Part Three: Darling, For You Will Forever Be In Mine

A first Mother’s Day after loss

Sara K. Runnels
4 min readMay 14


[Part One: Breathe In, Breathe Out & Part Two: Verbs in Past Tense]

I have two calendars now. One that keeps me sane, present, grounded in reality. And one with no dates, just rows of dispiriting squares blanketed with the words: another day without her.

For the last six months, I wake up uncertain of the kind of calendar day it might be. But even when I know a Tuesday is a Tuesday, it is still somehow another mournful morning I cannot call her or hug her or beg for more time.

A tiny victory: slowly, I have found the strength to relieve myself of the emotional severity that defined my earlier grief; now, I possess more control in how and when the storm arrives and settles. But if I ever wanted to go a day without thinking of the profundity of this loss, the darkness of her absence, the irreparable hole in my soul, I simply could not. It is always on the calendar.

I look at photos of her, painfully often, and my vision blurs on cue. You know what they say — a picture is worth a thousand tears.

I open Netflix or Hulu or HBO, and I am taunted with a concise interrogation: Who’s watching — SARA or MOM?

When I make a call, she still watches from the top of my Favorites, and I recall the simple luxury of pushing a button and hearing “Hi, sweetie” in her warm-honey tone.

You might think: why not remedy the reminders? And I might say to you: why on earth would I erase her in any capacity?

I catch people talking in present tense about their own mothers, which is almost constantly, and I tense up, working fastidiously to reframe my envy into any sort of cognitive escape.

I don’t, of course, expect anyone to alter their reality for me, but I am more mindful of the hurt so many of us delicately carry, hoping to artfully dodge the moment someone accidentally jabs (s)words directly into the heart.

Another tiny victory: I found myself relatively unfazed by this year’s barrage of Mother’s Day marketing. Maybe it’s because I recognize the surface intention, or maybe it’s because I understand much of the world is celebrating this day, and rightfully…



Sara K. Runnels

Copywriter by day. Humor writer by night. Exhausted by afternoon. @omgskr /