Missing Him All The Time

His first love came to visit me and she brought a bottle of wine. I haven’t seen her in 17 years but she was the same beautiful, open-hearted girl I remembered. She brought photos they took in high school, and some letters she thought I might like to read.

She recalled his romantic soul, how he loved Marilyn Monroe in The Misfits, and how he taught her to play guitar. She remembered how emotional their fights were. He wanted her to know about his dark side and hoped she could accept that part of him.

We laughed about his habit of picking a flower to put behind his ear. He never worried about what people might think. He was so gentle, and so funny.

The dark side was his constant companion during adulthood and nothing seemed to help.   He knew he could be himself with me. He knew I wouldn’t judge him or think less of him for being chronically depressed. I was always so sure that somehow he would find his way out of it. I promised him things would get better when he came home from the hospital.

We shared so much! We were each others biggest fan, most reliable sounding board, and safest refuge. I’m not even me anymore, that me is gone.

I walk by his room at night and pretend he’s there, sleeping. In my own bed, I hold his stuffed toys from long ago and cradle them like babies.

I’m trying to replace my fury toward the crazy girl with the abiding love that connects all of us who adored him. I’m trying to find meaning in words like these, by Goethe: There is strong shadow where there is much light. I’m trying to take comfort in remembering the light that was and is Max.

53 Responses to “Missing Him All The Time”

  1. Renee Says:

    What beautiful words of remembarance. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Simone Says:

    It sounds like Max was a beautiful person, I’m so sorry you lost him. He was lucky to have you as a mother too. I know grief like this will never go away, but I hope the pain lessons for you one day. Please keep writing, you write so well, and I love reading your blog. You are an intelligent, funny and articulate voice in a sea of mediocrity.

  3. Cheryl Says:

    So sweet, this post made my eyes water.There´s a lot of light and hope at the end of the tunnel. I´m sure Max is holding your hand right now and smiling at you as he leads you there. Carry on, SW! :)

  4. Suspended Says:

    Quite simply, beautiful.

  5. Penny Dreadful Vintage Says:

    This made me teary. Big hug to you x

  6. home girl Says:

    thank you for being so honest and sharing the raw pain you are enduring. i have experienced the terrible pain of losing my brother many years ago so i can emphasise with the yearnng, the disbelief, the bargaining, the dreams where suddenly they are back and its all been a terrible mistake… i can’t imagine however how painful it would be to lose a son. i don’t think i could survive. i admire your strength for carrying on and getting out of bed to open your laptop and share your story and even entertain your readers. i think you are amazing and inspiring and i feel like the legend of max lives on through your survival, your spirit somehow. i’m so sorry sister, i wish things were different. i send best wishes & hope that somehow soon the heaviness in your heart lifts.

  7. Ann Says:

    Beautifully written, Sister. It was sweet of Max’s first love to come see you and share.

    I wish I could say or do something to take the pain away. I don’t want to mess this up with a lot of words or pretend I know how you feel or try to think up something helpful to say that isn’t at all helpful. Please just know I love you, Max loves you and your very dedicated online family loves you.

    I am here for you always.

  8. much love Says:

    “I love the dark hours of my being in which my senses drop into the deep,”

    “In the silent, sometimes hardly moving times when something is coming near, I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”

  9. Aja Says:

    The painting almost broke my heart, your words, sealed the deal.

  10. kellie Says:

    Sweet SW. Sharing him with those who loved him is a great idea. Remembering the good.
    Ugh, I have pain for you just thinking about how hard this has to be. Losing a child has to be the worst.
    I cant comment on the girl I hate, on your behalf. Her bad judgement has cost everyone.

  11. TheShoeGirl Says:

    Oh Sister. This is really a beautiful post.

    Stay strong. You are so loved.

  12. Sharnek Says:

    Dear Sister, I’m so glad Max’s first love visted and you talk about him and she brought those letters. I hope the visit gave you comfort. In the 5 months since my daughter was still born, my brothers have not uttered her name to me. My heart aches to hear her name said by others. Shame on them and shame on crazy girl.

