Today I Buried My Mother

by Migdalia Rivera

Today I buried my Mother. It was an emotional day.

Memories of days gone by, full of bendiciones/blessings, countless hours baking, cooking, laughing in the kitchen, filled my head. I recalled the traditions handed down, the stories of her brothers and sister playing on the farm. Of a grandma who sat in a rocking chair, crocheting sweet clothing to sell. And, an Abuelo who tolled hard harvesting sugar canes. Those stories filled my head. With each word spoken, she shared her life with me.

Today I Buried My Mother | Latina On a Mission

I saw her in my mind. Young. Carefree. Full of love. I also recall the música/music. The old records playing in the background, sometimes scratching…. but always at the best part. “Y mi vida que nada esperaba, también te quería bien”* would play over and over. But, she didn’t care. She just added an extra step, or a twirl, as she danced over and set it right.

Today I buried my mother, the dream of what I thought my mother should be. I stared at her in the casket, stroked her fine, thin hair, then stood back as they closed the casket lid. The pallbearers, all decked out in Sunday wear, hefted her up and led me down the lane.

As I turned and walked away, I extended a hand. My Mom stepped into view. History lay before us. Broken. Hurtful. Intense. Full of hidden truths and lies. Would she grab hold? Would she reach for reconciliation and forgiveness? Only time would tell…

To be continued…

This story is based on my life. Sometime last year, at the age of 41, I received a call that shattered my world. My biological father wanted me to take a paternity test. He claimed I was not his child. As you can imagine, it caused an enormous rift between my Mother and I – a chasm opened that seemed impossible to breach and we did not speak for over 8 months.

Since that time, I have spoken to family members, and friends, trying to find out the truth. What I discovered shocked me but has opened the doors of reconciliation.

So, today I buried the mother, the image of who I thought she should be, and learned to love, and admire, the broken woman, the Mom who raised me.

I write these pieces not only to preserve my family’s history but to release the enormous block, and the generational curse, it has placed in our life.

Thank you for allowing me to let it out.

*Translation: And my life that didn’t expect nothing, also loved you well

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sili March 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

This is how we start to heal. Not so much by telling our story but by giving it the room it needs to be unfolded before breaking the generational curse.

Sili recently posted..Phenomenal Woman: Lupita Nyong’o at the Oscars

2 Chela March 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

Sending prayers for resolution and healing, mana. You will finally end this for yourself and your sons, so that you can be free going forward. Speak your truth. Only good can come from that. *abrazos*

3 Bren @ B So Chic! March 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm

So sad and insulting in so many way. Sad for you, but also glad that have started to find peace and joy (yes, joy!) in letting go of the mother you thought she should be. God allowed all of that to happen for a reason. Perhaps to help shape you to be the woman you are…. Hugs.

4 Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá March 6, 2014 at 6:54 pm

I wish I could hug you very tight. You are a big inspiration and I always look up to you in so many ways. Healing is a process and you started yours and I’m sure it will free you soul. Keeping you in my prayers. Abrazos
Maybelline @ Naturalmente Mamá recently posted..Conoce el ABC del Virus Sincicial y protege a tus peques #ABCsofRSV

5 Blanca @micaminar March 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

What a tough situation, Migdalia..but you know what? God puts strong tests on strong spirits. It is very raw and painful now and I hope you can come to peace with it as you said, buried that ideal of your mother. We all are shattered in some way or another and as I know you know, with love everything can be healed. So I send you a piece of my love( with all my own shattered pieces) to give you greater strength to heal.

6 Onica {MommyFactor} March 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers always.
Onica {MommyFactor} recently posted..Kindergartner in the Men’s Bathroom? – WordFUL Wednesday

7 Nikki March 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Sending my love to you always sis. Your words are so powerful and strong, continue writing. You are making such an impact to many. xoxo

8 YVONNE L March 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Thank you for sharing. You know Mom’s we make decisions good, bad, other. At the point in time when it happens we are not thinking ahead so to speak we are wrapped up in the moment. Right or wrong we have to find forgiveness for ourselves. My mom I love her just as she loves me. Its not perfect we are not perfect. I am finding my own way with my kids and I find too I have question decisions I make with them. I try my best and ask God to forgive me and for guidance. I can only hope my kids will love me that way I love my mom.. Hurt love and all..

9 Alissa Apel March 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

I’m sorry for your loss! Sometimes as parents we do things that we are proud of, sometimes we do things we are not proud of. Those negative things we don’t always share.

My sons don’t know that my husband has had issues with drinking in his past.

My sister was adopted. My parents were very open with her about the fact that she was adopted, but they hid the fact that they slipped in court revealing her last name. They waited to tell her when she was older.

Life is complicated sometimes. When things are hidden, it’s because we want our loved ones to respect us. We don’t want to bring heartache to the table.

Peace be with her, you and the father that raised you. Even if there is a chance he isn’t your dad in blood, he raised you and that alone makes him your dad.
Alissa Apel recently posted..Random Tid Bits

10 Shana March 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Hugs to you!!

11 Jai March 8, 2014 at 8:47 pm

So sorry for your loss!! Hugs!
Jai recently posted..My Shape Stylist | iTunes Fashion App

12 Boni Candelario March 10, 2014 at 9:45 am


I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you much love and light and PEACE as you transition into a more beautiful woman than you already are. Your diamond is showing through the rough pressure you have to go through. Your story will empower others. Un Gran Abrazo!

13 Hanna Saltzman March 11, 2014 at 8:56 am

Migdalia, thank you for sharing and I am sending you thoughts & blessings of healing. I also wanted to share this poem with you, by the Mvskoke Nation poet Joy Harjo. While it is about fear (and I don’t know whether that’s part of what you’re feeling), I’ve found its refrain (“I release you, I release you, I release you”) empowering & comforting during different types of hard times. I can’t find the full text available online, but here is a video of her performing it:

14 Migdalia Rivera March 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Thank you so much @Hanna. We’re healing slowly but surely.

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