On Saturday night I couldn’t stop crying. I feel okay today. Yesterday was okay. But with having lost a mother sometimes grief hits you when you least expect it. This song perfectly puts in to words what I was feeling. Particularly the lines …
I may have made it rain,
Please forgive me,
My weakness caused you pain,
And this song’s my sorry.
I have never been able to be sad for the things I haven’t had. It’s like sad that you haven’t had a sister. Well I have never had a sister and don’t know what it’s like so to me that is said. It what you have known and lost that makes sad
I didn’t even meet or know dad’s side of the family. He never told us that the had relations living in the south. I didn’t know them so not know what you haven’t had doesn’t make you upset.
Today, well to be exact this evening has been this worst. I am dreaming that she is still with me and that I am saying to her in the dream that it is impossible as you are not around. It the subconscious mind trying to patch things together in your memory and make some sort of resemblance of order in your life.
And then somehow dad appears and he has been dead over 21 year and things get very confusing and muddle because I know in the dreams that they had passed away and I am stilling coming to turns with.
Today I found a diary of mine of late 2012 which I asked: “What will it be like when she is no longer around”. It was interesting theories and emotions about mum and certain people were so true. Yes, it is scathing in some parts but I said that I have spent quality time with mum which is the main thing that mattered. Even in 2012, I knew I had done the right thing.
As I had said before losing my father happened so quickly before I started my teacher training so I really didn’t have the time to grieve which screwed me up a few years later.
The mental torture of losing a loved one cannot be cured. Emotions can be suppressed with booze and medication but there is a lot of screwed up people out there who haven’t properly grieved for a loved one. A numbed pain only goes away for a few hours while you are stoned or pissed. This is the equivalent of trying to put on a plaster on a major wound after surgery you might think it will go away and ignoring it does make things difficult in the long run.
Grieving is a natural process. At the moment I cannot be bothered with small things in life. This is a process that mentally you have to go through. Great speech Philip, but doesn’t make anything better, different and easier to handle. It only gets easier to handle things less painful each year. Especially around mothers days and other occasions things that connect with mum and myself like Christmas’.
I have good friends and loads of people who I can fall back on and that makes a difference. I have been for them when they have needed help and when I am feeling like crap they help as well. I just take each day as it comes and not try to suppress the tears and emotion.
I know a lot of the people who are my friends aren’t big fans of the Royal family (more Royle family). I always listen to the Queen’s Christmas Day broadcast. It was the Queen that did mention that it can be a difficult time for those people who’s first Christmas it is spending it without a loved one.
When you have spent every christmas, bar one, with your own mum it does become a little strange for her not to be here. She would have been falling asleep after dinner when I was tidying up. Except it was me that was falling asleep about 5pm after I had eaten and my food had settled. I think the mulled wine played it’s part wonderfully.
I spoken to a few people who have gone through the same. You expect them to walk through the door or someone to give you a phone call. Mum a few times used to set a place for dad at tea time ready for him coming in from work.
I think the worst bit has been waiting for my phone to ring to say I needed to go up early morning as they were having getting difficulty getting mum out of bed or the district nurse would call to say that the needed me to pick up something from the local pharmacy for mum.
The phone has stopped ringing and sometimes it was ring three or four times a day, some days even more. I didn’t mind it because that was I was there to do it. I was her carer and her son. But you don’t know really how you miss something now that it is now long there. You cannot miss something you have never had or experienced.
So I have the first christmas over. It was the same when dad died. After a few years you get into a difference routine and and different place. Your plans change. So what ever happens next year I will see. If I spend it on my own again that will be up to me. Or if I get invites like I did this year I might take one of the them up. Who knows? But I won’t forget those who have passed. You never really lose them entirely as you always have the memories you made with them.
I wanted to say thank you to those people who came to mums funeral. I think the worst aspect of it was seeing other people upset. I don’t know why? I was helped to walk into the crematorium by my cousins wife Sue. She was wonderful and held me very tight when I felt I was “welling up” again. What a marvellous person she is. I am thankful for her as it wasn’t planned that she would walk with me.
The flowers we ordered were beautiful; mum would have been overawed to have seen them. There are still roses that grow in mums garden that my grandfather planted there over thirty years ago and somehow they still flower each year. She always loved looking at them.
The service at the crematory in Birtley was just right. Although a lot of us commented that we thought we were going to lose the roof as it was really windy. Rev Liz Kent who is new to the area provided a lovely and fitting tribute to mum. She read Psalm 121 which was mums favourite piece of the Bible which I thought was very fitting for the service.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121)
It was lovely to see some of mums friends that had known her since she was a child and had been life long friends. Some friends that had come from the Methodist Church. Particularly a chap called Bill who is a kind and gentle man. His wife died 2007 and he had also looked in on mum just as as his wife did for years before her passing. Always delivered the church news letter which I used to read to mum. It was lovely that even when she couldn’t leave the house that people would come to see how she was.
We had a collection for the Multiple Sclerosis society at the end and it was great as I sent them a gift of £145 for them in memory of mum. I think it was wonderful that people gave so generously.
We then met at Chester-le-Street Cricket ground which was wonderful we were treated with respect and dignity. The food was typically northern. Real slices of ham and peas pudding. The mince (meat) pies were wonderful. I think Anne enjoy her peach melba a little too much!
Thank you all for those attended and those who couldn’t attend I know you were all thinking (and some of you praying) for us all on the day.
Twenty years have passed since my father died. It was July 22nd 1994. I remember it like it was yesterday. Strange thinking back to that time. I was never close to my dad and he wasn’t a one to show his feelings. He never told me he loved me or showed me physical affection. He was of a different generation that didn’t show their feelings. So we can allow them that fault and everything will be okay. It’s just that we have to deal with the bullshit afterwards.
I will never forget that my close friends were all on tenterhooks. Hoping that they wouldn’t say the wrong thing and putting their foot in it. No one did they were wonderful, patient and kind. Having to tell people was the worst thing about that time. It upset them. I think it was possible that they saw the hurt and pain on my face and knew that what had happened had be traumatic.
I learned a lot from that time. Don’t take your friends for granted and realise that time you have with your parents should be precious. Looking at the dreadful tragedy of flight MH17 and the literal grief that it has caused we should hold those who we love close and our parents closer still.
I am not scared of death; others and my own. It is a natural part of our life. People are frightened of grief as it is an isolating experience. I would never advise people to try and contain or stifle it. If it’s there let it out.
So will raise a glass or ten to Dad and have the memories to reflect.
Friends who have known me a long time would know what it was like when my father passed away in 1994. It doesn’t seem like it was twenty years ago this year. A mixture of disbelief and confusion was emotions that I can remember feeling at the time.
His death was a shock. He wasn’t suffering from an illness that was terminal. He had been to work the day before and nothing seemed to be untoward. His asthma though had been troubling him for years and really taken hold on the year that he passed.
He died of an asthma attack in the kitchen of the family home. It was early morning and he had been struggling to breathe. I called an ambulance as six month previously he had suffered an attack that had left him in intensive care for some time and then his continued recuperation in hospital.
This time no such period happened. He died within a matter of minutes in front of mum and myself. A stark and appalling thing to witness. Paramedics had laid him out on the bed ready for collection by the undertaker.
He would have been 77 today had he survived. Time is a healer of grief. It took years for me to talk about it without bursting into tears. But here I am twenty years later and I often ask myself what he would have thought about the world and things going on around him. He would have been miserable and cantankerous that I am sure. He wouldn’t have wanted anyone to make a fuss over him and would have hated any ceremony that had been dedicated solely for him.
A gentle remembrance now and again. A nod to his existence in the world is what I give him.