We never really ‘lose’ someone, they are always with us in some form. Today marks the third anniversary of what, quite frankly, was the worse day of my life.
Being forced to say goodbye to the most important and the most incredible person, my mother. I’m not going to go into too much detail, but I will let you all know this, my mum was as fit, healthy and as outwardly bubbly as ever the day she tried to take her own life. I even had a chat with her in our kitchen the morning she decided to do it. Losing your mum in any way is clearly, indescribably, horrendous. Losing her the way we did brought with it even more baggage; should we have known? Could we have done anything to stop her? Could we have loved her more?
The answer to all these questions is no but it’s taken me a long time to truly come to that conclusion. The taboo surrounding suicide and mental health needs to be broken. As a society we seem to be getting there albeit awkwardly, painfully and most problematically… slowly. There have been many high-profile campaigns involving celebrities and royals but this hasn’t yet managed to stop survivors of bereavement
Before I go on, I want to be clear, I’m not doing this for sympathy or writing this lightly. Grief is sadly a reality we will all have to deal with at some stage in our lives. I am a big believer that talking about it helps you as a person, but also others around you.
I remember every detail as if it were yesterday or even 5 minutes ago, every tiny detail, from the smell of the room, to the petals on the flowers in the vase on the bedside table. My sister and I were lying in the make shift beds we’d slept on for 3 weeks next to mummy, in her hospice room, watching a movie. Hearing mummy’s laboured and now crack
I cried a lot, and at random times.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve seen a cute advert and started sobbing hysterically. I found myself filling up at the most random things from the other mum’s cheering for their children while playing football in the park, or even just a mum giving their child a hug after they’d fallen over. Literally anything. Don’t even get me started on sad films! Or wedding programs, ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ was banned.
I got closer to my family.
My family have had a huge part to play in my personal healing . If there is one tiny bead of light to come out of this, it’s that as a family we all leant on each other. We managed to grow love out of the pain and even in the darkest moments, and there were many, they were always there for me. One evening I couldn’t sleep and all I wanted was one of my mum’s magic hugs, when my sister, hearing me crying, sneaked into my bed and we both fell asleep. That feeling of knowing no matter what someone is there for you is the light in the dark. But like I’ve said, it’s ok not to be ok.
I joined a club with supportive people – one I never wanted to be in.
No one ever wants to join the “I lost a parent” club. Fortunately, when I I found out that these are the people you needed in your life. They were the only people who truly understood how I was feeling. The only people who I felt that I could to, with no judgement or awkwardness and they would fully understand where I was going from.
The humour is black.
As awful as it may sound, there have been moments where I’ve had to choose to laugh and not cry. The first Mother’s Day after her passing my sister and I decided to go for afternoon tea together, she was a new mother and it felt like it was important to do something together. She called ahead and explained the situation to the fancy afternoon venue in Mayfair and was told that the wait staff would be made aware and would of course be sensitive. This somewhat fell apart when one waiter came over with an urn. I’m not kidding, an actual urn, of tea and tried to explain to us the different options we had to fill it. Another waiter, realising what was happening stood there and assumed an expression suitable to that of finding your boyfriend in bed with your boss. He came over to try and save the situation and the first waiter, still unaware, started yelling that it was ‘definitely called an urn’. We laughed so hard we cried (and got a free afternoon tea!).
I got jealous.
I will be the first to admit that I got (and still get) very jealous of everyone else who still has their mum, especially when they take theirs for granted. The people who decide to rant to me about how much their mum is pissing them off, or how unfair they are being only to stop and look horrified when they remember. From this point forward, you all shall never complain about your parent in front of me again. Thanks very much. You have no idea how lucky you are and what I would give to be in your shoes. Cherish them. Love them. Be thankful you have one more day with them.
I still have the odd wobble, and every now and then something happens, or I see something where I think, gosh I must call mum she’d love that. The pain will never fully go away and I would be lying to you all if I said you get over it but I can promise you it does get easier.
I hope I have made you proud.