Today is a good day, this weekend has been good and that is because I have had to face up to who I am and what is actually happening to me. I got myself bitten by a bug on Friday, it seemed to give me an allergic reaction of sorts, and I have had a cough and flu like symptoms and felt generally unwell since.
I went for a walk around town yesterday with my friend, I felt poorly. She wanted to check out the charity shops for her Pride costume. I suggested we go into the Martlet’s Hospice, vintage shop, it’s where you might find their special bits and as my friend pointed out, often a little pricier. I walked over to the sales counter and there on the necklace rail was one of my mum’s necklaces. It stopped me in my tracks, like seeing mum there somehow. I looked closer and found there were four of her necklaces hanging there, there was no mistaking mum’s style. I burst into tears and left the shop wiping my eyes as I left, as if it would be all okay if I got away.
I thought back and remembered taking a big bag of her necklaces down to the charity warehouse nine months ago, just after she passed away. As I handed them over I didn’t imagine I would see them again and if I did, quite what the impact would be. They weren’t the best, I kept those and have them hanging around my bedroom. One pearl necklace is wrapped around her ashes on the shelf, mum always wore a necklace, why should that change. Some others went for next to nothing on EBay, I really didn’t know what I was doing in those early days after she left.
I came home yesterday and slept on the sofa for most of the afternoon until I went to bed, I thought if I slept everything would be better, my bug, my emotions, all of me. I cursed that I would get ill on a Saturday, how typical and the sun was shining, I should be out.
Today is Sunday and it is raining hard. It’s certainly not a day to venture out far, although I went out for the ingredients to make a nut loaf for dinner. Mum used to love my nut roast and I don’t believe I have made one since she died nine months ago. I haven’t baked a cake either, I only started baking in the last couple of years of her life and I haven’t had reason since. I told mum I cooked for her with love and by eating my food she would fill up with all the love I had put inside, whatever it might be. Anyway I made that nut loaf, it’s sitting on the side for later and it looks perfect.
I have cried a buckets today, I watched ‘Long Lost Families’ where adopted children finally find their families. I have cried an awful lot today, it’s okay I need to and I think I probably need to cry more. I believe I have been in denial in some way, I just rushed ahead thinking if I kept my head full I would be okay. I wasn’t used to caring for or worrying about me, mum did that.
The weekend Mum died, my stepfather had a heart attack and they discovered cancer in his throat. I collected him from the hospital and brought him home to live with me. We attended mum’s funeral together, that was before he declined too much and needed her wheelchair. Everything was so busy, clearing mums flat, arranging the funeral and looking after Bill that I really didn’t have time to grieve properly. Then on December 28th, Bill died with my sister and I sitting next to him, trying to help. He had been happy with me, he was looking forward to the summer, but we knew all along it wouldn’t be long. His purpose disappeared after mum died, I think that the cancer just masked his broken heart. Then it was Bill’s funeral to arrange and I had to find work again. I hadn’t worked in nearly two years, caring for mum and Bill so I was in trouble financially. I put my head down and carried on with my life.
I talk to mum and Bill all the time, their pictures and memories surround me in my home, I am cluttered with them and I have never been cluttered before. There isn’t a day I don’t think about them, but I manage these feelings. There ashes sit side by side on my bedroom shelf, him with a tartan ribbon and mum with her pearls. I don’t think it morbid, it is comfortable, I am not ready to let them go yet, I will one day, I’m just not sure when. Most of the time I forget they are there, well their not really.
I have been filling my life with nothingness for the last nine months, I have been trying to carry on, while at the same time feeling ashamed of myself for doing so well. I have been filling the empty gaps so everything will be okay. My food cupboards and fridge are ridiculous, I constantly buy food and then throw it away. If I didn’t buy food for six months, I don’t think I would go hungry. I forever need new clothes and shoes and weekends away. I don’t say no often either, I’m always free to lend a hand, listen to a problem, keep someone company, no problem, of course!
I complain about being too tired to think, too tired to care, I feel more to the point. I think I have lost my passion, dropped it somewhere maybe. I work but have no interest really in what I do anymore, it is just a means to an end. I think I have lost the essence of me, who I am, I think I’m wrapped up in grief and denial.
So today is a good day, because it rained, because it slowed me down and because I cried. I know everyone grieves differently, I have been trying to grieve without grieving. I thought somehow, that if I carried on, it would just get better. I’m going to give myself more time like today, I’m going to face my feelings and give myself time. Today is a good day because I realised that my feelings won’t go away if I ignore them, they will get easier but I am denying myself if I don’t acknowledge the hurt I feel now. If I were to carry on like that I think I would be doing myself an awful disservice.