It’s been 365 days of our new reality without my mother. Never having lost anyone this close to us before, Alex and I had no idea what to expect or how we would feel. I learnt a few things during this time though and made a few changes.
It takes a village…
I have been fortunate in that I have been able to turn to my aunts and cousins as well as my friends, whenever I needed an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on. I would not have coped without them. Thank you Frankson family and friends. You have been amazing this past year. Alex and I are blessed. Let’s not forget my dad who has been a pillar of strength for us too. Thank you daddy. I have also been able to build a relationship with my baby sister that we never shared before. We have so much in common and I had no idea before now. I have really enjoyed the time we have been spending together. Btw, don’t put us in a shopping mall together…we are dangerous😂
Grief hits you when you least expect it
Everyone warned me about this one. There have been days when I will find myself with a smile on face remembering something about my mum and others when I would find myself in tears when reminded of her. Those who know me know that I generally just put one foot in front of the other everyday and keep on going. I will rant and I will rave if something drives me insane but other than that, you don’t find me in tears very often. Tears are overrated in my world. Well surprise surprise. What do you know. Tears became a regular feature of my world this year. Turns out they aren’t so bad and they are actually pretty helpful. Something else I learnt…my mascara is up to the challenge. 😉😁
That being said, Alex and I have developed our own little monthly ritual which gives us the space and the permission to wallow in our grief for as long as we need to and then we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and carry on with our lives. If we need a moment at any other time, that’s okay too. I think this ritual has really gone a long way in helping us in dealing with this new reality.
Death is not final
For a long time, my mind has battled to wrap itself around that fact that one moment my mother was living and breathing in that hospital bed and then it was only her body. Where did the essence of her go to? There have been occasions though where I have sensed her nearby so I believe that she is still with us. Just in a different form. It is comforting to know that she watches over us and knows when to make her presence felt. Beyond that, she will live on in our memories, through our actions whenever we implement something she taught us and through those whose lives she has touched in someway or another.
Clutter can kill and cause stagnation
My mum was a hoarder and this probably had a role to play in the issues she had with her lungs. As a result, I have become very conscious of how much unnecessary stuff I have in my home. All the stuff that I keep because it has sentimental value or “just in case I may need it one day”, has been thrown away, given away or sold. I have to say that I actually feel lighter. The atmosphere in my home feels lighter too. I feel like I am not only decluttering but also letting go of the past and pieces of me that I no longer need. I am making space for new things, new people and new experiences to come into my life and let me tell you, it’s pretty exciting.
Life goes on
In the first few months I often caught myself wanting to WhatsApp or call my mum about something I knew would interest her. Initially I would just feel down when I realised that I couldn’t but then I started to question some of those things that seemed important to me because they were important to her. It made me question were I place my focus and if it was really benefiting Alex or I. Suddenly the relevance and importance of certain things changed and I have been more deliberate about what I do and why. Life is short after all and there is so much I want to achieve for myself and for Alex in particular.
So yes, it’s being 365 days of this new reality and of grief but it has also been a period of reflection and of change. My mum’s book is complete. Mine and Alex’s is not. We still have many chapters to write together and on our own. I look forward to what the future holds for each of us. I have a feeling it will be greater than we could ever imagine. 😉
I wish you peace wherever you are Mummy. I hope we make you proud every day.