May of this year marks 12 years since mums passing.
She had ovarian cancer and died when she was just 50 years old.
My sister and I were 18.
It’s hard to think about what life would be like now if mum was still around. Actually, it’s pretty unbearable to think about.
However I do often find myself thinking up things that I think we might have done together.
We’d go shopping and try on ridiculous outfits then laugh at one another. We’d enjoy a spot of lunch and have a chat about our lives. I might even ask her for advice or for her opinion on something. In the summer she’d come with me on day trips with my girls and maybe mum would even babysit so that me and Nige could go out for a bit and enjoy some time together as a couple.
I often wonder what mums relationship would be like with my girls. I bet they’d love her and she’d love them back even more than anyone ever thought possible. I can see them in my mind laughing together, cuddling, drawing together etc.
Some people look at pictures to help them deal with grief, and whilst I can look back fondly at pictures of mum, it just all feels a bit surreal. Like it wasn’t me. Like it was someone else’s life or almost as though it had never happened.
It breaks my heart to say that, but at just 18 years old, the majority of my relationship with my mum was when I was a child. I was too young to know about taking her for granted. Too young to know that I should pay her more attention. Try remember the little things about her and spend more time with her.
I look at pictures of mum and it makes me feel terribly sad to think that I struggle to remember her as well as I’d like to.
Some days are harder than others. Her birthday, Mother’s Day, the anniversary of her death. Days when I over hear friends and colleagues talk about their relationships with their mums. I find myself turning my back and closing the conversation out of my mind, blocking out the sound of their voices.
People say that time is a great healer, but it’s not. It makes it harder to remember which in turn makes it’s harder to deal with because I feel so desperate at times to just remember an inkling of detail about her.
I often find myself thinking about how mum must have felt. Knowing that she was going to die. That she wouldn’t see her children grow up, get married and have children of their own. Knowing that she’d be leaving us all behind. That we’d have to grow up without her.
It feels so cruel. After everything she’d been through. The treatment she’d endured and how ill that and the cancer had made her, and now she had to face death too. Knowing that you’re going to die. She must have been terrified. It’s a small mercy that for the majority of us we’ll never know when it’s our time to go. It’ll happen quickly and we’ll know nothing of it. I hate that she had to go through that and I hate that I was just a child at the time, unable to offer her any support.
I was selfish. I didn’t think about the big picture. I should have been there for her. Why didn’t I stay home? Why didn’t I spend every waking moment with her?