Losing a loved one at any time is hard for a child to understand and process, my boys Grandma (my mum) died suddenly and unexpectedly on Christmas Day when they were 4 and 5. My children are the most important people in my life and helping them deal with the death of a loved one was my number one priority.
Even as I grew up and had a family of my own, my mum always encouraged me to cook and I realised that she had given me a firm foundation in the kitchen and love of seasonal produce. I know you are only a dish, but I cried a little last night for a woman that I miss so much and then when I saw you in the bin this morning I cried a little more for the time in my life you represent.
Yes, I know my mum would be saying “it is just a dish Jen” and indeed it is, but also a thousand memories were baking inside it and it will always hold a place in my heart.
As I walked in to the wool shop, I caught a small hint of a smell that automatically made my heart lurch and turn sharply for the door.
It was a heady scent of days long past and the sun streaming in through my mothers bedroom window. Little motes fluttering in the sunshine from the talcum powder.
I am sat on the bed, watching attentively as she pampered and preened. Apply makeup, gre
Earlier in the week I attended the funeral of a woman who inspired and nurtured me as a teen. She died on Christmas Eve, just like my mum last year and it was a pretty surreal experience. She had been ill for a short while, even so her death came as a complete shock to me, some people you think are just invincible.
I do not think that there are enough words in this world to describe the inspirational woman, who has left us all. There was not even standing room at the funeral and when the whole of the congregation stood to sing Don Williams, You’re my best friend I could almost feel her stood smiling on insisting that we were not flat and to sign from our tummy. I managed to hold it together right until the end when Her husband Johnnie stood as they played Marty Robbins, My Woman, my Woman my Wife, everyone then clapped as they closed the curtains at the crematorium.
Sometimes life is hard, sometimes I struggle to just see clearly through the fog that is the shroud of my day to day activities. Sometimes when you add in to it pain, recovery and recouperation it is hard to see much past the end of my arm, let alone to the coming weeks and months.
I underwent pretty major surgery on Friday 1 July and anticipated that I would be fine and well and back out of the hospital over the weekend. Oh how wrong was I. I finally was realised the following Friday at 9.30pm after much discussions and some tears on my part as I was missing my family. My surgery was much more complex than originally anticipated and has meant that I am unable to eat solid food for approximately another four weeks and am very much in pain, however, those of you with young children will understand when I say that they have no understanding of concept gentle.
I have been trying to keep myself busy these last few weeks. Trying to avoid the feeling that has been building in my chest, the rising emptiness that has permeated my whole being. I dare not stop, I dare not let this feeling invade for the tears will start to fall and I fear that they may never stop.
Perspective, yes that is what I have needed. It is hard to admit that I am still grieving, that I am scared and that I am so frightened at the moment. That living my life can be so bloody hard. That sometimes the fear paralyses me, that I want to curl up in a little ball and not to go on.
It isn’t uncommon these days for people to move in and out of houses and to buy, sell, relocate and leave home. So it is pretty unusual that we have a family home.
So let me tell you the wonderful story behind 132.
When my Dad was a young lad he was an apprentice at British Shipbuilders and was sent on secondment to Shell, at their Milford Haven site in Wales. Back then my Grandad and Grandma lived in a council house and my dad would travel on his motorbike to Wales every Monday Morning and come back one weekend a month, but he always sent his wages home to his Mum for her to put in his account.
One month he returned home, only to find out that he didn’t live there anymore! Yes it seems that my Grandad and Grandma had moved whilst he was away and he hadn’t received their letter in time. So the people who had moved in to the council house gave him the address of the new house that his parents were living in.
he shops are filling up with card for Mothers Day and each time I see or hear it mentioned it brings a lump to my throat. For the first time in my entire life, I do not have a mother to celebrate on Mothers Day and that makes me unbelievably sad. I want the world to stop and take notice of me. I didn’t want to my my mother in law a card, although today I did and to give MadDad his due, he said thank you and then made me cry by saying he understood just how hard that was for me to do.
