Why it still hurts and what changed

As I write this in just a few hours it will be mothers day.  For me on two counts it’s not as I’m neither a mother or have a mother.  So it will just be an ordinary day apart from the clocks going forward as I live in the UK. I lost my mother in 2012 from a short battle with cancer.   You certainly do change when you lose a mother, it’s hard to put a finger on how that change impacts you or always put into words how it  affects you, but as far as is possible or reasonable or printable I will try to share how it has changed me and why it still hurts when we are now in 2017.

From discussions I’ve had with others and through observation the impact  a parent’s death has on a person is profound.  When my mum’s father died she went to pieces, her was her soulmate, there was always a pervading sense of sadness around home I often think that was why, I don’t think my mum ever got over losing her father and it was rather poignant she died at the same age as her father did and on the same weekend.  I’ve heard say married couples when one of their parent’s dies how it impacts them and thus their spouse and sometimes ends their marriage or contributes to it.

I remember reading an article about grief of a mother in an online Oprah Winfrey magazine.  It summed up well how it impacted me.  The strange thing from the article I had read and  certainly became true for me was the new sense of freedom I felt, no more nagging and worrying from my mother, I didn’t have her looking over my shoulder every time I did something or travel somewhere.  I definitely felt guilty about being happy about having those shackles lifted off me, but that was my ultimate vulnerability that I didn’t realise at the time as unfortunately it did make me a bit reckless, but freedom can do that to you when boundaries have been removed and I learnt the hard way that I needed that stabilizing influence of my mother that I actually really still needed. It was certainly right that I had the freedom but I also needed the stability which is something I lost and I actually had not necessarily valued.

One of the incidents that struck me was when following my mum’s coffin up the church I knew at that point things had changed family order wise, I felt older and more responsible.  There was a lighter moment at my mum’s internment when I attempted to get over some snow only to discover that I’d climbed a tombstone instead to the helpless laughter of my nieces.

I had to adapt to going to various shops on my own that used to going to with my mother, my mum used to help me shop for clothes now I couldn’t rely on my mum to give an honest opinion about what suited me the best or what really looked terrible on me, now, I now have to just try and judge for myself feeling my way through and hoping that I may have made a good choice but I still don’t always feel that confident that that I’ve made the right choice as my mum’s choices were excellent.

My mum’s standards were high and my ability to wash, iron and cook to her standards are nothing compared to hers, and she would assist regularly with ironing, but now she is not around so I have to hope for the best when I iron it’s not a disaster.

The two things I miss most of all are my mum’s attention to detail and her sense of intuition which I didn’t always appreciate, she was always thoughtful, if I was staying over night she would set my breakfast out  before I came down (if I had to be up early), everything was set out she knew what I liked with little I had to do to put my breakfast together, I liked hot chocolate in the morning at the time, and that would be in the mug ready for me to just pour the water in for example with me not having to go hunting for the hot choc container.  She was even like that when she was ill, which obviously  I didn’t expect from her at all.

But the thing I miss most of all about my mum and why it hurts so, is that I could trust her, not in the sense of being a confidante as she wasn’t a friend, but it was in the sense I could trust her regarding me, she always had the right motives concerning me, I knew she would do me no harm.  If she did give me advice it was always with my best interests  at heart, no guile no deceit just pure love.  Of course I trust people but not in the way I could trust my mother.  It has made me more cautious, and yes this is what hurts the most.

At the same time I’m grateful that a support network materialised through one thing or another which has helped me come to terms with her loss, but yes it’s changed me and yes it still hurts.  I wish a happy mothers day to those reading this, but my thoughts are with those who have no mother or are not mothers themselves.  So to those who still have mothers or have children don’t take either for granted you don’t know if it’s the last shopping trip or outing you will be on or the last bunch of flowers you can buy your mother, or toys you can buy your child embrace and enjoy every moment you spend with your child.  If you can please spare a thought for those of us who can’t enjoy doing what your doing, and if any of us look sad or far away, don’t think we don’t want you to enjoy this special day just know for us it just still hurts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A life to be thankful for

Today I attended a funeral of a couple who are friends of mine who’s 43 old son died last week, leaving a wife and four children.

I was more than happy to go as the mother of the son who had died had unexpectedly attended my mother’s funeral just a few years ago, and It had meant a lot to me that she had been, and she and her husband had been such a support to me since that time.  I generally prefer funerals to weddings, not because I like people dying but because your presence alone means a great deal to those suffering around you, whereas at a wedding I’ve often felt just a casual observer.

I was rather surprised to be affected by this funeral, as I’ve attended quite a few this has been one that affected me the most apart from family members of course.  I didn’t know this couple’s son very well, but I couldn’t help being moved by first looking at the order of service and seeing the man who I will call John looking radiantly happy with his wife, that happiness cut short, and then the picture at the back of the four children left behind, also seeing John’s father walk in with his arm protectively around his wife following his sons coffin beautifully decorated with photographs, which must have been an ordeal for them followed by the large family impacted by John’s death. I couldn’t help the large amount of tears in my eyes.

At the same time there were some moments which were funny, with my kind of humour I couldn’t help noticing someone nearly trip over part of the pew that’s used to kneel on, later on navigating a song that either didn’t have the correct words printed  or the organist got the wrong music, whichever thankfully  there were quite a number of voices got round that particular mistake well.  It’s usually me who gives people laughs at funerals, at my nan’s funeral I was sharing a car with my cousin and it was thundering and lightening, I said to my cousins, well at least she went off with a bang, which made them both laugh. my eldest cousin said “only you could get away with saying that”.  At my mums internment it had been snowing heavily getting round the tombstones was rather difficult I climbed over a large mound of snow only to discover I was clambering over a tombstone which made my nieces laugh.

Towards the end of the funeral the father gave an overview of his son’s life.  I sat there thinking about the fact John was only a year younger than me he had a wife and children I hadn’t and he was more worthy of living than I was, but after hearing his euology, about his love of sport, that he travelled extensively, studied at university, travelled again, and settled down with is wife and became provider of his four children, I got the impression he loved life and lived it to the full.  I came to the conclusion that although his life was short he had achieved a great deal most importantly loving his family. Although this is a deep loss to his family and friends no one can say he hadn’t lived his life to the full, and after all isn’t that the purpose of life.