Here’s a funny one… sometimes I think about how my Mum died and get an urge to tell her. “Guess what happened to you… can you believe it?” It happens more often than you would think and I know it sounds odd but when you tell a person everything it is understandable you would want to tell them something shocking like that.
On the 30th of September 2017 our Mum died. At around 9.20 after we’d all watched strictly at her bedside, she took her last breath. We’d been with her all day and my Dad and I were preparing to stay the night. There was no need. I was laid with my head next to hers and then I sat up and without even having to look at her I felt her go. I can’t explain it and the two science degrees I have (apologies for the shameless brag) should have put paid to any notion of ‘feeling her go’ but I did. Seriously, the only way I can describe it was like a physical pull on my whole body.
As we drove home in convoy, my sister and Freddie in one car and myself, Dad and Brad all in our separate cars there were fireworks going off near to Castle Hill Hospital. How devastatingly mistimed. Our lives had changed forever.
I know it may seem strange for some this opening up and sharing of our experience but I thinks it’s part of the process. My Dad came round yesterday to ask me to proof read his tribute for the Goole times. I was furious at first, “why would you put something in there?” I asked. Then I realised that this was his version of a ‘status’. It’s like we have a need to tell other people because we can’t tell the person we actually want to tell! And also in some way to remind people of what we are going through because they seem to have forgotten or to remind people that even though we are going about our lives we are still heartbroken.
According to the Kübler-Ross model of grief the five stages of grief are not linear, you may experience one, two or all five in any order. Everyone’s experience is different and impacted by the nature of the persons death and your relationship to them. I feel like I have bounced back and forth between all in the last two years and the writing down of my experience firmly places me today in the bargaining stage.
I have changed as a person inextricably in these two years. I now view death very practically. I have my affairs in order and a handy list for my family to make the process easier for them when my time comes. I’m also anxious everyday of how life as we know it could change but it hasn’t sent me off with a back pack and my life savings in my pocket. I do however take more chances and take that extra time to enjoy a moment. I take the time to savour a lovely exchange with someone or a hug or a kiss much much more. I also take more photos, something which probably drives people mad. If I ask to take your photo though, please just indulge me, it doesn’t mean I’m not living in the moment it means I want to be able to look back on that moment as I know what it’s like when you can’t.
It certainly doesn’t feel like two years has passed since that day, I feel it like it was yesterday. So much has changed for us all as a family, so much I would love to tell her or even better, for her to have seen for herself.
I’m so sad she won’t get to watch Eliza, Blake and Angelica grow up. I’m so sad she hasn’t been able to meet James and his family who she would have loved getting to know. I’m sad she hasn’t met Ross, Bradley’s new partner or seen how Carly and Freddie have finished the house she made sure they would have. I’m sad that my Dad didn’t get to go first and be spared this pain, she was the stronger one. LI’m also sad for myself that whatever choices I make in the future she won’t be able to see them, congratulate or console me on them.
As we approach the two year anniversary of her death I mostly just want to say to her
I love you and miss you everyday. You were my first love and you’re never more than a minute out of my thoughts
And on that sombre note I will end with a picture. One of my favourites of her.