The Grieving Process is in Full Swing and I’m Feeling Alone

The wake and the funeral are over. My dear mother is home again with the people she loved and missed. The grieving process is in full swing and I’m feeling alone. I’ve got plenty of family here to keep my mind off of things or, to call for support when I need them. But what I’m going to miss is having all of my family in one place. Together.


My brother-in-law Gino, mom, and my cousin John

Growing up at my mom and dads house, on Sundays, it was nothing to have twenty, even thirty people at our house for dinner. That was just a normal Sunday to us. Not even a holiday! Mom and my sisters would be in the kitchen making the day’s meal. Family was the most important possession to my mom. “Without family you have nothing”, my mom would say. She never wavered from that. A breakup of her beloved family was her greatest fear in life. Feared even more than death.

Throughout the years we have all become scattered across the United States. Most of us in Illinois but, some in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas and Idaho. With the death of my mother, nieces and nephews boarded planes in their respective cities to come to Chicago to form one family unit again. Something I sorely miss more than the death of the Twinkie. To know me is to know I love my Twinkie’s and Suzi Q’s.

Mom and her 5 children

Nancy, Jerry, Lucile, Marie and the author. Mom sitting in front.

If there is one bright spot in all this silly shit that went down in the last three weeks, it’s all being together again as a family. I can see the light in my mothers face now. She would have been beaming with pride. She would have been over-joyed having all of us in one place at the same time. I play the scene over and over in my head. Her running around the house, trying to spend time with each and every one of her children, grandchild, great-grandchild, nephews, nieces and friends. Not wanting to miss anyone, wanting to know what was going on in their lives. Most importantly to her would have been the touching. The loving gesture of a grandchild’s face in her hands and kissing their cheek. The tender touch of a great-grandchild’s small hand in hers. And the smiles, oh the smile she would have worn. Like a badge of honor. Her beloved family. Together. Under one roof. Laughing and enjoying everyone’s company.

My mother was not a rich women. But she left us all with the greatest treasure one could hope for. The treasure of family.

So to anyone reading this that knew her I say, drink those three-fingers of Smirnoff on the rocks, play some golf and, enjoy your family. Oh, and the touching. Don’t forget the touching.



  1. So sorry for your loss… May she rest in peace, her sweet memories forever living on. Stay strong and God bless

    1. Thank you Boomie. Memories and pictures are all I’ll have now.

  2. I really appreciate that you call it her treasure. Because it’s true. That is the treasure. And I never really thought about the touching before. But it’s so true. Grandpa was the same way. It was part of what let you know you were loved.

    1. I can feel her hand in mine when I close my eyes. Her thumb rubbing the back of my hand. 🙂

  3. I’ve read all your blogs Tony but this one is my favorite (so far) 🙂 I loved that you talked about the touching. My Grandpa, your Uncle used to always greet us with his hands out and touching our faces to give us kisses. Thats one of my favorite memories…thank you for giving me this moment to remember that. 🙂

    1. Thank you for supporting my effort to write. Touching and physical contact are so important in the development of children. A caring touch, a timely kiss go a long way. It made you feel welcomed, loved.

  4. Liz Carbon · · Reply

    I love you baby! Such a beautiful posting! She was a very special lady and I am very fortunate that you shared her with me!

    1. She loved you like her own daughter. We’re all fortunate just to have had her in our lives. And I love you more than I could ever tell you or put into words. Your my savior.

  5. Shauna Lambke · · Reply

    Tony, you are such a great writer. You are never alone, please remember that. If you need a break or whatever, you are always welcome here. Stay positive, I know it’s easier said than done. Love you cuz.

    1. I love you too! Thanks for the encouragement on writing. Good I’ll take. Great, not so much 🙂

  6. What a beautiful tribute Tony. Such a great gift to have family. That you will never lose.

    1. Thanks John. I sure hope they don’t get tired of me 🙂

      1. That always happens with family…you know that…then there’s another group hug. At least that’s how it is around here!

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