  13. Alicia Says:

    This was so, so beautiful.

  14. alittlelux Says:

    thank you for sharing this with us… i love you.

  15. Cricket9 Says:

    Snif, hug.

  16. Hilde Says:

    You are going through what a close friend of mine is going through now. There is nothing I can do for you other than to share with you a poem which helped me when I lost my child.

    Interior Portrait

    You don’t survive in me
    because of memories;
    nor are you mine because
    of a lovely longing’s strength.

    What does make you present
    is the ardent detour
    that a slow tenderness
    traces in my blood.

    I do not need
    to see you appear;
    being born sufficed for me
    to lose you a little less.

    Translated by A. Poulin
    Rainer Maria Rilke

    And something I found very moving when I heard it.


  17. Hallie Says:

    Sister Wolf: thanks for stopping by the blog. This is lovely and poignant — my heart breaks for the loss of your cherished boy. I admire your strength, perseverance, and honesty in this dark time. My thoughts and prayers are with you. – Hal Liebling

  18. Sonia Luna Says:

    I’ve been reading and re-reading this post all day, such beautiful words they brought tears to my eyes. Please stay strong and keep sharing your memories of Max with the people who knew him and loved him and with us who love and admire you. Always choose love!
    Big hugs

  19. Nikki Says:

    In Iceland there is a proverb, made profound perhaps as there are few trees, “Hold a green tree in your heart so that singing birds may come”. Your memories pull close those singing birds, representing your dear singing son. Holding those thoughts & memories near touches you both, even now. Your open, “green tree” heart is healing any remnant of darkness you observed in him or now feel yourself & by speaking, you are clearing space for more singing birds to come. Loving mothers never stop helping & healing their young. Your words convey an amazingly loving mother with a full heart. That will never end. The benefit to others is your “green” energy heals all as your thoughts & words spread in a domino effect. You’ll probably not know the impact you do & will make on many more who also hold green trees in their hearts or need to be reminded. I’m glad you are speaking your feelings & thoughts. It shows that you are very “green”… loving mother. Feel peace & be well… Nikki

  20. WendyB Says:

    So glad you were able to meet with someone caring.

  21. sketch42 Says:

    Im so sad for you… Nothing more to say. Stay as strong as you feel like being.

  22. Liz!! Says:

    I cried reading about you cradling your boy’s stuffed animals, because I know my mother would do that if I passed away while she was still alive. And we don’t even have that bond that you and Max share.

    Your posts, while speaking to your personal experience, touch everyone who is a child or a mother. Clearly Max is still your life and he shines through your beautiful writing.

    Prayers for both of you.

  23. Greg Says:

    Thank God moms like you are around.

  24. sonja Says:

    and I need to send my son a message right now. I love you my boy. xoxoxo love you too, Sister Wolf.

  25. Make Do Style Says:

    Words fail me because nothing I can say, says more than what you did. Beautiful words and such honest emotion. The light always wins through and holds.

  26. Juicier Says:

    “I’m not even me anymore, that me is gone.”

    absolutely heartrending.

  27. Rosa Says:

    Sending you so much love, Sister. I wish my mother was like you. Stay strong ♥

  28. patni Says:

    bug hug.

  29. Elena Abaroa Says:

    So beautiful words sister… All your writing captures Max as a great person, even with the dark side; we all have a dark side, some people bigger than other, but a darkside anyway. A lot of people think that the depressive people are weird or masochist, but they are so wrong… Most of these people are just too sensitive and deep for this world, which can be so cruel and difficult so many times. I send u a big hug.

  30. Marky Says:

    I’m so glad she visited you. I imagine that there were a lot of great people in Max’s life, and that you should take as much comfort as possible in knowing that more visits like the one you describe are undoubtedly forthcoming.

    Liz!! is right; your writing is beautiful.

  31. Bessie the Buddha cow: Says:

    I admire your courage to be so open and honest. I hope it is healing and eases your grief.

  32. miss cavendish Says:

    Sending warm thoughts.

