So my last blog post had an underlying gloom. Having written this one it seems there is more to come. Life feels weird. I'm wondering when I'll ever be back to my old self or if I'll even ever find that person again.
Mum is gone and I just can't seem to get my head round it. It is almost as if on my ok days I'm just telling myself that she is still there, at home, living her life out of my sight. You know, I'd see Mum once or twice a week, sometimes more. Not everyday. And some weeks when we were both busy more time would pass between meet ups. It just feels like it's been a while since I saw her at the moment.
We had my sisters birthday this month. Her big three-oh. The party has been planned for ages. Mum had big plans to be dressed up (it was a Dr Who theme). But she wasn't there. We all still made an effort, had a fun time and the party was a success. Still it was weird. Mum was meant to be there. There were a lot of people there though so perhaps I just missed her.
And then we had a birthday tea at the house where Mum lived. It's such a big gathering when my family get together. It's easy to pretend that in is there, just busy doing something in the next room. Her belongings are all still there. Her colours. Her choices. Her memories. So Mum must be there, right? How can she not be there?
And now Christmas looms.
Christmas at Mum's was an obligatory occasion. A day of family, food and festive fun. I wonder if I can delude myself into thinking Mum is just busy in the next room....?
I have drifted away from writing my gratitude lists. I'm not sure why but I do know it makes a difference. I can see it. October has been a strange month. For a time I was feeling better. The nausea and vomiting has finally passed and now I just have to deal with exhaustion and the desire to hide in my bed. I was doing well, participating in my children and husbands lives and even seeing friends. I guess I did too much too quickly. I stretched myself too far and was too tired to write my gratitude lists in the evening. I got knocked for six by a common cold which normally I would take in my stride but right now it's just too much. So I know that practicing gratitude needs to be a daily practice for me. It makes me stronger, helps me to cope with this strangeness that has settled on me since Mum hid around the next corner.
Perhaps I need a more gentle gratitude practice for now. Perhaps 15 things is too ambitious, takes too much time to do, requires more than I have right now. Maybe I'll go back to 3 things. That is how I started all those years ago after an article in Newsweek suggested it would help me feel happier at a challenging time in my life. I can find time for 3 things, right? 3 things to be grateful for.
1. My gorgeous husband is making me a smoothie for breakfast. (It was strawberry and kiwi and delicious!)
2. My beautiful children and lovely niece are playing together happily.
3. I've written a blog post.
Now that wasn't so hard, was it? And I feel much better for focusing on the good in my life, the many blessings rather than the gaping hole.