That's Where She Is


Recently I attended a workshop on grief for therapists. I sat in my uncomfortable folding chair and took notes even though I’d heard most of the information before. I looked around the room and marveled for a moment at the fact that there are people who don't know this information about grief in their bones, the way I do. I tried to remember a time when I didn’t know, but it seems too far away.


The presenter began discussing ways to help our clients access their feelings of grief in sessions. She asked us to participate in an exercise. I obliged, closing my eyes.


After taking a few moments to help everyone get grounded she asked us to imagine our loved one where we believe they are now.


I’ve been facilitating grief groups, reading and writing about grief for 10 years, but it was a prompt I hadn’t done before.


Where is Mom now?


I took a deep breath and then the image came quickly.

I saw myself sitting on the floor of the front room in my home. Toys are scattered everywhere. The sunlight comes in through the big window. Outside I can see the tops of the yellow roses in the flower beds.


August runs back and forth as fast as he can, asking me each time if he was faster than the last time. Lewis sits on my lap, clapping his hands and laughing when his big brother rushes past time. I turn my head and see her. Mom is sitting cross legged on the floor, the same as me.

Her eyes are transfixed on the boys, her smile is so wide and she laughs along with them. Each time August runs she says, “Good job!” When Lewis claps, she does, too.


She loves them completely. She knows them. She is with us.


She never met her grandsons. She never got to see me be a mother. The love between me and my boys.

That would be her heaven.

It’s mine, too.

That’s where she is.