I wrote this post on the 7th June but have only just found the heart to finish and post it. I have added in some of my current feelings as I feel it might be helpful for those who are going through similar events in their own lives.
Please remember that everyone grieves differently and what is normal for me, possibly won’t be for you. That doesn’t make your method of dealing with your emotions wrong, strange or abnormal. However if you feel like hurting yourself or others or are slipping into damaging behaviours (excessive consumption of alcohol, taking drugs or self harm ect) then please seek help ASAP!
It seems really stupid that after all the events of yesterday I’d be lying in bed typing up a blog post. I mean to put it rather bluntly, my mother died very unexpectedly, so why the heck would I be using this time to work?
The fact is I’m filled with a million ‘what if’ and ‘did she?’ questions. What if I’d been there? What if we’d been closer? Did she know much much I loved her? Did she know that I thought about her every day, even on the occasions that we were arguing? (Which was fairly often as we were similar in a lot of ways, but differed in so many more).
What if? What if? What if?
Did she? Did she? Did she?
It is 4:11am and these and many other questions are keeping me wide awake and unable to shut off. My brain keeps trying to find someone to blame. Myself, her husband, literally anyone that might have had even the slightest input because Jesus Christ, people don’t just drop dead at 47 years old.
Next comes the Sadness and pleading. Whispering to anyone that might be able to hear “I just want her back. Please, just bring her back…” The only answer to my silent tears and murmered begging was my partners soft snores and the confused thoughts swirling through my mind.
It’s a special kind of numbness that comes after a loved one passes away. You feel more devestated than you ever knew you could but your body won’t allow you to truly believe it. It knows that at the moment you can’t handle the pain so it cuts you off and brings it in drips.
Her favorite song comes on the radio… Pow!
“Ooooh she likes that food”… Boom.
‘She always wanted to do that and never got the chance’… Kerpow.
This amazing thing has just happened I need to tell her NOW…. Punch straight to the stomach.
This and uncertainty works better than 10 mugs of coffee to keep you ticking over at night. Come on brain, please shut down for a few hours…. Please…
6:32am. Awake still.
My mother died on the 6th June 2019.
A perfectly normal day turned into something that blurred into the realms of nightmare. It’s a funny thing, my normally legendary rubbish memory can recall almost every second. It was a good morning right up to the exact second when it wasn’t.
Frankly it couldn’t have started any more mundane. My partner woke up and went to work to start an early shift, then my youngest Lily decided that 5am was the perfect time for a quick nurse. After I’d got her and myself settled again I went back to sleep until the morning, “muuummmmy where aaaare you?” songs started and I had to get up.
Nappys and getting the kids dressed: done.
Teeth and facewashes: done.
Playtime for the girls while I get ready and then a quick peek out of the curtains reveals a beautiful morning: Done!
Hmmm, what to do today?
I know I’ll visit my Granny. Perfect plan!
The girls get excited for the impending walk, visit and playtime and off we go. The morning is glorious with just the slightest breeze blowing (just enough to refresh and dim the heat of the day) and as per usual the 10 minute walk takes nearly 20 minutes because of a thousand happy, innocent questions and the ‘need’ to pick loads of dandilions and daisies.
Evie is walking and Lily is in the pushchair. Evie gifts Lily a good percentage of her flowery bounty and we are all smiling and enjoying our morning outting. Evie has a little trip over and grazed knee but it’s soon fixed with kisses and cuddles and lots of attention.
Wonderful! Normal. Mundane family life.
After knocking on Grannie’s door, having a mug of coffee and starting to assist with with some gardening, I turned my phone to silent because, Jesus Christ why can’t people allow me to exist without nagging the living shit out of me. Fuck off whinging bastards, today I’m taking a passive aggressive stand. Long story short someone had been bothering me repeatedly and frankly I’d had enough and needed a break from it.
A wise move on most days.
However on this day it was a miscalculated act of frustration on my part. The one day I decided to grow a pair, it bit me right in the arse. Lesson learned, I’ll just tell people to “fuck off” next time instead of hiding with a scowl on my face and the middle finger shyly lifted to the universe. All this while whispering profanities behind a bland, unconvincing smile.
I finished weeding the flowerbed, changed some nappies and then did a quick cloud inspect. Hmmm, grey clouds coming over quick but guessing that I’ll only get slightly soaked on the last bit of the walk home.
Excellent, that’ll do nicely.
Catch Lily and pin her into the pram with promises of tummy tickles and playtime with her choo choo trains later in the day. Currently she’s less than impressed but I’m cocky today. She’ll come around in a bit, I’m sure.
Then I manage against the odds to convince Evie that somehow her reins are less terrible than being squished by a car.
