Losing my mother: one year on

Today is the first anniversary of my beloved mother’s death. It has been the hardest year of my life; much, much tougher than my year of living cancerously.

There is plenty I could write about today, but my heart is too heavy. Instead I want to share these lines above for anyone who is going through a loss right now.  I have found them to be so true in my own life.

Looking back on the crushing pain over the last year, I honestly don’t know how I made it through – indeed many times I didn’t think I could get through it.  Even now, although I am through the worst, the hurt is still raw and sometimes the storm whips itself up into a frenzy again.

Am I the same person I was a year ago? In some ways I am, but in many ways, not. Like any great loss, the experience has left its mark and changed me. It is an evolving process, and I find I am still changing.

A dear friend lost her own mother last week, and I found myself at a loss to know what to say. All I could offer was how deeply sorry I am and how much I understand the depth of her pain.  I know how desperately sad, lonely and heartbreaking the next year will be for her. I can still remember vividly the utter desolation of waking up the morning after my mother’s funeral to a terrible feeling of emptiness and loneliness. I have felt that awful sense of loneliness many, many times in this past year, and I wish I could save my friend from having to go through it too.  The truth is that I can’t save her, I can’t save myself, nor can I save anyone from loss, sorrow and pain – it’s part of life. All we can do is to walk beside each other, acknowledge the pain, and show the compassion and understanding we have learned from our experiences of loss. In the words of a previous post, “we are all just walking each other home”.