Back in March, my world was turned upside down. One day she was here, the next she was not. My mum passed away suddenly, leaving me parentless at 32. Today I am writing about life 6 months later.
6 Months Later
It was 3 weeks from her passing away until her funeral. Those were the longest, hardest 3 weeks of my life so far. I felt stuck in limbo. I felt lost. It was like someone had pulled the rug from underneath me. At least once a day, I’d go to ring my Mum as I had done every day since I moved out 8 years previously. Every time I felt sad, I’d go to phone her. I felt empty.
Nowhere To Turn
I lost my Dad suddenly when I was 23. It was pretty similar in some ways. I kissed him goodbye when he went off fishing, he was dead that evening – I wrote about it here. My Mum had been poorly for a while, we suspected she may have cancer. She was having tests. Then one day her phone was turned off so we panicked. (My siblings and I). She was taken to hospital for tests that evening, but nobody suggested she was seriously ill. My son and I were sat by her side when she stopped breathing the next day. Sam was 4 years old at the time. He has autism and can’t speak. Sam saw her slip away, saw the fear in my eyes, saw me cry. He held me close and soaked in all of the fear and pain which was surely seeping out of me.
They brought my Mum back briefly & she recognised me. She held my hand, told me she loved us all. told me she was sorry, told me to tell everyone she was sorry. Then she was gone again. Gone for good this time. My sister and I held her hands as she slipped away. In much the same way as I had held my Dad’s hand when he left us.
6 months later
It’s been 6 months now. Over half a year has passed. We still talk about my mum a lot – the kids still remember her. Syd still plays the video on her iPad of Granny talking to her. I still freak out when I hear her voice from the other room. They look at photos of Granny all the time. This one is my favourite. Christmas Day 2014.
I treasure the gifts my mum bought the kids. Poor Syd knows that she needs to look after her watch… Because it’s the last thing Granny bought it for her, and it’s special.
Syd knows Granny is dead. I don’t know where she picked up that term – I’ve always said she’s in heaven. The bluntness with which Syd says it makes me cringe, but she doesn’t understand. I feel guilty that my kids will grow up without their maternal grandparents. Hubby’s parents live 100+ miles away, so we don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like.
I’m sad, angry and hurt that my Mum didn’t get help sooner. I am still shocked, but most of all, I am grateful. I’m grateful I haven’t had to face this alone. My family and friends (on and offline) have been amazing.
I’m coping by eating – I did the same when my Dad died. I know I’m doing it, but I can’t stop. “Comfort eating” I guess? I suppose eating is better than boozing or punching stuff though…? Do I care that my jeans are getting tight? NO. I don’t care how I look or that I’m not eating the right things. Cake and chocolate make me feel ok for a while. I think about myself and my own enjoyment while I eat. Do Heroin addicts feel the same way, I wonder? For a few minutes, I am so focussed on the cake that I forget the pain. I forget the stress and the guilt, I focus on the cake.
So this is where I am. I put one foot in front of the other, get through one day at a time. I’m constantly tired. I am fairly sure this is down to other things, but it definitely doesn’t help the grieving process. I am depressed but I am moving forwards. I’m trying to focus on new things, trying to look to the future rather than dwelling on the past. I am trying to move on.
I miss my parents massively, but focusing on the void helps nobody. I know my parents would want all of their children to move on. To enjoy life and not dwell on the past. That’s what I am focusing on now. 6 months later means focusing on my children, my husband and our future together.