1. Rich Woods says

    My sympathies to Jen.

    “A little less raw over time” is true. I used to think that it was a very trite thing to say to comfort someone, until I found out that it is indeed true. The first major loss makes subsequent ones so much easier to bear.

  2. opposablethumbs says

    My sympathies; it’s a terrible loss. I still miss my mother especially, and always will … but it’s true that it eventually becomes less hard to deal with. I hope Jen has lots of support around her from family and friends to help her get through this time.

  3. says

    I almost wish I was religious so I could describe the magical way that this should not hurt. Instead all I can offer is sympathy and caring from this little piece of the horde.

  4. lb says

    My sympathies to Jen, as well. My siblings and I buried our mother one year ago today. Time does help with the grief and it helped me knowing my mom would have thought being buried on April Fool’s Day was hilarious. She had one hell of a sense of humor.

    My best to Jen and her family during this difficult time.

  5. playonwords says

    Losing my mother 13 years ago was the stimulus to me admitting my atheism – because she showed me the way by denying her belief.

  6. magistramarla says

    So sorry, Jen.
    When my mother-in-law passed in 2006, I was so stressed, I started to show many autoimmune symptoms and have had them ever since.
    I hope that Jen takes good care of herself.

  7. catlover says

    My deep sympathy to Jen. What a terrible loss to her. I send her virtual hugs, if she wants them.

  8. atheistblog says

    Thoughts and Hearths are with you. Sorry I don’t want to humiliate you so No prayer.

  9. procyon says

    It does get less raw over time. But I think you will still find her in your thoughts everyday forever, as I do mine.

  10. says

    My sympathies to you, Jen. My mother died nearly a year ago and grieving is a hard time to handle. I understand why the traditional/official mourning period for family members is a year now – it’s definitely taken me that long to stop being repeatedly shocked into renewed grief by unexpected reminders of her absence. I’m handling the sadness better now, but it will never leave me. Take care of yourself.

  11. Louis says

    Sorry for your loss, Jen. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.


  12. birgerjohansson says

    My sympathies.
    My own mother is very frail, and I get sad every time I visit her. My father died after battling cancer for one year, and the experience sent me into more than a decade of anhedonia.

  13. Suido says

    My condolences.

    My mother is nearing the age her parents were when they died, much too young. I can’t fathom what it would be like for her to die so early.

  14. harbo says

    Losing a parent always hurts.
    The best thing said to me(although I didn’t see it at the time) was,
    “it will always hurt as much as it does right now, just not as often”.

    The agony of my father dying, still after decades, is awful, but tolerable.
    One of my great sadnesses is that he never enjoyed “Pharyngula”.

    I often fantasise him chewing on trolls.

    My condolences too.

  15. says

    “it will always hurt as much as it does right now, just not as often”

    It’s amazing, isn’t it? I can call that pain back up as though it happened this morning.

    One helpful thing I read was from Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar advice column, where she’s talking with a friend:

    “It will never be okay,” a friend who lost her mom in her teens said to me a couple years ago. “It will never be okay that our mothers are dead.”

    Just acknowledging that it sucks and will suck forever, and that’s just it. You don’t have to dream up a silver lining, or feel guilty at how or when your grief manifests. It’s just shitty and you have no obligation to not feel shitty about it.

    Anyway, here’s the whole thing:

  16. gussnarp says

    I’ll repeat myself from Jen’s blog, my condolences to you and your family, Jen. Make sure you take care of yourself, too.

  17. qwerty says

    My condolances as my mother recently died on the 13th of March.

    I’ve been her primary caregiver for the last four years until she went into the nursing home in February. I still remember holding her in the morning to give her stability while she dressed. And now she’s gone.

    Yes, I think there will always be a bit of a hollow feeling as if something is missing.

    So, as someone above said, take care of yourself.

  18. shikko says

    I can’t help but notice the striking differences between afterlifers and non-afterlifers when it comes to the loss of a loved one.

    Them: God called her home/it was his time/they’re in a better place.

    Us: I am sorry for your loss.

    For us, death is about the remaining living: we ask after the family and friends, because they’re the ones who must get used to this bleeding and ragged new hole in their life. We offer help, solitude, company, quiet, companionship or whatever you think will help. Please don’t be shy about asking, because we’re here for you. We will also bring you food until you tell us to stop.

    For them, the most important thing about a death is what it means for the dead person. It is too late to help the deceased, but they reassure the bereaved by talking about how not having that someone around anymore is OK because it’s better for them? How is this anything but a guilt trip?

  19. Storms says

    Jen, I feel for you as one who has likewise lost a parent.

    To departed friends and loved ones, with thankfullness for the contributions they’ve given us and recognition and honor for what they achieved, and sorrow for times that will never be again. May their memories inspire us with wisdom and hope.

    Also, I for one miss your voice on FTB.

  20. Cinzia La Strega says

    I am sorry to learn that you have lost your mother, especially when you yourself are still (relatively) so young.

  21. PDX_Greg says

    I always get excited when my Blag Hag RSS feed goes bold with a new posting because it’s such a rare treat these days. I’m so sorry for Jen that it was the news of a tragic loss in Jen’s life instead of her sharing a personal triumph, or even just another of her well-written insights in the world of a stressed hard-working grad student/athiest/feminist. It was really largely her writing that brought me into the world of Pharyngula, freethought, and a seat in the stadium to watch and feel a part of the unfurling of the atheism+ concept amid the constant revelations of pervasive patriarchal cancer that we are all constantly steeped in. Truly it’s the one of greatest gifts anyone has ever given me (what I wouldn’t give to have not been such an idiot about of all this 30 years ago). So the thought of her suffering such a great personal loss strikes a particular chord with me, and I feel bad that all I can do is feel sad about it. Reality sucks sometimes.