Missing My Mother On Her Birthday
Today is my mother’s birthday. It also marks two years since the last day I got to spend with my Mum before she got ill. I replay in my mind what we did together that day, what we talked about, how she looked on that last day. How could I not have known that this was the last birthday I would ever get to spend with her? That this was the last day she would be the mother I knew before the tumor which invaded her brain stole her from me. The very next day, she was admitted to hospital with the first symptoms of the devastating disease which would take her from us – although we weren’t to find this out until months later when it was already too late.
I miss Mum every day and am still surprised at the intensity of grief that grips me. Somehow I thought that two years later the pain would have lessened; but grief doesn’t work so neatly. Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of grief is that it doesn’t follow a sequential order – it’s messy and disordered. Interestingly, in her last book before her death in 2004, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, who is known for her writings on the five stages of grief wrote:
They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives.
I don’t expect to ever get over my mother’s death, but looking to others who have come through this experience, I have the hope that things do get better; that in time, the pain eases, and I will find a new way to be in the world without her. At these times I turn to one of my favorite writers for comfort:
You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly- that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. ~ Anne Lamott
Happy Birthday Mum xxxx