Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Now?

There is already a tremendous void in our lives where mom lived. I phoned her every morning at 9 am to check in on her. Sundays were momdays. During the week, there was usually a doctor appointment, or dentist, or test she needed. Or we just went for lunch. I used to test out songs on her that I was considering for the retirement home gigs. Who is going to provide that kind of feedback now?

Mom was my biggest fan. When I went back to school at 53 to complete a bachelor's degree, she cheered me on. Just as she did for all of her grandchildren, she came to my graduation and celebrated with me. When I published my book, she was front and center at my launch party. And she read the darn thing three times, unable to believe all the things I went through. She personified what I believe is unconditional love. That is irreplaceable.

Both of my parents are gone, and now both of hubby's are gone as well. We are the elders in our family.
As I move through the grieving process, which began a month ago with the diagnosis, I realize the emptiness will be filled with memories, and hopefully, for me, writing. My life will once again be mine. Not that it wasn't mine, but a great deal of time was accounted for that wasn't mine. And that was fine. But now, I can choose to use my time more wisely. Hope I am able to do that, once the dust settles after the funeral (which won't take place until 2/27).

Until next time,


L. Diane Wolfe said...

It will require time and adjustment. But obviously the two of you enriched one another's lives.

And you have a Sunshine award at my blog today. You deserve it - and you need it!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You've written a beautiful tribute, Karen. I hope you're able to step back into your usual routine soon and with happy memories...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mason Canyon said...

It will take time, but you can do it. With your warm heart and giving spirit I can see you adopting a "Mom" and/or "Dad" from some of the retirement homes you visit singing. Let the memories help you move forward. Take some time to regroup and take care of yourself. Wishing you well.

Suzyhayze said...

Write it all down. Write a book for her. Put her on the pages and she will never be gone.

Cyndi said...

It must be an odd feeling to be completely parent-less. It's also tough to have to wait so long for the funeral and the closure that brings.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Your blog posts the past month as this experience unfolded are a beacon of hope for others who will need to find the strength and compassion you were able to find within yourself to do what had to be done. Thank you so much for allowing us to read along with you.

Joanne said...

Your life was yours, you just took it in a different direction for awhile, and I think you are the richer for it. Your way of sharing the journey was very honest and moving, and I think we all learned something from your words.

Janet Grace Riehl said...


Amen to all of the above. You've been writing your way through grief, and I sense that you'll continue.

You are right. As the door closes to physical connection with your mother, other doors open. Write it all down now, while it is fresh & raw. While she is still with you most strongly. This presence & illumination will not last forever.

Continue to receive her gifts and the gifts of this changing of seasons & roles.

Janet Riehl

Elspeth Antonelli said...

You've chronicled these last days with hope and courage. I think you've given a beautiful tribute to your mother-in-law. Be well.

Helen Ginger said...

What a wonderful support she was for you - and you for her. Reading these words and your other posts, it's clear that she was a wonderful woman.

Straight From Hel

DebraLSchubert said...

Bless you, Karen. What a wonderful woman your MIL was. You'll carry her always in your heart.

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, I've been offline and just read your latest post. I'm sorry to hear that your MIL passed.

I used to call my Nana every Sunday, and the first Sunday after she died, I dialed her number. Still to this day my Sundays are a bit empty.

Patricia Stoltey said...

It's wonderful to have that kind of relationship with a mother-in-law. Mine was also a best friend, and I miss her.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a touching tribute. It is wonderful that the memories you have of her are so warm and loving. My thoughts are with you and your family at this most difficult time.

Journaling Woman said...

Of course there is and will be a void. Right now the void is empty. But I wonder if later that void might fill up- somewhat -with amusing memories, wisdom said and love everlasting?