I pray this be so.

    I am recently rereading a favorite book, A Severe Mercy, this:
    "The death of any familiar person...leaves an emptiness...If the person is deeply loved and deeply familiar the void seems greater than all the world remaining. Under the surface of the visible world, there is an echoing hollowness, an aching void - and it cuts one off from the beloved. She is as remote as the stars. But grief is a form of love - the longing for the dear face, the warm hand. It is the remembered reality of the beloved that calls it forth. For an instant she is there, and the void denied...it is a shield against the void."

    So dear Hannah, remember your mother. May our merciful Lord draw you into sweet memories of her. Talk about her with those that are able to. Love her through your grief. And know that you are being held up in prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hannah,
    I have thought of you often over the past few weeks. I experienced overwhelming grief this past summer, so I understand how your heart aches. Your mother was a great woman who is now in the arms of our Father. I have a feeling she is telling Him to make sure He has you and your family in the palms of his mighty hands. God bless you, sweet little Sister. Is there a way to contact you off the board? You may not realize this, but I had the honor of knowing your mom in a very special way. You will get through this. When you have low moments, turn to those you love or write and add photos on the board. You are so talented and I have always enjoyed your photography. Blessings, Sandra McCravy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. Yes, you can email me. honeyandjam@ymail.com

      Delete
  54. Sending you lots of supportive warmth and love from Norway ❤️

    ~ Aina ~

    ReplyDelete
  55. I'm so sorry for your loss. Crying quietly for you right now. May God hold your heart in His hands and cradle you through this.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending you warm hugs and prayers xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  57. I can't even imagine losing my Mama. I'll be continually keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Thank you so much for sharing your loss online. xo

    ReplyDelete
  59. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your heart. We just lost my grandpa, right before New Years… You're in my thoughts & prayers. *hug*

    ReplyDelete
  60. Hannah,

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Today was one of those unexpected days of grief for me, having lost my own mother almost two years ago, and your words made me suddenly grateful, grateful for mothers, for the Lord's goodness, for grief and memory. THANK YOU. Please, please, please keep writing. Writing will forever be a link between you and your mother, a link that no amount of time or living life can unbind. Thank you for being brave, and for being you.

    All the best,
    Emma

    ReplyDelete
  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

  62. I am so very sorry for the grief and loss you are experiencing. I know there are no words adequate enough to help you during this time. As I read your post I began praying for you and hope that the Lord's presence is so strong and His embrace so tender that you know He is with you and will in fact carry you as you grieve.
    I remember when my brother passed away...so young...so much still left to be done. I was in church and during the worship time I felt angry, like you, wondering how people could be singing and raising their hands when my world had suddenly stopped to make sense to me. I wanted everyone to just stop...I was hurting and it was not right to see smiles and hear laughter. Yet that is exactly what my brother would have wanted.
    The tears do subside in time but it is a difficult journey to take. I am praying for you sweetie...be strong and carry on the lovely legacy your mother has passed on to you. May the sweet memories of your mom bring you joy as you heal.

    Warmly,
    Miranda

    ReplyDelete
  63. I just found your blog, but I wanted to offer you my sincere and deep condolences at the loss of your mother. <3 from a stranger in Belgium.

    ReplyDelete
  64. i am so sorry for your loss, hannah. many hugs for you!

    ReplyDelete
  65. All my condolences to you and your family...sweety
    ~Aleen from Malaysia~

    ReplyDelete
  66. Your description of grief is exactly correct. It's a horrendous tearing wound in your soul, that takes a long, long time to heal and it's terrifying. I lost my partner just over 2.5 years ago, and I'm still dealing with the aftershocks of it. For a long time I thought I was losing my mind. But I will tell you: it gets easier. You'll never stop missing her, but it gets easier.

    I wouldn't say mourning is beautiful because it's about love - that would also make me incredibly angry. A phrase I've heard that I like is "grief is the price we pay for love." And the fact that you feel so much means that you love so deeply.

    It gets easier. Some days I didn't want it to ever get easier, because that felt like I was getting further away, but eventually even that feeling faded, for the most part.

    If you ever want to talk, I understand grieving. wyndsung at gmail dot com - email me, and I can even give you my phone number if you need to talk to someone. I had another widow that I called frequently - sometimes even five times in the same hour - to reassure myself that what I was going through was normal, because it is mind-boggling how scary it is. Your emotional control levels have been completely torn apart, and you don't remember how it was, because the last time you had that little control you were an infant/toddler.

    I'm rambling. Anyway. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Death sucks. Life is still worthwhile, but death just sucks. *hug*

    ReplyDelete
  67. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Mother. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  68. After I lost my mother, a dear woman came up to me, looked me straight in the eye, and simply stated,"You will always miss your mother". It has been three years this late April, and I still miss her immensely.
    It appears from this brief tribute of your dear mother that she gave you a heritage of many eternal things, that is immeasurable.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I found your beautiful blog through the Southern Living Magazine link. Your post is so beautiful. It made me cry because I'm the mother of a 21 year old woman, and we are so close. I'm also close to my own mother. Such tender words. Such sadness and pain. Grief feels like fear. It really does. My heart goes out to you and your family, but there are no words.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Bawling. My mom had a brain aneurysm last year and we came so close to losing her than I cannot possibly fathom what you are going through. I lost my job a few days ago, and as I clean out my computer I found this bookmark to your blog which, I must admit, I hadn't checked in some time. I am so glad that I did.