  33. dust Says:

    Things will never be the same and some of them are going to be good.
    Thanks for the hope and a shine of light.

  34. Bevitron Says:

    It makes me wish I had known your Max.
    Such amazingly transparent, honest emotion. I’m wishing for you that time will help transform the endless grief and sadness into something you can cope with, and hoping that the connecting, abiding love is the key.

  35. ali Says:

    im with my mother and my grandmother tonight and im thinking of you. two very beautiful and opposite women. both are gentle.

    the best kind of people are.

    I found and purchased a 5″ by 2″” painting that looks (in color scheme) some what similar to the picture posted above. its a take on “papa will you get me the moon” (the kids book?)

    what is it about darkness that fills us with longing?


  36. votum Says:

    Beautiful words Sister.

  37. Valerie Says:

    Dear Sister,
    So many people are thinking of you and feeling for you.. How lovely for Max’s first love to come and share so many memories with you of your gentle sensitive son. Hold those thoughts xx

  38. Tricia Says:

    What a lovely thing for her to do, it truly honors you and Max and your close relationship. And he would put flowers behind his ear? What a mensch! This post is heartbreaking and yet beautifully illustrates your boy.

  39. RedHeadFashionista Says:

    I often forget, in the midst of all your hilarious witty, acerbic and often brutal posts, as per usual, that you are dealing with such a terrible thing. And that you can vocalise everything so wonderfully and in this case beautifully, even something so heartrending, is even more incredible. You’re incredible.

  40. Angelica Says:

    I can’t pretend to know what to say. Max must have been an absolutely beautiful person. None of you deserved this, him most of all. Your writing about him is so beautiful and heartbreaking.

  41. thrift store lawyer Says:

    thank you for this, reminding me again the power of being a sensitive mom to a sensitive child. it is heartbreaking and sacred; i would exchange it for nothing.

    and when you’re feeling strong enough, please, please write a book. that’s meant both as a selfish request, and as a compliment.

  42. Miss Janey Says:

    Miss J doesn’t even know what to say except that she is so sorry for your loss. She can’t imagine a worse loss.

  43. Suebob Says:

    I’m so ouchy for you.

  44. liz Says:

    the words that flow from your fingertips are beautiful.You are amazingly brave and so strong to put yourself out there and let us in, when most of us write such drivel on our own blogs. It’s completely selfish to say this, but I think reading your beautiful words and story helps so many of us through our own emotional shit, please keep writing. I only wish and hope that we are somehow helping you too

  45. theresa Says:

    i agree with the thrift store lawyer.

    I think you could get it published if you had enough signatures of people who would be interested in it. (isn’t that the old way people got things published?)
    and i dont think it needs to be autobiographical. Im not sure which would be more difficult to write (fiction or autobiography,) but either way, unlike blogging, book writing is so intimidating. the practice of sitting down daily to write such a thing might be meditative. I know that curating the discipline to sit down and write poetry every day has been one of my greatest and most useful struggles.

  46. Sister Wolf Says:


  47. Sister Wolf Says:

    Sharnek -I’m so sorry your brothers can’t/won’t understand your suffering. I would like to know her name. Please email to me if you’re up to it. Blessings and love, xo.

  48. my favorite and my best Says:

    my heart hurts for you.

  49. Dru Says:

    I’m tearing up a little reading this. Max will never be truly gone as long as those he left behind remember him with so much love- and for every crazy nut job who spews bullshit at you there are loads more who love you and him.

    Also, I’d like to second, third, fourth, whatever, the suggestion that you write a book. About anything- autobiographical, fictional, commentary, your words are powerful ones Sister, and if you ever feel up to it I suspect they’d be equally powerful on paper some day.

  50. OMGGMAB Says:

    I have no words. Yours, Sister, are enough. Your sweet Max smiles at your sentiment and love.

  51. court Says:

    sending you love and light, sister wolf.

  52. morgana in oz Says:

    My girl left this place 15 years ago. For the rest of my time here, I will have a Ruby shaped hole in my soul. I love her and miss not only her, but the person that I was, when I was whole,before I learned to howl. Love

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