5 Years Without You

Kate Ward
12 min readJul 5, 2019

This is an open, public letter to my mom on the 5th anniversary of her passing. It was cathartic to write and I hope it’s meaningful for you to read.

In memory of Monica C. Holahan Ward

December 20, 1964 — July 4, 2014

Dear Mom,

I don’t like measuring the passage of time. In fact, I resent it. But today, I can’t ignore it. Because it’s July 4, 2019 and that marks exactly five years without you.

Five years and I still think about you every day. Your strength. Your poise. Your graciousness. Your love. The way you rocked that wig.

Today feels like a big one. It feels like I should be “over it” and have “moved on” with my life. Multiple people have told me this is the moment of closure, that five years is the final nail in the coffin. [That’s a terrible pun, I know. Forgive me.]

But it doesn’t feel like that’s possible.

The measure of a good life, I’ve learned through yours, is that it holds value even when it’s over. A good life is measured not in legacy per se (that’s more concentrated) but in the ripples it creates. You were like a boulder thrown into still water, creating tsunami-sized ripples all around. People I’ve never even met still reach out to me to tell me how much they…



Kate Ward

Thinking deeply about how to make myself and the world a little better. & writing about creators mostly | email: kate@onedayent.com