six months / things I want to tell you

by Kaylah Stroup

Yesterday marked six months since my mom suddenly passed away.

I don’t blog about grief as much as I want to. Well, I mean, I don’t want to but I do feel like it’s healthy and… important, honestly. Having conversations about loss is essential. As a society, we suck at talking about death. Sure, everyone loves murder podcasts and documentaries but I feel like that really does absolutely nothing to prepare you for the gut-punch that is losing someone important to you. Grief needs to be normalized. We need to learn how to talk about and deal with these feelings so we can be there for our friends when they’re going through it and so that we can know how to better care for ourselves when the inevitable happens.

These last six months have had lots of highs and lows. I hate to say it’s been the worst six months of my life but uh, I guess technically, it has been. Grief is one heck of a rollercoaster. It hits you out of nowhere the second you take a breath and think “hey, maybe I’m okay after all.” It’s exhausting.

I used to text my mom nearly every day, we chatted on FaceTime often and even though I hate talking on the phone, I still called regularly. I feel like I have so much I want to say to her. Nothing truly groundbreaking but gosh, it really really sucks to lose the person you liked to bs with the most.

I don’t think my mom can read my blog anymore, obviously, but I felt like maybe it’d be therapeutic to type out some of the things I want to say to her…


Things I want to tell you;

Dad bought me candles. I don’t think he has any idea how much candles remind me of you since spending stupid amounts of time sniffing them at TJ Maxx was our thing. I cried the whole way home. He’s done it two more since that first time. It’s really sweet.

I think about you every single day. Multiple times a day. You’re in my dreams too. Basically the only thing I dream about these days. In my dreams, you’re always alive. I know that you’re dead in the dream but you show up, I exclaim ‘mom, you’re alive?!’ and we catch up. I’m glad I’m not dreaming about you being dead but I wish you’d still be here when I woke up.

The kids are getting so big. You’d be so proud of them. I know you always wanted kids from me too but I’m pretty sure the grandkids you already have max out of the cool meter anyway. I love them so much.

I try to bake cookies for dad every week. They’re not as good as yours but everyone seems to enjoy them anyway.

I bought a ring with your ashes and hair inside. It had a long turn around time but I secretly hope it shows up today. I know my first thought upon opening it will be “Ah, I gotta show mom!” That happens a lot.

I’m gonna be in a magazine! I wanted to call you as soon as I got off the phone with them.

Thanks for always letting me be me and never questioning my style and choices, no matter how whack they were. Looking through old photos has me wondering what the heck I was thinking a lot. You never made me feel stupid, even though I definitely looked like a total dork a lot of the time.

We work on the bus every weekend. I feel guilty because we didn’t do this while you were here. You’d have loved all the family time. Some weeks bus day just can’t come soon enough for me.

Speaking of the bus, we painted it your favorite color.

I really want to move closer to home. I want to be closer to family. Again, I feel bad this revelation didn’t come sooner.

Everything feels different.

I miss you a ton.

I love you.

More posts on grief, my mom and loss in general –

my mother’s plantsgrief & road tripsI cry over four leaf cloversgrieving in the digital agethe greatest loss

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Lisa October 14, 2019 - 11:40 am

I love this post and am glad you wrote it. Grief absolutely is a rollercoaster. I promise it will get better in time but it will never totally go away. It will always gut punch you when you don’t expect it. Still though, the every day pain will lessen. As unbelievable as that seems. My little girl died 7 years ago. I still like to write her letters. Usually on her bday and angelversary. It’s so therapeutic. Keep writing to your mom. Even talk out loud to her.. Bake those cookies for your dad. And stay close to your family. What a gift they love you for who you are.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:12 pm


Amy florenCe October 14, 2019 - 4:03 pm

I cannot imagine what a serious punch to the gut this must’ve been, and still must be for you. Losing my mum is something I am *terrified* about. I know it’s going to happen at some point, but she’s my whole family. My heart goes out to you, and all of your family and those grieving for your mom.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:13 pm

Thanks, Amy! ❤️

Unsolicited advice because I guess I’m that person now, make all the memories you can! Do all the fun stuff! Take all the photos!