I know… Mum logic, right?
Woooo, I’m successful. Riding high on this beautiful morning, so far I’ve even had a HOT cup of coffee. Not luke warm but scold your mouth and beg the lord for forgiveness for your sins hot. I felt like the mummy cat’s pajamas. Cocky much?
Alas. Yes, I was.
Pushing the pram out, my resolve dissolves slightly and I check my phone. “What the ever living biscuit (toddlers are present) has happened?!!!”
8 missed calls.
5 Facebook updates.
This doesn’t sound like much, but for me (think hermit that hates being inside) it’s a massive quantity of updates for 2 1/2 hours.
‘Hmmm I should answer somone.’ The honour of most recent person to ring a ding ding my phone is my sister, so I call her.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“I REALLY don’t want to tell you over the phone Alex…”
“Just tell me!”
“What? Nahhh, don’t be silly…”
“I’m not joking Alex. She’s dead!”
“Oh God…. I’m going back to Grannie’s now. Bye!”
Nearly dropping my phone and grabbing Evie who was attempting some sneaky mischief while I was busy, I hung up.
Even now I’m so glad that I had stopped on the pavement straight across the road from my Gran’s house to make that call. It’s a feeling that is almost unexplainable. My heart raced and my mind felt numb.
I know it’s real, I feel faint and sick to the pit of my stomach, infact I best go back. Might collapse. Might have seizure (stress/extreme emotion can trigger my epilepsy.) Will cry but must hold it in until I’m back in safe, private walls. Don’t want to scare the children, too little to understand but I can’t help it.
Tears are forcing their way out.
Not real. Not real. 47 years old is no age to die. Can’t be real. Nope. Nada. Please, no!
The last time I saw her played in my mind like a looping video. It was nice, so boring, so brief… But thank the heavens, it was nice. Last words to her were “let me know when your operation will be (just a hand operation) and I’ll cook you some food that you can just throw in the microwave. I love you, mum.”
Her last to me was “I love you.” So simple but now it matters more than all the sentences ever spoken to me, ever. Now my last words whenever I see my little girls or partner will always be “I love you.” Even after an argument because now I know the power of a last sentence. Speak everyone like it might be the last thing someone remembers of you. Comforts are weirdly small things in times such as these.
Gran was just turning back after waving me off when I yelled for her. She asked me if I’d forgotten something (as usual) and I shook my head. Tears just bubbling up. I could only manage a quick, “mum’s dead!”
She hurried me back inside with the socially expected answer of “oh Alex, I’m so sorry…”
More tea and coffee was made and after the initial tears a strange calm set in. My partner Callum arrived from work, thankfully they let him leave early. I rang my brother and broke the news to him. I wish I could have told him in person but he lives too far away. Next I rang work and explained the situation to them. Two weeks off, full pay, because it’s a close relative. So formal and black and white. Werid that something so huge is treated as so normal.
I slow down and allow the emotions to wash over me again and then the tears come.
The rest of the day passed in a blur of seeing a few relatives and going over the same things over and over again with various people. Gran made me a meal and I swallowed it down, pretty sure it was delicious but I barely tasted it. Steak pie and veg.
Normal day that somehow went awry.
31st July 2020
Today is a day when I’m missing my mum a little more than usual. Almost every thing is triggering a memory, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
There isn’t any rhyme or reason to the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ days.
They just are what they are and I have to accept it and embrace whatever my body, soul and heart are needing on a particular day.
Mourning is hard work, feeling sad is exhausting and missing someone is incredibly lonely.
So with that in mind; I’m going to treat myself as kindly as possible today and on any other days that I need too.
I love and miss my mum.
Today more so than usual…
I’ve managed a year without her.
Each occasion felt different, Christmas was a dull ache in my heart and mother’s day left me feeling destroyed (and slightly drunk). Her birthday ended with tears when I looked at the gift I had just bought her, having forgotten about her death 9 months before and my birthday had me wondering where my birthday text off her was. It seems an odd thing to forget but sometimes the heart can’t bring it’s self to recall.
The month before the anniverasy of her death I spent two weeks crying and having panic attacks because I feared the speed which it was passing by. Was it disrespectful to her memory that life carried on even though my creative soul had gone on holiday and my heart wasn’t in much other than my beautiful baby girls who barely remembered who she was?
Was it terrible that finally she was just on my thoughts for a few minutes, a few times a day instead of every waking second?
When the anniversary finally arrived I felt saddened but relieved. I had made it. My heart was mending and a lot of the guilt or anger that comes from disagreements past was fading away. It’s very true what people say, you never get over a loved one dying but you do learn how to deal with them not being there.
I love you Mum. Rest well with the angels.