Losing My Mother – My Mom Passed Away

If anyone told me a month ago I would be writing this post after losing my mother, I would have done things differently. I would have hugged my mom tighter, told her I loved her more than usual, laughed more, spent more time with her.

My Mom And Me

The thing is that my mom is someone I thought would always be there. She is the one I called when life presented challenges. She was silly, funny, generous…I just can’t imagine a world without her. Other people lose their parents…not me. I am 43 years old, my mom only 66 – and I have to go through life without a mom to hold my hand. I don’t know how to even imagine ever having the strength to do that.

My mom was an only child, and so am I. Though it is hard for my stepfather to grieve over losing his wife and difficult for my daughter to lose her grandma – all terribly painful losses – I wish I had siblings right now to go through this with. I’m in my mom’s house, helping with her “things” and trying at the same time to cope with the thought of not having my mother’s daily love for the rest of my life.

Though she loved me everyday, my mom never understood our decision to sell everything and live the rv lifestyle. She worked at the same job all of her life, did everything the “right way” according to today’s standards. She retired only 1 1/2 years ago. But I think she understands now…wherever she might be.

Though you cannot escape the pain of life when rving, because life will find you no matter where you are, I cannot imagine only getting one week to grieve, then “back to the office” to pretend everything is ok. My rv is in her driveway right now, as long as necessary, so I can be here for my family and for myself. Conventional life doesn’t allow for such things. I know it seems silly to talk about rving at a time like this, but the point is that I couldn’t cope with this in the traditional life I left behind. I need to take however much time I need to just be in her home and feel her around me.

How do people do it? How do they lose a parent and then have to go back to work and pretend anything they are doing has any importance, in the grand scheme of things? Deadlines, projects, budgets – who the hell cares? All that matters in this world are the people you love…that’s IT. Not even your checkbook means a damn thing. My mom worked all of her life, saving for retirement and never got to enjoy it.

So, mom – though I have always been your unconventional daughter, now you see why I live the life I do. I can spend more time with the people I love. I can spend more of my life feeling alive in the present instead of worrying about financial planners, 401k’s and only planning on the future, if the future ever comes. I could never have gone back to the “office” after losing you. My lifestyle is going to give me the time and freedom to cope with this tremendous loss, instead of having to quicken the grief process so I can get back to work.

My rving decision was because I feel I know what matters most – my family. I never wanted the big house, fancy cars and expensive furniture that would keep me chained to a desk to pay for it all. All I ever wanted was you and the rest of my family. I am so happy I got to come to Illinois in October and spend so much time with you, including this past Thanksgiving and Christmas. And now, as I type this sitting at your dining room table, I am so grateful I can feel your love around me throughout this home – because that is all that matters to me right now.

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13 Responses to Losing My Mother – My Mom Passed Away

  1. Kathy Mac says:

    Dear Robin,
    I too stumbled across your RV travel journey blog, and read this post about the loss of your mother. A deep and lasting loss. You are young, your mother was young, (in my older age) and you shared many lifetime memories. Cherish them. Believe she would have wanted the best for you even if she was “more traditional” as you write.
    Read on your site that you felt freedom and family and choice was more important than status and wage slavery, and believe that you are very thoughtful and clear in your choice to travel now. Enjoy your journey as you RV, it is a most liberating and educating lifestyle.
    Your mother’s memories will guide us always.

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Thank you for your sweet comments, Kathy…

      Even if she didn’t understand my lifestyle per se, she never ceased once with giving me unconditional love – and that, I think, is all that truly matters while we are on this planet, right? We all have our own paths to travel – she had hers, I have mine – and that is 100% okay.

      Take care and thanks again, Robin

  2. Nixie Willow says:

    Hey there!

    I love your blog….just amazing!

    We are looking forward to our full-time RV living as we are not quite there yet. Yep…experienced a lay-off from our wonderful corporate America two years ago and can’t seem to get anyone to re-hire a qualified and experienced 44 yr old married white female of two daughters who would have liked help with college & their weddings!

    RV living is something I have dreamed about but never thought I would get the chance to experience.
    I am very close to my family & they all think we have lost our minds.

    I appreciate all of your experience, thoughts & feeelings. You give me hope as to what could be as we are tired of the rat race bubble!

    As I read about your Mother…my feelings and tears were more overwhelming than I think I can put into words.
    My heart goes out to you where ever you are today & know that you are making a difference…a great difference for many!

    Take Care,
    soul 2 soul!

    • Cheap RV Living says:


      And YOUR comments are making a difference in people’s lives, too…OURS. So much so, I decided to do a post based on your sweet comments, which actually brought Jim and I to tears. You have no idea how perfect the timing was in your words…just when we needed them the most. So thank you, Nixie!

