Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grief Minefields AND Smiles - Happy Birthday Mum!

      My favorite photo of Mom and Savannah...taken only 6 months before they both got sick.

Today is my adored Mom's birthday...so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!

I feel like all I've been blogging about lately is birthdays, but that's my reality at the moment.  From the last week of June until the last week of July it's an emotional minefield for me.  I feel I have to sidestep and tiptoe through mines of emotions that can blow up, ruin my day or make me thankful and aware of how precious life is.  These four weeks are some of the hardest of the year for me.

But today I'm feeling great....before I even put a foot out of bed this morning I thought of my gorgeous mom and her infectious spirit and huge wide grin.  She would be disappointed if I didn't think of her today and smile and try to do something special in her memory. 

When Mom was alive and I would phone her with a sob story, she would tell me, "Darling, go look at yourself in the mirror and smile!"  It worked every time, making me appreciate that I had the life I had!  You have to try it to believe it.....sometimes, when I attempt this, I laugh out loud at the silliness of it, but it does make me smile and put things in perspective.  However, somedays, like today, I would give anything for a phone line to heaven......to hear Mom's voice one more time, hear her laugh and listen to her great outlook and philosophy on life.  I miss her so much.

          My beautiful Mom and Dad on our wedding day in Sydney Australia...a favorite memory!

When Mom was dying, almost in a comatose state, one of the hospice nurses told me that it was nice to finally meet me. She said Mom had spoken about Savannah, Dempsey and me constantly, during her chemo treatments.  “Your Mom was the star of the chemotherapy ward,” she said. “She always looked stunning, had an incredible attitude and energy. The ward lit up on the days your mother was there. Her effect on everyone was so positive and warm.”

I was happy that one of the nurses caring for her in her last days actually knew Mom, and remembered how magical a person she was, before she had become so ill and only a shell of her former self......I once read on a greeting card, ”Some people are angels, cleverly disguised as human beings.” That describes my mother perfectly!
Mom instilled all her values, beliefs and nurturing qualities in me...it is my privilege now, as her daughter, to pass on only good things to Dempsey.  To be a happy and grateful mother and to shower my daugther with the love I was shown...in that way, my Mom's legacy will always live on. 
I remember when Savannah was born, one day in the hospital, Mom held my hand, brushed the hair out of my eyes and told me....now I have my own family, that it's my responsibility to be present and cheerful and active in my children's life so they too can survive any future challenges in life they will be confronted with.
                                                Mom and Savannah at a Park in L.A

And it brings me comfort to know I'm not the only one who doesn't have their mother physically here to hug or talk to.  Just last night I received an amazing email from a lady in Tehran who read some of my writing on www.opentohope.com.  She sent me such a heartfelt message as she too misses her mom who just died, half a world away.

And it reminded me again that grief has no borders, no restriction on cultures or customs or road blocks for other countries, no matter what the religion or belief, GRIEF feels the same.  Mitra writes a blog in Persian, which intrigues me and I look forward to reading her journey from oceans away.  Here is part of her beautiful email........"Diana dear, tomorrow is your mother's birthday. I will light a candle for her. An orange one, which reminds me of the Sun. I wish you even greater relief. And I know that when required, you will let those tears come down as well. But you know better than I do, that this may make their souls sorry as well. So, cherish the loving memory of your beloved mother in the most joyous memories you have with her and from her. God bless her soul. As I am writing these lines, my mother is smiling at me from withing the frame of her photo ... And I know that nothing can frame her now. She is now timeless... Sending you much love from a still hot Tehran!"

And I find it fascinating that Mitra wrote that her mother was smiling at her from a photo as she was writing....it's like amongst those words is a message from Mom....to go look in the mirror!  So today, I'll pick a bunch of pretty white roses from Savannah's rosebush, put them in a vase next to Mom's photo, light Savannah's candle and do something fun with Dempsey in honor of her! 

I like to believe Mom is with Savannah, enjoying her birthday somewhere beautiful.......like an endless Summer's day..............

