I haven’t written about grief before. It is such a huge emotion and has consumed so many hours of the past few years of my life. Sometimes I did not even know what it was but it was there. I have thought about it a lot. Felt it immensely. And in the past 12 months incredibly so.
Today marks 4 years since my beautiful Mum died. But for me it is doubly hard as it’s also 7 years today since I got married. Double whammy. My mother died on my wedding anniversary which in some way I wonder if she knew? Since he and I are no longer, today is feeling like the hardest day of the year from me…so many raw wounds reopened, so many memories come flooding back. I remember much of the fateful day 4 years ago when the doctors said there was ‘no more’ they could do and saying goodbye. Although we didn’t really say goodbye, we still thought we were going to beat it right until the end. It had been a long battle for her, and so very trying on all of us. Yet my mum never complained. Can you imagine the agony and anxiety she felt day after day? It overwhelms me to just think about it. Those long lonely nights in hospital, the beeping machines, the nurses in the ICU and the rounds and rounds of tests and needles and just everything about it all. It really defined her life for so many years. I spent something like 79 days straight visiting her in the hospital – doing what little I could to ease her suffering. Bringing in home made green smoothies, foot massage, watching TV together, chatting to doctors, and talking about life and planing the future together. I was very lucky to have had the time to spend with her and although I’m sad she didn’t get to meet my kids, I try hard to look to the positives of her passing before they were born. I certainly would not have had the time to spend with her in the hospital had the children been around.
I have been feeling a bit down lately, and I listened to a podcast that told me a cure for depression is gratitude, so today I want to be be grateful for all the wonderful things in my life! I’ve been able to experience the most profound joy and happiness with the births of my two glorious children, who really, are the epitome of my mum. Happy, cheeky, smiley, love life, love people, make the room smile whenever they walk into it and every time I look at their blue eyes, I see her. My daughter Olivia has a profound likeness of my mum, and I do think part of the soul of my mum is in her. I constantly think I ‘wish mum was here’, but then I look at Olivia and say ‘here she is’! My beautiful children, you are my grief tonic.
So grief, somedays you may be like a wave and completely overtake me, but as time goes on I realise that life can co-exist alongside you. I can swim in your ocean. These days, there is more space now to breathe, and function along-side you. You do not control me. I go on everyday with the thought in mind that ‘this too will make me stronger’ and if I could even be as strong for 5 minutes as my mum was in all those lonely years with her illness, then I will forever be grateful for that gift.