We are all a product of our experiences and we naturally approach life in ways that are reactions to the things we have learned so far. Like it or not, our parents play a huge role in who we become. We may chose to be like them or not like them but both are a reaction to having them as a parent. Thankfully, I have a wonderful mom. She is not perfect, as no mother is, but we share a strong bond. There is just something special about the connection between mothers and daughters. That is why I am so excited to have Dara Kurtz, the author of I am My Mother’s Daughter: Wisdom on Life, Loss, and Love, share with us today good questions to ask your mom.
You don’t have to wait till a special occasion to think of questions to ask your mom on Mother’s Day. I am talking about questions to ask your mom about you and about her. Questions to ask your mom that may help define your relationship for you and give you insight into her thoughts and desires. And this may sound heavy but, good questions to ask your mom before she dies. Dara Kurtz lost her mother so she will share with us 3 questions she wishes she had asked her own mother.
DARA KURTZ, after being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of forty-two, left her twenty-year career as a personal banker and financial advisor to focus on writing, speaking, and podcasting. Today her personal blog, Crazy Perfect Life (www.crazyperfectlife.com), reaches over 180,000 followers. Dara’s latest book, I am My Mother’s Daughter: Wisdom on Life, Loss, and Love, is all about the connection between mothers and daughters from one generation to the next. To order and receive 5 free gifts: https://crazyperfectlife.com/i-am-my-mothers-daughter/
Good Questions To Ask Your Mom
By Dara Kurtz
A few weeks after I had my first child, my Mom passed away. This unfair twist of fate has been one of the greatest challenges of my life. At the time, I remember feeling two extreme emotions: happiness at having a new baby daughter, and devastation that my Mom had passed away. I found myself in uncharted territory on both accounts, not really sure how to deal with either. That my Mom never got to know my two daughters, and they her, has been incredibly difficult.
It’s been twenty years since my Mom passed away, and I’ve had a lot of time to think about things. What has continued to resurface over the years, is this nagging wish that I had the answers to questions that seemed to continuously pop up here and there. Questions I wish I had asked my Mom before she passed away. When my Mom was sick, we weren’t ready to acknowledge the reality that she wasn’t going to survive the cancer. I wasn’t ready to confront the situation or think about any questions I wanted to know the answers to.
Thanks to a random discovery of a Ziplock bag of letters, written to me when I first went to summer camp at age nine, until I graduated from college, mostly by my Mom, I was finally able to find some of the answers to the nagging questions. Rereading these letters, I could feel my Mom’s personality, hear her voice, and I was able to get a glimpse into the woman my Mom was. They contained little bits of information to some of the questions below, and I’m incredibly grateful to have found them. Here are 3 questions I wish I had asked my Mom before she passed away.
3 Questions To Ask Your Mom Before She Dies
1. Tell me everything about when I was a little girl.
While I thought I knew a lot about myself, my childhood, and growing up, it wasn’t until I had my first child that I realized how much I didn’t know. Not big things, but little details that would have been fun to learn. There are questions you don’t think about asking about your own childhood, until you become a parent yourself, and you’re in the throws of raising a child. Silly questions such as What was my favorite food? Was I a good baby? What were my interests when I was a little girl? What was our life like then? What did we do together? These questions, and so many more, have followed me around as my daughters have gotten older. As each of my daughters entered a new stage, more questions about my own childhood went unanswered. While I’m blessed to have an amazing Dad, he doesn’t know the answers to a lot of these questions. Truthfully, does it really matter? No. But, there have been many times over the years when I’ve thought,“I wish I could ask my mom this.” When she passed away, a lot of information about my childhood was buried with her.
2. What do you wish for me and your future grandchildren?
I watched my Mom go to graduate school, have a career, and raise two kids at the same time. I know there were a lot of hard times, but we never talked about her work life balance challenges or what she learned going through this. I would love to have been able to get her perspective on this, especially as I found myself trying to figure it all out for myself. I’m sure she had an opinion, could have offered some suggestions, and given me the advice I so desired as I tried my best to navigate raising my daughters and having a career. Mostly, I would love to know what her dreams were for me and her grandchildren. I know she would have wanted me to be happy, fulfilled, and to make the most of each day of my life. I also know she probably had specific hopes and dreams for her daughter and future grandchildren, and it would have been insightful to have asked her these questions. She would have wanted only the best for me and my daughters, and it would have been interesting to have a conversation about this. The lessons learned by one generation can be passed down to the next, but we have to remember to be intentional about asking the questions to get the information we desire.
3. How do I live in the world without you by my side?
How I wish I had talked to my Mom about her death, had an honest heart to heart about the fact that she was dying, and asked her how I was suppose to live in the world without having her by my side. She was my person, had always been there for me, and not having her in my life has been one of the greatest challenges of my adult life. When she was very sick, I was pregnant, and doing my best to keep it together. We focused on her treatment plan, and held on to hope like it was our oxygen tank. Truthfully, it was. Because of this, we never had a conversation about how I was suppose to manage her death, overcome the pain and grief that would follow, or manage the huge void not having her would bring. I believe it would have been helpful to talk with her about this, hear what she had to say, even though I know it would have been a difficult conversation to have.
I would be lying if I said it’s been easy to live in the world without having my Mom by my side. Truthfully, the grief from losing her has followed me around like my shadow. I know she would never have wanted her death to impacted me to the extent it did. For a long time, I was stuck in grief. It wasn’t until I found the Ziplock bag of letters, and was able to get some of the answers to the above questions, that I was finally able to make peace with my Mom’s death. Rereading the letters, I could hear her voice, felt like we were having a conversation, and got a much needed dose of relevant advice and wisdom I had been craving.
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about my Mom. I know she is with me, traveling through my life, whispering in my ear. And, now that I have the letters, I can always reread them, something I am incredibly grateful for.
Thanks again to Dara Kurtz for sharing these questions to ask your mom with us. If you found this useful, you can follow her on social media-Facebook: @crazyperfectlife, Instagram: @crazyperflife, Twitter: @crazyperflife
They always say hindsight is 20/20 and I plan to use the wisdom of Dara’s hindsight to have a meaningful conversation with my mom and ask questions that I sometimes get too busy to even think of! I know while I was reading her excellent suggestions for questions to ask mom, I thought of a few of my own! I hope you do too and that asking questions deepens your mother daughter bond.