The thread of a mother’s existence runs throughout your life, humming in the background from childhood through adulthood. It doesn’t matter if you struggled to get along or found her to be your best friend, her death will be momentous.

As you progress through waves of shock and sadness, you may be in awe at the depth of your grief. It can come on gradually and suddenly. There will be triggers that come out of nowhere and stun you into instant sorrow.

You may experience a crushing weight of “what if” that leaves you almost breathless. There is no longer a mother to bounce ideas off of, call when you’re upset, or get affirmation from. You’re on your own now. You have to be your own cheerleader, support and shoulder to cry on–and you have to do it all while continuing to live your best life. This reality will be both physically and mentally overwhelming.

While adjusting to her loss, your emotions will often turn against you. You will suddenly remember every argument, every wasted moment and every missed opportunity. Though it’s nearly impossible to believe, all will not be negative. You may feel relief, particularly if your mother struggled with chronic conditions that will no longer plague her. You may feel released from the conflict or pressure of being a caregiver. You may even feel a renewed sense of gratitude for your own life with a sharpened ambition to soak up every minute available to you. Death can knit together as much as it can tear apart.

Your mother’s death will change you. That change is likely the only predictable part of the process–a process that will break, overwhelm, and rebuild you. Be assured, that she would want you to continue to ride each wave as it comes and, through it all, remember to breathe and keep moving forward.

The love your mom had for you can never be taken away. Hold on to that and know that she is with you always. She maybe unseen, but those we love don’t go away, they walk with us every day.

Editor’s Note: The Muir family’s legacy runs deep, offering support to those in times of loss for over a century. It all began in 1908 in Today, their tradition lives on through Christina Muir. She worked many years alongside her late father Richard, and her brother, Rick. The Muir Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center is a modern facility and more than just a funeral home; it’s a place designed to cater to all aspects of the funerary process.