Words of Wisdom

This TikTok Mom’s Viral Advice On 5 Things To Ask Your Mom Will Break Your Heart Wide Open

Brb, calling my mom right now.

TikTok mom Courtney Lopez Gervais suggests five things to ask your mom while she's still with you.
Courtney Lopez Gervais/TikTok

The grief you feel when losing a loved one is overwhelming and exhausting — and that grief feels tenfold when the loss comes sooner than you expect. For TikToker Courtney Lopez Gervais, losing her mother at 50 left her constantly yearning for more and, with the sudden passing, didn't allow time to prepare for life without her. It also meant her kids would miss out on growing up with their Grandma, making the heartbreak even harder. So, Gervais shared five things she wished she'd asked her mom while she was still here. Spoiler alert? Here’s your sign to start having these conversations with your loved ones right now.

The idea of sentimental mementos to remember a loved one after they leave us isn't new. Maybe you've considered getting a tattoo to honor someone you lost. But perhaps, in that moment, your heart ached for a minute thinking of how nice it would have been to have that tattoo in their handwriting... something you asked them to write you before they passed, so they would know how much meaning it would hold every time you looked at it.

There are things you can do now that will help you keep the memories of loved ones alive long after they pass. From having good samples of their handwriting to making sure you know their wishes for you and your kiddos, honoring your parents doesn’t have to be an afterthought — it can be an ongoing dialogue you start with them. And, although it will mean a lot to all generations now, it'll mean even more later.

It’s that idea that inspired Gervais to encourage others to think about these things before it’s too late.

Her list describes five things you need to ask your mom, but this list could really go to any important loved ones in your or your child’s life.

  1. “Your child or children’s name in your mom’s handwriting.”
  2. “A letter from your mom to your child or children telling them what she loves most about them and what she hopes for their future.”
  3. “Your mom’s favorite childhood memory.”
  4. “Your mom’s favorite memory from your childhood.”
  5. “What she wants to leave to them and why it’s important to her.”

Are you crying yet? If Gervais’ tender notes haven’t put you over the edge, the comments will. Many people added some of their own notes to go along with her advice:

  • “My advice is to always save one voicemail, from your parents, telling you they love you,” shared Christina Grapp.
  • “I love this. I’ll add: A recordable book for your children in her voice,” suggested Tricia Belski Cardil.
  • “Also her recipes for your favorite meals,” said WriterAngel1. “It’s been 8 years without her, and this is the one thing I wish I would have gotten.”
  • “Guys, buy your parents Storyworth. It’s incredible and such a gift to have forever!!!!!” suggested Jennifer Lowe.
  • “I sent my mom an article ‘50 questions to ask your mom’ and asked her to answer the questions for me, and at Christmas she gave me a mini book with the answers,” said a commenter who goes by Sarah, “and she put a lot of meaning and love into the answers.”

While your kids are most likely too young to turn her handwriting into a tattoo, those names can be used for all kinds of sentimental keepsakes. There are stores on Etsy that will turn a person’s script into a name necklace. You can also have handwritten recipes etched into cutting boards or stories printed into books with pictures together.

In truth, there are so many ways to use the small pieces Gervais suggests collecting. And if you need any further incentive to call your mom (or dad, or grandma) to get the ball rolling, just spend a few minutes reading through the comments from everyone who wishes Gervais’ advice had come to them a little sooner.