“I Can Call But She Will Never Pick Up”: Daughter Pens Painfully Honest Post After Mom’s Death


Few things strike a young adult quite like the death of a parent. At a time in your life when you are still coming into your own and learning how to navigate the journey of adulting and motherhood yourself, losing your own mom seems unfathomable.

As your caretaker, advocate, and #1 fan who made you the person you are today, it’s hard to imagine not being able to call her to vent about your day or simply to say nothing at all.

After tragically losing her own mother, 32-year-old Nikki Pennington is still navigating the tidal wave of grief that has consumed her since the death of her best friend.

In a poignant post written on her Facebook page, Grief To Hope with Nikki Pennington, the young mother contrasts the stark difference between what her life looks like now compared to someone who still has the luxury to pick up the phone and call their mama.

Her heart-shattering words are sure to reorient your perspective on the ones you hold most dear, especially that irreplaceable person we call “Mom”:

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“My day doesn’t look anything like yours no matter how hard I try to make it.

Some days I try and pretend like it’s a day where I can call her but I’m choosing not to call her instead.

Some days I just dial her number to see “Calling Mom” on my phone.

Some days I grab my grief by the horns and I tell it that talking to her out loud is good enough.

I tell grief that I don’t need to hear her voice because her words are etched in my heart.

Yet, most days the reality is that’s not good enough and never will be.

I wake up and realize all over again every morning the reality of my grief.

The reality that she is still gone and no amount of pleading or begging can bring her back even for one second. Not even for a quick “I love you” or hug.

Chances are I’ll have exciting news during my day even something as simple as surviving a grocery store trip with all three children by myself. I’ll want to call her as soon as I get home and tell her.

Maybe I’ll have a bad day and need to just hear her calming voice telling me even when the world feels like it’s against me, she’s always in my corner, always on my side even when I’m wrong.

I can call but she will never pick up.

I’ll have a moment in my day where motherhood seems so overwhelming and I think I’m failing at everything.

That I am not doing everything right or doing the best I can as a Mom and I’ll want to call her and just cry into the phone. I won’t have to say anything because she’s the only one who can understand my tears without the words. She’ll know all the right things to say. She will know to tell me that motherhood is messy, that none of us are perfect and that is the beauty of being a Mom that there is no perfect way to do it.

She will tell me I am great Mom and she knows this because she knows my heart because I’m part of her.

I can call but she will never call back.

I’ll have a day where I just want to pick up the phone and call my Mom and talk for hours and hours about things that matter and things that don’t. Where I want to talk about everything and nothing and somehow get off the phone feeling like all the world’s problems were solved, at least mine anyways.

I can talk to her about all these things but she can’t answer back.

I’ll have a moment in time where I am thirty-two years old and still have questions that I want to ask my Mom and I will never be able to get her answers because I was robbed of that time, robbed of the answers to those questions.

As a Motherless Daughter, my day looks a lot different from yours if you are able to pick up the phone and call your Mom.

My day starts and ends differently every single day and always will.


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Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.