Grief, Guest Posts, healing

Motorcycle Widow. By Joyce McCartney.

March 12, 2014

Motorcycle Widow. By Joyce McCartney

I. Want. My. Mommy!

I contemplated that title.

I mean, after all, I’m 42 years old. It seems weird to make that declaration.

But, think about it, in a normal circumstance your Mom is the person you go to when you’re hurting the most.

Fall out of a tree: Mom can make it better.

Skin your knee: A Band-Aid and a kiss from Mom makes it better.

Fail your first class: Mom is your biggest cheerleader.

But, at 40, when you’ve lost your parents before 25 and are faced with losing, quite suddenly, the man you love; the man you spent 40 years looking for; the man you never thought you’d meet?

It’s abysmal. And your friends are there. And, you meet friends through that. And the parental-types in your life are there.

But, like a child at its first day of school, unsure and insecure, YOU WANT YOUR MOMMY!

In my last blog post, I mentioned you shouldn’t get me started on how new loss makes you revisit old loss.

But, let’s face it: how can new loss NOT make you revisit old loss?

I remember when my dad died in 1988. My mother was a ROCK.

The morning he died, we left his hospital bed and went to church (a Catholic church) and, she and I, side-by-side, said the rosary together. As the youngest, and an unexpected child, I’d spent a great deal of time with my mother: shopping, cooking, attending her rosary group.

We lit a candle on the Joseph side of the church and then, I watched her prepare for the reality of my dad’s death. Despite the funeral home’s offers, she got his burial ensemble ready herself. She was a strong, strong woman. She’d seen him, and our family through so much.

SHE is my rock.

Unfortunately for me, she’s not here. And, like a badly behaved child who doesn’t want to listen to its babysitter, I just, some nights want to scream “I WANT MY MOMMY!”

And, I do. I would give anything to discuss this thing we share together. This widowhood.

Alas, my mommy died 8 years after my father did, after a valiant (it’s always valiant) fight with cancer.

And, I forgot what she’d taught me.

But, lately, I’ve been coming around to her ways.

I’ve learned that saying the rosary, like we did the morning my father died, is meditative, healing, necessary.

Photo courtesy of m_bartosch at

Photo courtesy of m_bartosch at

I fell away from the Catholic church after her death. I would say I’m ready to return but I’m not sure, though I’m exploring it.

But none of that changes the fact that: I.Want.My.Mommy!

meinwisconsin usinillinois uswiththebike
Joyce McCartney is a 42-year-old journalist in northeast Indiana. On October 4, 2012, the man with whom she intended to spend the rest of her life was killed in a motorcycle crash in rural Indiana, leaving her an unmarried widow. Her Motorcycle Widow blog was created to help her process Tom’s death and the grief. Joyce has learned along the way that the blog is helping others process their own grief and has a few regular readers with whom she has connected through loss.

Jennifer Pastiloff is a writer living on an airplane and the founder of The Manifest-Station.  She’s leading a Retreat in Costa Rica at the end of March and a weekend retreat in May to Ojai, Calif as well as 4 day retreat over Labor Day in Ojai, Calif. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing for all levels. She and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Check out her site for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up is NYC in March followed by Dallas, Seattle and London.  

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  • Reply So, I WANT to write | Motorcycle Widow March 18, 2014 at 7:58 am

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