A Stitch in Time

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.

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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.

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7 thoughts on “A Stitch in Time

  1. Wow, can’t believe how much time has passed. I can’t relate with losing a parent, but I’ve lost a lot of relatives and sometimes it is hard to move on.

    Hope I’m not overstepping the boundaries but have you considered talking to someone about your grief? If you need to talk, you know where to find me.

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  2. It’s so hard.  I had a sweet, loving mother too.  My mom died on the 23rd also, on a Thursday in August.  I was 30 years old, and it was some time ago, but I remember the grief.  It really does feel like your heart is breaking.  It took my mom 10 days to die after a massive heart attack, and I had to go back to work after 9 days at her bedside.  My brother and sister were with her when she died, they called me at work and I got on the subway to go home.  I remember looking around me at the people who were just going about their business like it was a normal day.  They didn’t know that the whole world had changed.  Everything was different and it was so surreal.  My mom was gone, and I was not going to see her again, and how could that be?  It took a long time to get over the stabs of pain, but time does heal.  I still think about her often, she loved politics and she would have been so amused by Donald Trump and the other characters in US politics these days.  Anyway, I give you my sincere sympathy.  It’s not fair that our wonderful mothers had to die so young.

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  3. The little waves get smaller and further apart eventually, although they never go away completely.
    I couldn’t think of those last days of my father being around for a long time – too painful. Now those painful days are more fuzzy and the pre-illness days are at the front of my memory again. It’s been 10 years since Dad died so it’s still very new for you. Hugs xxx

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  4. “I know I did my best, but it just wasn’t enough. She deserved better.”

    Tully – you gave your Mum the greatest gift of all by being there, by her side, helping & caring & loving her right up til the very end. You did more than enough. She knows it. It’s time you acknowledged the enormity of what you did do for her. Seeing the person you love the most in the world in excruciating pain is hardcore. Please please please start to see what an amazing job you did. I hope that in time the small waves become more bearable & hopefully at some point, comforting like the ocean can be. Biggest Hugs xoxoxo

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  5. I am quite sure you did everything you could for your Mum chick! I have no words to help really, except to say grief is a long process, and eventually (like after 10 years or so), you will be over the worst of it.

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