Earlier this year, Jeanette McCurdy released a book called, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” I spent many an evening watching her as Sam on ICarly when my kids were in their prime elementary age. (I still know all the episodes!) The book is about her journey as a child-actor and eventually her time on television – and her relationship with her mother, which as you can gather from the title, wasn’t a positive one. Each time I would see the book cover this past year, my stomach would drop and it was quite jarring to me. I was losing my mom and I knew that things were getting worse. I felt quite the opposite. I was devastated my mom was dying, and my heart broke for a young girl who was treated so badly by her mother that she was glad she was gone. On September 17th I walked through the hardest day of my life, I still can’t find words for all that I experienced. One thing I can say for sure…

I’m NOT glad my mom died.

Later this evening the clock will turn, and we’ll countdown to 2023. I realized that I don’t want this year to end because the new year starting will be the first complete one without her. I still had a mom in 2022, but moving forward all my years will be mother-less. Life continues, and now I have to do it without her.

The last couple hours I’ve been watching all the highlight reels, looking at the photos and reading posts celebrating 2022. I keep starting a post of my own, but then I stop. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to celebrate this year. I’ve actually seen some of my biggest dreams come true, and had incredible moments. We celebrated at an engagement party for my daughter and sweet fiancé. Had the best time at my husband’s 50th birthday. Took an amazing family vacation. Went on a dreamy trip to Newfoundland with my daughter. We became the grandparents of the most beautiful baby boy. I launched my book out into the world. It’s been an incredible year in so many ways and nothing can top those special life moments, some of the best ones I’ve ever had.

But, I keep coming back to one thing.

2022 is the year that my mom died.

I can’t put that into a highlight reel, and I can’t make one that glosses over the most painful day of my life. My journey of The Longest Goodbye gave me 10 years to prepare, but the finality of her passing still hits so hard. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over processing this loss, and maybe that’s the way grief goes. And while I know she is not suffering anymore, I miss being in her presence. I know I’m not the first one to lose a parent, but no one ever lost my mom before.

So here we are, 2023.

Time will keep moving further and further from the day that she left us. But I will always hold her close to me, she will always be part of who I am. That will never change no matter what year the calendar reads.

I’ve spent most of this past week staring at our beautiful grandson (what a joy this season), and while he adores both his parents – the way he looks at his sweet mama fills my heart. It’s this look of complete adoration, mixed with love and dependance. Most often, she is the only one who can soothe him and he knows he is safe when he’s wrapped up tight in her arms. Her gentle voice telling him she loves him, and that she is close by. It makes me miss my mom, who loved me that way too. Another beautiful reminder of gifts in the middle of loss.

If I ever meet Jeanette McCurdy I’m going to wrap her up in a big hug, and tell her I’m sorry her mom didn’t treat her the way she deserved. There is something about our moms, and the way they love and nurture us that affects us to our very core. I had one of the very best and for that I will be forever grateful.

I’m not glad my mom died.

And in 2023 I’ll keep learning how to live without her.