"Welcome to the Club": What Do You Say When Someone's Mother Dies? by Marisa Guida

6 years ago

"Welcome to the Club": What Do You Say When Someone's Mother Dies?

“Welcome to the club.” Seemed like an odd thing to say. Definitely not the usual, “condolences, thoughts and prayers," "you’ll always have the memories,” etc. Turns out I was comforted because I knew he understood. He understood when I’d get angry out of nowhere, when tears would suddenly well up, when the weight of my broken heart was just too much to bear. I knew he knew these feelings, too, and I was comforted. His pain helped him know mine. And I was comforted. Separate families, different circumstances, but we were in it together. 

Months later I stood in his shoes. It was my turn to be there for my friend who lost her mom. I should know what to say. I should know the right words. I should be able to comfort her. Yet there I stood, speechless. Because I know. It doesn’t get better. It gets longer, the time between the last time you saw her, talked to her, hugged her, and now, the longer it gets, the more it hurts. I know because I’m the expert.

It’s been almost 10 years since she’s seen me, talked to me, hugged me. The longer it gets, the more it hurts. And I see the pain in my friend’s eyes clouded with the hope that I’ll know what to say. So, I tell her, “Welcome to the club.”

Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank you for sharing your story and your wisdom with us, Marisa Guida . And welcome to our tribe. We are lucky to have you!
Elisa Schmitz
Oh my goodness, I have goosebumps. This is so powerful. So thoughtful. Thank you for sharing. Welcome to our tribe, Marisa Guida . I am so looking forward to learning and growing with you. ❤️
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
I have been the one on the other side for a long time. Not knowing what to say to my friends who have lost their moms. "Thoughts and prayers" always seemed to do the trick for me anyway. In my head, I would be thankful knowing that my mom was still in my life and that would only happen to me in the the future, but not now. Well, now just happened to me. My mom passed away a week ago. I wish I wasn't part of your club. I wish I could still hug and talk to her. Losing my mom, no matter at what age, is the hardest thing I have ever experienced. My heart aches. Everything reminds me of her and I think about her all day long. "She's had a long life," is one phrase I heard thinking that it would comfort me to know that she was old so it is OK, but I couldn't help but think "not long enough." Thanks for sharing this tip at a time in my life that I really needed it.

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