Woe is me I haven’t got a mother hard to believe how were you birthed? Where did you come from? Well I technically did have a mother but if you’ve been reading this longer then a year and a half she passed away from an asthma attack, I hate using the word passed away, much prefer to use the word died but most people find that too harsh so I don’t, I have found myself in an odd sort of behaviour curbing my emotions when it comes to this, it’s a toughie I play down the anguish I feel to make the recipient of the news capable of fathoming the loss of a mother, a youngish mother, where often the first response when looking at me is “bloody hell she must of been young” 53 and 15 days to be precise. But really they don’t care, the consensus of vibes I get from people after we’ve spoken is thank fuck they’re mother is still kicking about and hell no they couldn’t cope if it was them. A wonderful vibe to feel when yours isn’t about anymore. Don’t get me wrong it’s pleasing to know others can still turn to their mother for advice, hugs and cakes because most people’s mothers are brilliant but spare a thought for those that have brought themselves up, haven’t seen their mothers or don’t have one.
It was a tough day for me Mother’s Day, it’s been one of those days like her anniversary, birthday and Christmas where you know people may pity you or feel sorry for you, it makes a sort of focal point for people to worry about you. Everyday is way harder for me then these beacons of heartbreak. It’s one of the thing I hate, being known as the girl with the dead mum. It’s true I am but id like to be known as the girl who’s mum was brilliant. But I guess for now it will do, and in time I’m sure that will disappear, when other peoples parent’s drop off the perch (I joke I don’t want that to happen to anyone) but hopefully one day i’ll feel normal and will be able to fit in with my peers and not feel a pang of jealousy when they’re mother has taken them out for the day, then again I never want anyone to loose their mum, can’t mothers just be eternal, you’ve pushed a baby out you deserve to live forever, can’t we freeze them and defrost them at times of need?
While writing a few chapters of my book (yep I’ve managed to wangle my way into convincing someone I have something important to say) on my mother, the idea popped into my head that often we struggle to know how to react to people coping with grief, it’s often in our society something that’s shunned or something people freak out over. Don’t get me wrong when other mates have been dealing with a grandparent or cat passing I’ve sent them well wishes and condolences I’ve shed a tear but deep down I was grateful I wasn’t going through the hurt. I think it’s a human reaction. My poor boyfriend has done it occasionally when he’s said something about mothers and then realised I don’t have one and you can see the sheer panic flash across his face, and I have to laugh as much as it hurts it’s funny, having a sense of humour at times is a god send, Whilst in my book I talk about coping with loss and all that guff. But what if it’s not you coping directly with it?
Here is where I should list ways for others to cope coping with people coping with loss, enough with the coping am I expert enough yet? I should probably use the word how to Live instead of coping but for the first few months, years that’s often what it feels like.
Top tips- with a slight opinion thrown in.
– Don’t tell someone you have no idea how they feel, you couldn’t imagine what they’re going through, I hate this figure of speech, Imagine losing something so precious to you, imagine you’re mother walking out one day and never coming back, imagine never seeing them again, Imagine never saying goodbye, how you felt or being able to share your life with them anymore? that probably covers it, that upset you feel right now…see you can imagine how it feels
– Try not to leave them out, if you’re doing something good with your mum don’t hide it from your friend (my mates did this and pushed me away) it emphasised to me that I became the elephant in the room and slowly I stopped sharing things with friends because they didn’t know how to react to me.
– Talk to them, if you feel you’re worried to say the wrong thing bloody talk about it, better out then in.
– Realise at times they will talk about awkward things, cry and the sight of something you deem silly and insignificant, they will be sad, maybe angry, lock themselves away and that’s ok, its nothing personal.
– The person who has lost someone may at times deem your drama as insignificant following on from loosing someone, still share it all talk through these feelings.
– sorry for your loss and thinking of you are standard responses if you don’t know what to say these are often the go to responses, try something different, rather then thinking of them, see them, go out for a coffee and once again being present in someone’s life does wonders, you never know when it will be your turn to rely on someone.
I should probably list more significant things, but I think that covers my feelings and concerns for others.
I received a press invite the other week to a mother / daughters event, I got excited as I wanted to work with this brand for a while (stationery hell yes!) but this email was all gushy and a day to share with your mother kinda thing bring her along and enjoy a day together, instant punch in the gut, I was angry at the this PR person for supposedly loving my blog but having zero idea that my mother wasn’t here anymore, have you read my blog? I was angered and replied “dear such and such, unfortunately I won’t be able to attend your event as my mother recently passed away but thank you and I hope it’s a super successful day for everyone involved “
Not too bitter and twisted, deep down I wanted to be like “fuck you for reminding me everyone else has a mother they can treat and eat cake with how dare you not know she’s dead” and that’s the thing, we can’t walk around forever being angry at the world for slighting us, that pr lady never responded to me even with a polite “oh shit sorry” and why should she? I’m just a bum on a seat or an extra Instagram post and I guess that’s ok for somethings.
I never really liked Mother’s Day anyway, I told my mother everyday how brilliant she was Christ she birthed 5 children and spent every waking hour since 1987 making sure we didn’t electrocute, break or maim ourselves. As I get to the age now where my mother herself had 5 children (29 If you must know) I sit back and realise how much she sacrificed to make sure we were loved and cared for, growing up in a working class family in the early 90’s without a pot to piss in couldn’t of been easy we lived solely off what my father could come by and I look at my life now, I draw for a living I make a fairly good wage, I have a wonderful boyfriend, brilliant friends and I have a disposable income, ok so if I had 5 kids I probably wouldn’t have any of the above (my bf wouldn’t be wonderful as he’d have to work every hour God would send and we wouldn’t see each other lol) and since my mothers death and I can objectively stand back and observe the world in which she left, what she had sacrificed and what she made. Her kids all have fairly decent jobs, 2 lecturers, 1 paramedic, 1 master case maker /saddler and 1 illustrator (I’m probably not top of the sibling list of successes ha!) but look at that, 3 children with degrees, all trained up to college level, throw therapist, trained hairdresser, trained fine artist, mother, fiancée, boyfriend, girlfriend in there and look at us 5 and realise that no matter how hard it feels to loose someone the legacy we leave behind matters more then the flowers we brought them, the cake, the spa days. Treating you’re mother is a wondrous thing but will it truly ever be enough for what they have done and do for us? Probably not and its not till the cycle repeats itself or we loose them do we truly realise how lucky we are, some people are better off without their mother in their lives ( well not better off but you know what I mean) and that’s ok aslong as their ok.
The world moves so quickly now days, everything available for viewing on social media, everyone shares their good deeds, they’re thoughts, feeling and responses. Take the time today to think about how brilliant it is we are here, it’s Monday which is often shit (I lost my mum on a Monday 78 weeks 4 hours and 57 mins and 36 seconds to be precise) but it’s brilliant that we are here simple as that, Mother’s Day or not being here is brilliant. We have the force to change, create and inspire and how dare a made up day make me feel even more shit about something then I should feel, It is always vital to remember that everyone has good and bad days, everyone will suffer a loss that’s sadly what happens, but here’s to grief, here’s to feeling lonely and not really knowing how to cope with it and others around us not knowing how to cope like anything in this life the only way around is through.