And I hope if your cup is blue or you are missing your Mom, or a beloved one, you can find comfort in my mother's words, and go look at yourself in a mirror, really look, and turn your frown upside down and SMILE! ;) x

   Mom and Savannah on the beach near Tarnia's home...I picture them there still!

This is the special candle Mithra in Tehran lit for my mum...thank you Mithra xx


  1. Beautiful, Diana ~ I am thinking of you and your mom today, and holding you both in my heart. Savannah, too ♥

  2. Thank you Marty for your kind heartfelt love, made me cry as I know you are a mom and you understand how we miss those we love so much, especially moms! Thank you again, it meant so much to me, especially today!
    With love back to you
    Diana :) x

  3. I followed your post from facebook "Open to Hope Foundation"...

    What a beautiful blog you wrote.. I also enjoyed reading Mitra's comment about tears and how it would make their souls sorry as well... thank you for helping me grieve and put things in a better perspective. These last few months have been an emotional roller coaster for me and your blog has made me smile... thank you again..

  4. Dear Cynthia,

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope my blog can bring you some comfort and hope that although grief is overwhelming there is hope that over time you can learn to live with it and finally embrace it.

    Your comment means so much to me and inspires me to KEEP writing for people like you! :)
    sending love
    Diana x

  5. Dear Diana,

    Your blogs really inspire me. I am 18 years old and I lost my mother to cancer two months ago. I never experiences such a huge loss before, and I am trying to work through all of my crazy emotions.

    I am so inspired by your ability to find the joy out of life! Right now, everything feels so unstable and crazy. But, I am trying to keep faith that things will get better!

    Thanks again <3


  6. Dear Diana,

    Wonderful words ... you may like to see the English blog that I have started , Waking up into a New Dream at http://wakingupintoanewdream.blog.com
    I will gradually transfer all I wrote for Mom from the Persian version to this space.

    Much love from a hot Friday noon in Tehran!


  7. Dear Liz,

    I am so sorry you have lost your mom, it is such a hard time. Eighteen is so young to have lost her as you have so much ahead of you.

    I hope my blog can bring you comfort to know that although grief is such hard work and consumes your life, it does, over time become part of your soul and it also becomes bearable.

    Your grief is so fresh, I hope you have someone that can give you a hug when you need it. I also hope that in time your memories and photos of your beloved mom can bring you comfort...I know at the moment life is tough!

    Sending love in this message, you will be in my thoughts....and thank you for leaving me your comment, it inspires me to keep writing in hope of helping others.
    With love
    Diana xx

  8. And Mithra,

    I'm smiling as I'm writing this, I feel such a connection to you, even from so far away!

    The photo's are beautfiul, THANK YOU!

    I just tried to google your blog, I can't wait to read your thoughts about your journey, but for some reason it didn't come up.

    If you could please send the link to my email I would really appreciate it.

    Please keep in touch.....sending love and happy thoughts to you my friend from hot Southern California!
    Diana xxx

  9. Dear Dianan, Thanks for your kind words and so glad that you have seen the photos. Here's the URL for the blog:


    I hope you enjoy reading it. As I go by, I will learn new ways of blogging, so don't be disappointed in me with my little techies! : ) I am growing through this journey and I thank you very much for sharing with me your thoughts and feelings.

    Talking of a wholly different thing, I bought some new green and red curtains from the IKEA show rooms today and just need to iron them and hang them to give the living room some new looks. I also bought myself a new exercise device, the famous Ab King Pro ! :) and practiced on it for 10-15 minutes today. I also did some fresh touches to the bathroom. Things have been different since I have met you online. You reminded me that we can live throughout the time we are grieving, find joy and be back to life: just in the same way our mothers always taught us to be strong and give all the challenges in life a big smile; and a big blow at the same time! I thank you very much. I feel as if it is mom who wishes me to do so, and through the message in your writings!

    I send you much love and sunshine! Although you have all the sunshine in the world in your blue cup!



  10. Dear Mithra,

    Thank you for your emails. I will add your blog to my favorites as you write so beautifully and I am so interested to read about your mom and your journey!

    Thank you Mithra...sending sunshine to your blue cup! xx