Elizabeth October 14, 2019 - 4:09 pm

One of my best friends died on August 25. This weekend was a hard one. I just missed her so damn much. Though I am studying to become a bereavement counselor, somehow it was reading your post that reminded me my grief is normal. It is hard and it sucks and no one wants to go through it but it is completely normal and important. We as a society don’t talk about death enough. We don’t allow for enough safe spaces to talk about our lost ones and how losing them as affected our day to day. Our fears surrounding death. Our hopes for our life after death and everything in between. Thank you so much for your words today – it was literally perfect timing.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:19 pm

I’m so sorry to hear that, Elizabeth! ❤️

We really don’t! I feel so… bad(?) every time I bring up my grief. Obviously bad in the way that grief feels crappy but also bad like I’m expected to positive and that after six months I should definitely be better already but that’s just not the case. I think its so important to bring up that conversation and remind or even let folks know that grief doesn’t just disappear.

Sabela October 15, 2019 - 6:09 am

Just… just lots of love and hugs. Talking about hard things may bring tears, but it also brings relief sighs, right? <3

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:11 pm


Kristina B October 15, 2019 - 3:23 pm

I love this. You are brave and lovely.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:11 pm


Heather October 15, 2019 - 5:02 pm

I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is such a heavy thing to carry. I have been reading blogs by The Order of the Good Death ( folks for a few years now and I have found them to provide an interesting way to look at grieving and loss. They make me feel not as along in grief because they are trying to normalize talking about grief and loss because we are so bad about it in our society. They also have some fun historical stuff too that can be interesting to distract yourself with. Maybe you might find some good stuff from them sometime. My heart goes out to you and you are not alone in your journey through grief. Big air hugs to you.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:14 pm

Thanks so much for the link! I’m already familiar with Caitlin Doughty’s work (huge fan of all her books!) but didn’t realize there was a site too!

Kate Ziegler October 16, 2019 - 11:47 am

I have the same dreams about my mom! It makes the mornings so hard when I wake up and realize that it was just a dream. I hope things continue to get easier for you. Keep on working hard to transform that grief into something grateful and magical and useful for the future – it’s what our mothers would want for us! They gave us all the tools we need. Love to you.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:08 pm

So weird! I wonder if its just a super common thing?


Bethany October 16, 2019 - 1:56 pm

This has me crying, especially that last little video clip. THANK YOU for talking about this.

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:08 pm


Sam October 16, 2019 - 4:54 pm

I never know what to say because there’s no way to make you feel better – I think your mom lives on in you (I mean, you look so similar!) and you are a testament to her! I’m not religious so none of that From me, but I’m spiritual enough about the universe to hope, in some way, she is still reading this blog and it might be her visiting your dreams. Who the hell knows?! 💓 anywho, giant hugs! X

Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:07 pm

Honestly, just acknowledging the post (or a grieving person in general) is so freaking helpful. A single heart emoji is fine, just anything to let someone know you’re there, ya know? It sounds dumb but it means so much.

Christine October 19, 2019 - 8:23 am


Kaylah Stroup October 22, 2019 - 11:06 pm

I wish there was a way to let you know how much even heart emojis mean without just leaving another heart emoji back at ya.


Rebecca McCormick October 23, 2019 - 2:53 pm

I lost my dad in 2008 when I was 24. You eventually just get used to it, even though the pain sometimes rears its head and it feels just as raw. I wish I could take to him, I wish I could lend him stupid crime books. You will make it through – changed, never the same, but through. Lots of love

Gina October 23, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Great post. I’m sorry that you lost your Mom. It sucks!!! I lost my Mom unexpectedly 11 years ago and it’s tough, even now. When you loose a parent, it’s like you become part of this secret club that you don’t want to be a part of, but you feel the pain of others in that club.

Helen Cochrane October 24, 2019 - 5:20 am

Thank you for being so honest about your feelings for your mum. I have followed your posts about hair colours over the years and find them really useful. Today I revisited your site to see your post about your mum. I lost my mum 10 years ago and it still hurts like hell, I still cry if I hear the wrong/right song on the radio, I really should stop driving and pull over! It took me a long time to come to terms with loss, therapy helped and over time I learnt to manage/live with the pain of losing such a wonderful person. I hope you are doing ok. Best wishes, Helen

Helen October 29, 2019 - 10:19 am

Thank you for posting this. It is reassuring to hear people speak about loss, especially a mum and know you are not alone. I am not sure if this will be of any use, but I listen to a podcast where comedians talk about their grief experiences and found it interesting, it is called Griefcast by Cariad Lloyd. I love reading about your hair exploits and thank you for all the great tips. Best wishes.

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