The Things That I Know Now That You Are Gone


January 28, 2020

It is in moments of pain that we are reminded what we value most in life. These moments are a beacon of light. They remind us exactly where to invest our time, ensuring that we don’t forget the fragile state of this life. Do it now. Say it now. Be it now.

It’s hard to believe that I have spent less time on this earth with you than I have without. It aches my heart even more to know that Hunter only got a glimpse of the woman that we would both call “mom.” However, as I sit here 16 years later, I know with full certainty that you have found a way to shed your light and guidance in every heart and with every lesson that we have encountered over the years. So to you, from me, here is a letter of the the things that I know now that you are gone:

I know…

you would have shaken your head at some of the decisions I’ve made. Frowning upon the nights I stayed out too late and the parties in which I drank too much. You likely would have yelled at me when I came home with my first tattoo (and followed suit for the ones that came after that). I can imagine we would have argued, letting angry words slip out of our mouths that we would later apologize for and some that would never get the apology that they deserved.

I know…

that you would have cheered me on through every race. Either beside me or at the finish line, awaiting me with a flashing camera and a sweat dripping hug. I know you would have held me tight the first time a guy broke my heart and even tighter the day I’d gleefully tell you that, “he’s the one.” I might have been a better cook with your guidance and for a taste of your homemade chicken pot-pie, I might have momentarily forgotten that I don’t eat meat. You would have been my ally, my friend and the glue that inevitably holds us all together.

There are so many things that I don’t, and will never know now that you are gone. But there are a few things that I will always be certain of…

I know…

that I would never have the relationships that I do with your two other children. Their words have healed some of my deepest wounds and their smiles have lit some of my darkest days. I would not fully understand the meaning of friendship or how much laughter can cure some of the saddest times. I would never know the value of a hug or the importance of expressing yourself to the ones you love. I might never have taken the time to do things to just simply say “I did it”.

But because of you, I did. I took those trips, I’ve taken those risks and probably spent way too much money along the way. I continue to show love when it isn’t always shown to me, and I constantly share my heart without reservation or fear. I now know the value of life and more importantly, I know how quickly it can be taken away from me.

I know

that I will never be the person I could have been with you by my side. But the woman I am becoming without is one that I know you would be proud of.

Your daughter, Paige

  1. Stacey says:

    Paige, you are amazing and so loved!!

  2. Leah Pedersen says:

    I am proud of the women you have become, and I know Mom would be too! So blessed to call you my sister! Love you!

  3. Heather Volkema says:


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