Saturday, May 2, 2015

A Different Kind of Mother's Day

As Mother's Day 2015 looms, I am pondering my first Mother's Day without my Mum.

I have a new appreciation for what it is my girlfriends who have already lost their mothers have experienced.

It was only recently that Mum passed away - the week before Easter - so 5 weeks now.  She had been sick for the two months prior: a month of testing, followed by a month of knowing she'd be leaving us soon.

Everyone has their time to go and at 78, I would say that Mum had a pretty good innings.  She lived a life that ticked all of her boxes - wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and SO much more, but those first 4 are what she prided herself on the most.

But even at 78, as her child, it still feels too soon. 

Mum and I didn't have a close mother-daughter relationship.  It was just the way it was.  She was still my Mum though and it leaves a profound gap with her no longer being here.

It's true.  Reality does bite.  For the most part, I feel I am fine and at peace with Mum now in Heaven.  I still have moments though - and I never know when they're coming! - that the realness of Mum no longer being here hits me like a brick to the face.

In my haste of grabbing a couple of quick items at the supermarket recently, I was confronted when turning the corner of the aisle to almost take out the Mother's Day card display!  I remember thinking in what would have been about 2 nanoseconds,

"Oh yeah, must remember that",

"Oh wait, I don't need to this year" (which was VERY confronting and I could feel the tears welling so then thought...)

"Stuff it, she is still my Mum no matter where she is, I'm buying a card" and just like that, the first card I actually looked at was written in the most appropriate way for me to 'give' to my recently deceased mother.  Uncanny how things work.

Navigating the concept of death and Heaven with 4 and 5 year olds has also been an important part of my grieving process.  To explain in a format that little minds will understand where Grandma has gone, why she had to go and how we will recognise her ongoing presence with us has shown me just how beautiful and special death can be.  It slows you down and it makes you realise that a 4 and 5 year old are at times capable of teaching more than they are taught.  Their acceptance and their faith is unmatched.

Though the year of 'firsts' following a loved ones death always brings its challenges, I must admit, it will be my family and my faith that will continue to make this coming Mother's Day a truly special one.  Simply because Mum is no longer on earth does not mean she is no longer with us.  No matter where Mum is, she is still our Mum.  Our family will joke that she may have less input on the day, but with our faith, I actually can't be so sure!

Happy Mother's Day Mum.
I took this photo the day you passed away
 - the only rose blooming in your front garden xxx

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