To those of you that don’t know me, thanks for being here ?.
I lost my beloved mum in 2017 to cancer after a very short fight. By the time they discovered she had cancer it was far too
advanced & only palliative treatment was available as opposed to life saving treatment.
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To say we were all shocked is an understatement but I think I knew deep down that there was something very wrong for such a healthy & fit woman to be suffering so much pain.
We were initially given a prognosis of 6-12 months depending on whether palliative treatment was sought but after treatment began, the doctors realised just how aggressive the cancer was and her life expectancy was lowered to 3 weeks.
Bloody hell, it was enough of a kick in the guts to receive the initial diagnosis & prognosis but to then be told we would only have 3 short weeks with her was beyond heart breaking. I can’t even put words to it.
We must have all been in shock and when I say we, I refer to my dad, my brother & our respective families. My brother has a wife and 2 beautiful daughters and I’m married & mum to two sets of twins, boy/girl who were 7 and two girls who were two.
My mum was one of five and her parents passed many years ago but she shared close relationships with her siblings, especially her sister.
It was unspoken that during these very short 3 weeks we were going to put aside all of our sadness and heartbreak and just
soak in as much of this beautiful woman as we could and spend what little time we had left just enjoying being together and making and sharing memories.
And indeed we did, I was so lucky to be able to have a couple of sleepovers at the hospital with my mum. We shared such a close relationship, we weren’t just mother and daughter but best friends too.
I’ll cherish these moments for the rest of my life and we spoke of so many things, she told me I could ask her anything, we spoke of many special times we had spent together and I asked her about her final wishes. Nothing was off limits.
As well as visiting daily, we also had family lunch on a Wednesday where my nephew, aunties and uncles would come to the hospital and I would bring the younger girls in and we would all spend the afternoon together.
I’m so pleased to have photos of my daughters falling asleep in my mum’s lap and just the look of pure joy on her face to
share such special time with them. My older children too also got to spend special time with her. They were all very close.
Inevitably the time came and I was blessed to spend her last 48 hours with her (thanks to the help of my awesome school
community who helped Matthew and I with our kids. I will never be able to repay these people, what they did for us was priceless) and I was by my mum’s side when she took her last breath.
I have written about my mum’s passing before and I am obviously still very affected by it and I think I always will be.
I’ve been through the stages of grieving from shock, bargaining (during her illness), numbness, acute pain, I didn’t really hit the anger stage except for acknowledging what an absolute mother fucker life can be to people, bargaining, deep dark depression and recently I thought I had reached acceptance.
Not to say that I’m not still sad, but I’m not sobbing daily in the shower so the kids don’t see me and I’m starting to adjust
to life without my mum and it is becoming my new normal that I am very slowly getting my head around and I’m getting on with life.
I can share funny stories about her and laugh and I can speak about her without feeling sad.
I have 4 young kids who are quite dependant on me so a lot of my mental energy has gone on caring for them and just making it through each day.
I’ve also learned about a strength and resilience I never knew I had and believe me these are two words that have never usually been associated with me.
Usually at the first sign of me becoming overwhelmed I would run to my mum for comfort, assurance and practical help and
she never disappointed but this is no longer an option.
Isn’t it funny how the smallest things can trigger your grief. My older daughter said to me in passing last week that she’s starting to forget what nanny looks like.
I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. She obviously didn’t mean any harm and had no idea of what affect her words had on me but nonetheless it was enough to get my overactive mind racing.
It’s inevitable that my little girls won’t remember my mum and that kills me. They still recognise her in photos but they
will not remember any of the time spent with her or how she loved them with her heart and soul.
My older two were 7 when she died and had spent so much time with her in their short life that I knew that they would have a lot of memories but also knew these would fade over time.
To hear my daughter say that she was starting to forget what she looks like, retriggered my grief and I’m back to feeling like she has just died yesterday again.
I have been unable to stop myself from crying at any given opportunity when the kids cannot see me, in the shower, extended trips to the toilet, walks to the letterbox and whenever opportunity arises.
Sadly I’m now at the stage where I am crying more often that not and feel such a deep seeded sadness that I don’t know how I am going to go on and live the rest of my life without my mum.
The logical part of me knows that I can and I will but the emotional side of me just cannot pull myself out of this funk.
I’m ashamed to say that the majority of my morning has been spent lying on my couch sobbing in between watching Shawn Mendes clips on YouTube (I love Shawn Mendes!!).
My emotional symptoms are manifesting into physical ailments and I have a pounding headache, upset stomach, have the shakes and am so dehydrated.
I know that I have to sit with the pain and experience it and not try to bury my feelings but my question to those who have
very unfortunately suffered such heart breaking grief, is my life going to be a constant cycle of grief?.
I know that time is a healer but I don’t want time to keep passing because that means it’s been longer since I have seen my mum and I feel more disconnected from her and what’s even sadder is that I know my children do too.
Will this ever get better?, will I ever feel better??. I know there will always be triggers, anniversaries, birthdays etc but will it always be like this?.
I’m trying to put a positive spin on it and think of my grief as my last act of love but I know without a doubt that my mum
wouldn’t want me being so upset.
She would want me to push on, live life to the fullest and be the best version of myself not only for myself but for my family too.
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