My reason for writing this post and explaining how I feel about it is two-fold. I hope to better understand my own thoughts and also help someone else. Grief really is unpredictable, all consuming and hits at the most unlikely times.
I wanted this post to be the post that I looked for, but couldn’t find. I wanted this post to have the answers that I searched so desperately for and in honesty, am still searching for because no one seems to know the answer. I’m not even sure it exists.
By nature I’m a logical person. I see everything in black and white. It’s odd that I write and explore language because in my personal life I am logical. There is a right and a wrong. No grey areas. There is a logical reason for everything. Everything has answers and yet, I don’t have an answer for why my mum died. And I why I feel so utterly bereft without her. And how on Earth I am to deal with this.
So, as much as I wanted this post to be a ‘how to’ post, it’s slowly dawning on me that it’s just not possible. Her loss will never leave me. She was the centre of my life. The person who gave me life and spoke to me every single one of the 12,107 days that I spent with her. Every single day of my life.
How do I forget that? I won’t. It sounds harsh to hear when in the midst of the most painful part of grief but it’s the truth and I can’t sugar coat it. Realising that I don’t have to forget her, that I can talk about her, think about her and miss her every day is helpful. Because I do. I don’t want to punish myself for not being ‘over it’ when I never will be. I don’t think I want to be over it.
And that’s hard. Because that’s the hard thing to get my head around. Things will never, ever be the same again. My life will never be the same again. I will never feel the same way about anything again and that is daunting. How do I manage to live another 50 years hopefully, knowing that nothing is going to be the same again?
Grief isn’t just about sadness and tears. For me the anger is so frustrating. It boils and I wish it wasn’t here. I want to feel a different way. But at times I can’t. I’m angry at the disease that ravaged her and made her look less like my mum. I’m angry at the medical staff who couldn’t save her no matter how hard they tried. I’ve given up hope that it will ever be cured so stay away from supporting cancer charities.
I can’t drive past the Chapel of Rest where I saw her lying so beautifully and peacefully without my inner pyromaniac surfacing. Red- hot rage at the fact that the last time that I saw her face was to do her makeup for her funeral. I want to burn that place down to the ground. But at the same time, glad it was me. I knew her best. It had to be me.
I’m angry with myself for not realising that incurable meant terminal until it was obvious. But most of all I’m angry that she isn’t here because I need her so much to tell me what to do. The only thing that is going to make my grief better, is her. And she isn’t here. She was so young. Too young.
And I feel too young to lose my mum. I know I’m not a child and even though my mum was my biggest protector as well as my harshest critic, I am grateful for every single one of those 12,107 days that I had with her. People I know and love had much fewer days with their equally amazing mothers. I am 33, I shouldn’t feel too young. But I can’t feel guilty for how I feel. My grief and sense of loss is deep. I don’t think there is ever a ‘right’ age to lose someone you love.
I’m a mother and a grown woman but I still need my mum. Who do I turn to when karma inevitable kicks me in the arse and I’ve got a very challenging teenage daughter? (Hopefully not two!) I want to be able to tell her I’m sorry. That she was right. I’m scared that I won’t have the strength she did to deal with single parenting two teenage girls. I was planning on asking her what to do. I have to figure it out by myself now.
The other feeling consuming me right now is fear. I don’t fear death anymore. Seeing it so peacefully means I no longer fear it. I’m not sure what my beliefs are, but I hope I get to see her again. I have to believe that I will. It gives me hope.
My fear is dying young. That I’m going to die before my time. Before I’m ready. Before I’ve taught my daughters everything that they need to know and before I’ve reached all of my goals. That scares me right now and I don’t quite know how to manage that. But it’s only 82 days since she passed away. I have to learn that lesson. Alongside many others. I have to learn to cope without her. She’s never coming back – no matter how many times I try to tell myself she’s just too busy to reply.
People keep telling me what my mum would want. That she wants me to be happy. Of course she would. She loved me and my sister more than almost anything and was an overprotective mother until her last breath, and I am eternally grateful for that. But I don’t need people to tell me. I know.
The only people that my mum loved more than us, was her 5 grandchildren. She was the proudest grandma. And it’s those 5 children that are keeping me going. Helping me to keep her memory alive and her legacy is here to see. She would want her grandchildren to be happy and lead full lives.
It’s incredibly painful on the odd occasion that I pick up my phone to call her and remember that she’s gone. That sudden realisation stings like a bitch. But it’s getting less and less. The good memories are flooding back. The pre-cancer memories. The childhood memories and I’ve got 12,107 days worth of memories to keep me going for the rest of my days. I’m grateful for her love. I’m grateful to have known her and if I ever figure out how to deal with the grief; I’ll definitely write that post. I just don’t think I ever will.