Being A Good Mum When Agonising Grief Takes Over
Two months ago, I lost my mum after a long illness and the most tiring battle you could ever imagine. Throughout her illness, I missed so much of my daughter's lives as I struggled to be a good daughter but to be a good mum too. My girls knew how bad their Nannie’s situation was and they never complained – even when they barely saw me with work and visiting mum. I ran around, doing it all and I rarely stopped over the last two years. I forgot myself and I probably forgot my kids at times too, I forgot my friends and I know I wasn’t a good wife either, but I never let my mum down.
Running around you never have time to think and though I knew she was leaving us especially in the last few devastatingly sad few months, I never cried, I never moaned, and I just got on with it. Fast forward to now, my life is irrevocably changed. Mum is gone now, I hope to a better place as she deserves the best, but I am left a hollow shell. I miss her and though I often see her in my dreams, I tend never to be able to reach her – I hear her cries, her screams of fear and her last words to me but I stop short of reaching her, it wakes me almost every night.
Throughout this journey, I have had to be a mum to my beautiful girls and you know what? I think, and this sounds silly, I will be better because of this experience. I now know, we only have so long, my girls are getting older every day and I don’t want to miss it. I am using the grief I feel and its paralysing effect to be a better mum to them. One day, I won’t be able to watch them laugh or mess with them and this terrifies me. So, right now and in this moment, I appreciate everything around me. I won’t let the mourning penetrate my soul, I miss my mum, I do but she wouldn’t want me to sit and cry, so I can do one more thing for her. I can care for her granddaughters in the way I know would make her proud. She doesn’t have the luxury of watching them grow, but I do and as we begin to look around the world, there are so many who don’t get to watch loved ones grow. They are harshly taken, and they don’t get to do the little things that mean so much, though you may not realise it at that time.
My mother left me with a profound understanding that life is indeed short, the kids grow fast, and life can be taken as quickly as it is given. My mum taught me first how to love, how to live and how to say goodbye.
Grief is a monster, a terrible predicament but without it, how would we ever know that we loved a person, that much? It offers you the painstaking reminder that you loved and how can that be bad? It is agonising, some days I feel my heart is breaking, I literally feel a tear being created in it every time I think of her and my breath is taken from me. I know it will always hurt but I am so lucky to have cared for her that much and I am blessed to see my girls every single day. Grief may be breaking me apart but in other ways, it has taught me so much and for that, I thank it. But more than anything, I thank my mum and I promise her, I’ll live well – as they say, for her, and for everyone else who hasn’t had the opportunity to do so as that, indeed is a gift.
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.emmamadjotters.com.