One of the hardest things for me about clearing out mums house if that I have had the urge to keep everything. Even the things that I used to think were tat and rubbish. My heart associates all these things with my mum. Finally we are getting to the end of the long journey of clearing the house of over 35 years of detritus and my niece will be moving in to continue the tradition of the house being a family home. She will be keeping a lot of the furniture and other stuff, so we haven’t had to deal with clearing everything, but it has been an experience I am […]
Sometimes, I bite off more than I can chew. Sometimes, I have no option. But I am laughing through my tears. Today has been a challenge again. A day spent with my sister in law working on clearing out the house again. Mini’s glasses to pick up for the opticians and then parents evenings to go to. MadDad is sore and possibly overdoing this as his wound is weeping and I am tired to the core. But then we hear a voice with a guitar and we both sit and listen. Mini sings a song and I sit with tears in my eyes. For his song is about his grandma who […]
I watch him as he sleeps, The gentle rise and fall of his chest, The familiar sound as he breaths, The ever present warmth of his skin against mine. I close my eyes and try hard to sleep, Focus on the out breath, Try to feel peace at my core, But in its place only panic. What if something goes wrong, What will I do, How will I cope, Alone. I wrote this on Thursday morning at about 3,30 am, whilst these irrational fears ate me apart with worry as MadDad had a small operation yesterday. Thankfully he is home and recovering, although the operation was twice as large […]
Home, the house I grew up in. The house that belonged to my paternal grandparents before it was my mum and dads. Home, still today it is home and it will long be in the future. No longer my home, but my brothers families home. There is something very comforting in knowing that our family will remain in the house that has brought us so much joy, but also so many tears these last months. Today I walked back in to our home, left as it was in January, when my sister in law and I took down the Christmas decorations. I walked past mums coat in the lobby and her […]
I don’t know what to say and it is not often that I am stuck for words. I want to say a big thank you for all my friends in the big wide world for all the support, love and kind messages over the last few weeks. However, thank you just doesn’t seem enough. Some of you I have met in person, some of you I have never met in real life at all, but you have all played a very big part in keeping me sane recently. I want to say the biggest thank you to my sister in law, who I am still getting to know and the parts […]
Today is the day that we all say our final goodbyes to Mum. Her funeral is at 1pm and then she will be buried and we will be having a party to celebrate her life. I will be saying a eulogy in the church, I did for Dad too. I have decided to talk about mum as a Grandma. To our Grandma Whist talking to the boys and Tori about Grandma, I decided to write down the things that made mum such a special Grandma to three wonderful children. She lets us play what we want with her. We get to bake and make traffic light jellies. She is really […]
You carry on as though nothing is wrong in your world, you drop the children to school and you all chat banally about what presents you got for Christmas and what you bought in the January Sales, don’t you know I am dying inside. The children run around the playground delighted to see each other again after the Christmas break and I want to curl up and hide, don’t you know I am hurting inside. The cars jostle for parking spaces on the high street and the delivery lorries double park, more fodder for the consumers. Don’t they know the last thing I want is any more stuff, I am small […]
I would love to think that my mothers life was so precious that time stood still or even blurred in to the slow motion that you get in films, where every second lasted more than a minute. I would like to say that we are mourning her in the old fashioned way, but with two boys aged four and five and Christmas things have had to carry on with some semblance or normality. Not that I haven’t grieved, I have and still am and will be for a long time yet. I am sad in front of the boys and they both know it is OK to be sad too and […]
Mum with Maxi (16 March 2005) Margaret Elizabeth 26 September 1943 to 24/25 December 2010 Tragically my brother found my mum dead on Christmas morning. It appears she died not long after talking to me on Christmas Eve at 9.45pm. She was making a cup of tea in the kitchen to take to bed with her. Dearest Mum I wish I could gather my thoughts together enough to provide the words I need to say how much I am missing you already. My heart is breaking at the thought of never speaking to you again, but I am so glad our last words were I love you and our last conversation […]