      See New Post HERE

      Robin and Jim

  3. LILLIAN BRUNO says:

    Dear Robin:
    Thank you for your informative blog.
    I’m brand new to the RV World – my husband & I are in our fifties and just purchased a 1986 34′ Avion. We are so excited! We plan to live in it full-time so we are presently downsizing from a 14 room Victorian to less than 300 sq ft.
    Ever since we were children we dreamed of living in an Airstream. Our mothers were conventional women who could not understand our desire for a “vagabond” lifestyle. It seems your mom felt similarly.

    At this time may I express my empathy for your loss. My husband lost his mom 10 years ago and I lost mine six years ago. We have found that the loss of our precious moms changed our very identities. In order to cope with overwhelming changes and prolonged grieving we found the Bible to be most comforting. John 11.25 is a favorite verse: “Jesus said to Martha -“I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life.” ”
    This Scripture shows that there is a future, for “all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out… to a resurrection of life…” John 5.29

    Robin, thank you again for all the practical experience that you are sharing with me.
    One last question: Where can I put the kitty litter box?

    Happy trails,

    • Cheap RV Living says:


      We are so happy for you on your decision to rv full time. Whether you travel a lot or very little, just having a home on wheels we have found to be so serene and wonderful. Do keep us posted on your journey! Thanks so much for your supportive words regarding the loss of my mother – and we are sorry for your losses as well. It does change you forever – how could it not, right? I just treasure the memories and realize how lucky I was to have had such a wonderful mom.

      As for the RVing with cats and litterbox question, I think you will be happy to know that I wrote an entire article about this topic, including tips on the litterbox, which you can find by clicking this link: RVing With Cats

      Again, please keep in touch. We will be writing more regularly in the future…have lots of information to share…just still working through grief and not 100% yet. If we can help in any other way, don’t hesitate to contact us!

      Thanks again, Robin and Jim

      • LILLIAN BRUNO says:

        Dear Robin,

        Thank you for your gracious reply.

        Found your article on RV-ing with pets and will consider your advice.
        I was thinking about putting a harness on my cat and hooking that up to a “run” (while I’m on site, of course) then keeping him inside when I’m away on errands, etc.
        What are your thoughts on this?

        Thanks – Lil

        • Cheap RV Living says:

          Hi Lil – I was having technical difficulties putting the link in my last reply…finally got it figured out!

          As far as the harness is concerned, we would only recommend using it if you will be sitting outside watching your kitty 100% of the time. Our one gigantic “cow cat,” Spot, is always able to get out of them somehow. Also, if you are in an rv park, even when there are rules about not letting dogs run around, many people do anyway because “their little dog wouldn’t hurt a flea.” In addition, when you are in a new place, even if not in an rv park, it takes weeks to get to know your new environment, the wildlife around or the stray dog that frequently comes by. For us, peace of mind only comes with having some type of enclosure. They aren’t a perfectly safe barrier, but they keep cats from running away if they get off their harnesses and they also deter any animal “visitors.”

          I know there are some larger, portable outdoor play enclosures on the market that take up little space when collapsed, but provide ample room during outdoor time. Maybe for you a combination of cat products would be best? Not cost effective at the start, but some initial items are just a necessity for your sanity! In this way, you and your husband can let the cat be outside in an enclosure, close to the rv, without having to worry when you just want some time alone inside of the rv, when cleaning the rv, etc. But on days when you are going to relax and sit outside, then you can use the harness or take your kitty on a walk, etc.

          Take your time to read reviews also, because these pet products make such a difference when rving. Get items that fit your cat’s personality and needs. Even when on the road, our one cat has decided she feels much safer in a little pet carrier while the other is basically co-piloting, roaming around the rv. Once you “get it right” you will be so relieved to have the right pet products on hand when you need them!

        • Cheap RV Living says:

          Lil –
          Be sure to see the “rving with cats” link I put in my first reply. I think you saw are basic post on rving with pets, but the link I put in is an entire article I did with tips on rving with cats…

  4. Christine says:

    I just stumbled on your blog and this is the post I read. I am so sorry for your loss! I too lost a parent at a young age, I was 33 when I lost my 55 year old dad (suddenly). Its been 9 years now. I won’t lie to you and say that the pain goes away with time, it doesn’t and we really don’t want it to. But we get used to it. You have my condolences.

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your loss. How sorry we are for you enduring such pain at only 33 years of age. You are right, we don’t want the pain to go away – we learn to live with it and adjust to a life that is forever changed. I don’t ever want to “forget” or stop feeling the loss completely, because it reminds me everyday how lucky I was to have such a wonderful mother – and it keeps her close to me each day. I take comfort in writing to her in a journal, with the whole journal being just for her, each entry starting with “hi mom” – helping to ease the pain of not being able to call her as I would. We find ways to cope and keep our loved ones close at heart. We also find strength speaking with others who have dealt with this loss and, again, thank you for sharing for this very reason. Whether nine years or nine weeks, the loss is still the same – so our condolences to you as well and thanks, Robin

  5. Kenise says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It will leave a whole that can never be filled. Glad you have good memories—-hold on to them