    I must thank you for the perspective and unfortunately, I can't offer much other than praise for your positively beautiful writing and the ability to express what is so very difficult. Your mom must have been so, so full of pride with everything you did and continue to do, My most heartfelt condolences on your loss <3

    ReplyDelete
  71. I am so sorry for your loss. My husband died 9 weeks ago, after a short illness, and I still can't seem to catch my breathe and believe it's real. That my best friend is gone, I can't feel his hugs, or hear his light snore when he sleeps.

    You are correct, nothing is beautiful about having a splotchy face full of tears - I am basically on the outside strong for everyone else around me, because I feel they need it. But when my head hits the pillow each night, on "his" side of the bed and I see his clothes hanging in the closet where I left them, I begin to cry. Each and every night. Sending hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
  72. Nice to stop here to get a break from the cold, snowy winter we're having in New York City. Lovely photos and tasty recipes! I've got to try the buttermilk bisquits!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I've never heard grief explained better. I wish you peace and comfort from your mom, I know they are near and watch over us.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I've never heard grief explained better. I wish you peace and comfort from your mom, I know they are near and watch over us.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Thank you so much for sharing this. My father passed away on New Year's Eve. Even though I have 2 siblings, I felt like no one understood how I was feeling. Thank you for putting those feelings into words. I hope that you continue to heal and be a blessing to others.

    Good luck and congrats on your new cookbook.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Dear Hannah, my daughter and I have been long time fans of your site. Your photos and story telling are so inspiring and beautiful. We are so sorry to hear of your loss. I know how difficult it can been since I have been without either of my parents now for most of my life. I miss them every day...and no amount of time can heal that loss or quiet. Though, there are no words I can offer to comfort you through this pain, I do offer my prayers. May the angels be with your mother's spirit. Take care and God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  77. So sorry to hear it Hannah - sending you love and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Just found your blog today, and I am your neighbor, living in South Carolina..just wanted to say my thoughts and prayers are with you as your grieve the loss of your dear mother..

    ReplyDelete
  79. Hannah, I'm so sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog from the beginning, and just stopped by to see if there's something new here. So sad to hear an amazing person is gone and you are going through this. Don't know what else to say, except that I hope you'll find more strength each day and that have inspiration to share your stories and photos here. Hugs from Finland!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Hannah,

    My friend, Kristen Doyle, referred me to your blog for this post specifically. My dad died suddenly five weeks ago tomorrow. I have never been so heartbroken in all my life. I feel absolutely lost. Your description of grief? Yes. It's like a curtain. I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm so so sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Hannah, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother just over four years ago after her 11-year-long battle with ovarian cancer. I so know the pain you're feeling. Wishing you healing and peace.

    ReplyDelete
  82. This post made me cry. My dad died very suddenly and unexpectedly six months ago, and this post just resonated with me so SO much. Especially with how I felt the first three or so months. I'm planning my wedding - I got engaged two months after he died - and it's the most heartbreaking thing planning the wedding and knowing that he won't be walking me down the isle. I can't comprehend it. I still get lost in grief. You've articulated it so much better than I have been able to.

    My post about my dad.
    http://elizaoverthemoon.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/the-sudden-truth.html

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  83. This is the most eloquent, beautiful post. Your mom must have been a very special lady, you are lucky to have had her.

    I feel the same about my mom, my best friend, biggest cheerleader and so much more.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I found your blog among many others in the Saveur finalists list. I was clicking onto the various links to find new blogs to read (and love), because I need a breath of fresh air. The list is filled with so many beautiful blogs, great photography, professionally written recipes and good food, but after looking around I invariably close them and don't save them among my favorites... I need more than food, as much as I love it. Photography is essential of course: I am far from being a good photographer, but I love some good food porn. But still, I need more... and then I read this post and I got what I needed. Emotion, connection... I have lost loved ones and I can relate to what you say. I cannot imagine losing my mother, or me and my daughter not being together. Just the thought is physically painful. But you described a lovely person, a special bond so well, you brought tears to my eyes. I hope that after all these months things have become more bearable and I look forward to you writing here often, just as your mother would have wanted.

    ReplyDelete
  85. Sorry about the sudden loss of your Mother. Whatever stage of grief you are in, it is okay. Better days will come and you will find yourself finding comfort in memories of your Mom. My Mom died in 2003, I love to think about her, talk about her, look at photos of her, and what I love the most is to embrace her unique characteristics in myself. You will laugh again and it will make you feel good.

    ReplyDelete
  86. I feel for you with every word. I lost my Mum a few years ago and some days I ache and long to speak with her so very much. I miss her most when I am cooking, or working on a recipe so much so that I can almost feel her with me. Your Mum is with you always and let the tears come and go, not matter where you are. Grief shouldn't be bottled up - let it out. Much love to you from across the ocean. Elinor aka Beach Hut Cook

    ReplyDelete
  87. Darling girl, I am so sorry for your loss. What beautiful words you have written about your grief for your dear mum. I lost my dad when I was 25, half my life ago and it still grieves me all these years later. For what it is worth, I found these words although I do not know the author...

    "Grief never ends...but it changes.
    It's a passage, not a place to stay.
    Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor
    a lack of faith...
    It is the price of love."

    I have been making your banana bread since I found it on your blog, way back in 2009. No other recipe is as good or as simple. I may just have to buy your book too!

    Hugs,

    Joolz xx

    ReplyDelete