Q and A for Mom No More with Mignon Matthews
What was your motivation to write the book?
My eighteen year old daughter died in her sleep on February 7, 1980 and my son died in his sleep on January 28, 2005 at the age of forty-one. When he died, I was sixty-seven years old and it was January 28, 2005.
You might think that I would know just how to cope this time, but that would be wrong. However, I did learn some coping skills from the first loss and one of them was reading things written by those who had also lost children. Another thing that had helped me was journaling and I decided to do that again; both activities helped.
Why do you think this book is needed?
As I began to learn to live with the pain that does not end, I searched for written sources to encourage me. I read again the books that had helped before; but, nothing seemed to speak to my situation. I had not just lost a child. I had lost my entire family. I felt unanchored, like I was floating around without connections to hold me to life.
Then, I began to wonder if I could write something to help others who must learn to live without their children. I began to go through my journals and to fill in background. I have always written, but never sought to publish anything; this time, I decided to try and Mom No More became my mission.
What do you like most about your life now? Why?
The best part of my life now is that I am completely free to do as I wish without considering how it might affect my children. That does not mean that I don’t consider my other relatives or that I plan to behave in some inappropriate way, but the closeness of parents and children is part of the identities of both and this was always paramount in my mind when making decisions.
What do you like least about your life now?
The worst part of my life now is living without my children, because I miss them so much. It continues to amaze me that I am alive and quite healthy when both of my children are not. I can only conclude that God is not done with me yet, that there is work for me to do and, perhaps, Mom No More is my assignment.
What is your favorite chapter in the book?
My favorite chapter is a combination of two short chapters: “The Early Years” and “We Move.” I chose them because they are about my children at a time when we were all together, young and happy. It introduces them; and, they were so worth knowing. I loved writing those chapters, because of the happy memories they evoked for me. When I am feeling the emptiness of living without them, it helps me to remember how blessed I was to have had them at all and for as long as they were with me.
What are you working on now?
I have not settled on a subject to which I can devote myself as I did to Mom No More, but I am not done with writing. Putting words on paper is a long standing habit that gives me both satisfaction and solace. At the same time, I am working on a new way to live and find joy in my life. Somehow, I expect this all to come together and I will know what is next “so, on I write.”