Last Friday it was 1 year and 7 months since my mum passed away. Every month when the 23rd day comes around I am always reminded of my mum and her passing. Of course I think about it every day, but on the 23rd I can’t help but be more reflective.
It makes me think about the things I don’t want to remember. About the terrible pain and suffering she endured in those last weeks. I think of all the things I wish I had done better to keep her pain at bay and comfort her. I know I did my best, but it just wasn’t enough. She deserved better.
Once I get lost in these bouts of grief I find it hard to climb out. Weeks can wash over me where I feel like I am just existing, but not able to feel any joy or hope for future happiness. I go to work and engage with people, I see friends for drinks or meals, I do regular life things and then I go home and just crash. I feel so exhausted from trying to be normal that I don’t have much more to give when I am back in my own little sanctuary.
It’s so much easier when I don’t let myself give into the grief. I can go weeks without crying or feeling emotional at all. I will still think about my mum all the time, but I feel almost removed from it and unable to really feel anything. But it doesn’t go away, because then it hits again out of the blue, like it did over the weekend.
Yesterday I had to go to Spotlight (fabric shop) to buy sewing materials to fix a button on some pants. I didn’t have any of this stuff at home because my mum always fixed hems, buttons and any other sewing I needed done. She loved being able to help me with tedious chores like sewing that I hated. Since she passed, I have been taking clothes to the dry cleaner for repair, but it was time to face facts that I needed the basics for home. I hate having to accept that I need to move forward without my mum. I want to dig my toes in and just scream at the world to stop moving forward so that everything can stay the same as it was when my mum was here.
There is one small thing I do to hold my mum with me every day. A small button came off one of my tops at the same time my mum first got sick. I put it in my wallet and kept meaning to ask mum to sew it back on for me, but she kept getting sicker and sicker and so I didn’t want to ask. That little button in my wallet was a constant reminder of her illness and then her eventual passing. It still sits in the change section of my wallet and I see it almost every day and think of my mum. It makes me sad, but I like having that little reminder with me always.
A passage in a book I read recently that really resonated:
Hush, Little Bird by Nicole Trope
Those little bouts of sadness are the hardest to handle. Strange though it may seem, great waves of grief are easier, because you know that all you can do is sit tight and allow them to pass over you. They are so overwhelming that you can do nothing except give into them. You may be tumbled about a bit, but eventually you will be able to stand up and breathe again. The little waves that just lap at your feet come with no warning and somehow manage to be more devastating. They tend to arrive right in the middle of an ordinary moment, rushing in when they’re least expected.