We scattered my Mum's ashes this week. I've never touched the ashes of a human before. It was weird. Afterwards I was talking to my Mum's husband, telling him how odd it was and he said "didn't it feel good though, to be holding your Mum like that?" I replied that it didn't because it would feel better to have my Mum whole and alive but now, with the space to ponder, I think I know what he means.
I wish I could stamp my feet and lay on the floor kicking and screaming like a child until I get my Mum back. That's what I want, my Mummy back. That comfortable, happy, safe person who always had all the answers.
I feel like I have to be more responsible now. I don't have my Mum to go to. I also feel suddenly more reliant on my friends. I don't have my Mum to keep me company on weekends when Andy is working. I don't have my Mum to look after my children on the odd days when I have things to do without my children. I don't have my Mum to get us all together for big family roast dinners on a Sunday. I don't have my Mum to give me advice on grammar, to read stories with my children, to inspire my clothing choices. I don't have my Mum to chat to when I'm feeling sad or overwhelmed, to hug me, to tell me everything will be ok.
It's interesting how that list started with the practical side of Mum not being around and moved onto the emotional... It's harder to admit to myself how much emotional support my Mum provided just by being there.
My Mum had a certain knack for pushing my buttons at times, (usually when I felt like she was disapproving or disappointed in me in some way) but Mum also had a massive heart. Mum was grateful for the small things and the big things. She took pleasure in little everyday moments - like driving her car with the top down in the sunshine playing Bob Marley on the stereo. That's how I remember my Mum the most. Mum loved driving. Mum loved the sunshine. Mum loved music, especially Bob Marley. She would drive up to my house and stay in her car to finish singing along to a good song. Mum would head straight into the garden and move a chair into the sunshine. Mum would burst into song at the slightest hint of a song lyric.
I wish that lying on the floor kicking and screaming could bring her back. I wish my guilty feelings could bring her back, you know, feeling like I could have done better as a daughter while she was here.
I wish so many things but these are wishes that can't come true. I'm sad that I don't get to make any new memories with my Mum. I'm worried that the ones I do have will be lost in the recesses of my mind. I'm gutted that she never got to meet the youngest members of our family and that the children are missing out on having such an amazing Grandma. So many emotions swirling round inside. I am trying to hold it together, to be calm and peaceful and loving as a Mother to my children, to be a thoughtful and loving wife, to be a supportive and generous sister, to be a happy and interesting friend. I feel like I am failing on all fronts at the moment.
That same feeling comes up - of wanting to lay on the floor, kicking and screaming until the world goes away and I have no responsibilities. I know this too shall pass. These feelings that are overwhelming me at the moment will ease away and life will be smoother again. I thought so long after Mum going I'd be fine.
But right now I'm not really very fine. I am holding it together because I have to, because that's what Mum would do. Soldiering on regardless. Instead of ignoring these feelings completely I have decided to focus on adding things into my life that might help me feel better. I'll write more about that in my next post, I feel I've gone on long enough.
I have nearly deleted this post a few times. It feels too raw and to whiney to share. But in the end I decided that it is a marker of a point along the way. This journey is not always easy and I'd like to be able to look back and see the progress I've made. I wrote this with a sleeping baby in my arms as Stampy youtube videos played endlessly in the background. This too shall pass. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.