Losing a parent, no matter how much it was expected, no matter how much you knew it was best, hurts. It hurts with an intensity that is lessened only by time.

Most of you know I lost my mom about four years ago. (Damn. That hurt to say. Four years.) And many of you know that my dad’s been gone for a long time, having had a heart attack at 47 only five weeks after walking me down the aisle. So I’ve buried both, at two different times in my life, under two entirely different sets of circumstances. And it hurts.


But it can also feel really good. Not to lose them, of course. But to know they are still there. There are a lot of people out there — psychics, whatever — that say they are in touch with the spiritual world. Some of them are quacks, no doubt. Others may not be.


Because I know the spirits of both my parents remain with me.


My good blogfriend Amy lost her mother to cancer several days ago. Again, it was expected. But, again, it still hurt. In my desperate attempt to comfort a person that cannot be comforted, I told her that my mother has ‘visited’ me in different ways. Yesterday, I received an email from my friend, and she wanted to know how I knew. How I knew my mom was there. And as I started composing my reply, the words came hard and fast, and I realized that I was ready to share this not only with Amy but with all of you.


A few weeks after mom died, Miss Priss, then eight, wanted me to sleep with her. And I snuggled in with her as only a mom can do. And I held onto her for dear life. Falling asleep, the tears came, as they often did in those early days. Later, I slept.


The next morning, she told me something had happened. She said she had seen my mom sitting on the side of my bed, and that it wasn’t a dream. She said it was like she was grainy, and in black and white, almost. And that she stroked my hair, then smiled at Miss Priss, and then disappeared. I asked her if she was scared, and she said no, that my mom’s face told her not to be.


Mama also visits me in the kitchen. Rightfully so, as everything I ever learned about cooking came from her. It usually comes in an unexpected tinkling of the chimes in the window (when the window is closed), or a warmth that comes from seemingly out of nowhere and embraces me.

One day, I was outside. It was a breezy Sunday morning, the kind of day mama appreciated. And I sat on the bench with my coffee, staring at the clouds, and she passed through me. With the breeze. Mr. Cool came outside just after that, and I didn’t tell him what I had just felt. Within a couple of minutes, he said, “wow, mom, it feels like JoJo is right here. Why is that?”

There are no answers to that. None that make sense.

You just know, Amy.

God bless you.