August 4, 2017

What it was like to loose my Mama

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Last photo we ever had together. At my brother’s graduation, Hunter was in my tummy (but I didn’t know) 4 weeks before she died.

This post is personal and emotional for me to write. I am doing it for three reasons – for my sons, so they always have memories of their Grandmother & look back and see what their mummy was like (I wish I had that from my mum), for myself and my own grief process and for any other motherless mother out there, that may come across this and hopefully can help them with their grieving.

Today 2 years ago was the last time I ever saw my beautiful mother. We did our usual regular Saturday shop which we had done every Saturday since I was a little girl. It was our first shop after my honeymoon and as a married woman so we had so much to catch up on. I remember closing the garage door and her getting in her car, telling me ‘love you baby girl see you soon’. Then 5 days later she was gone. I spoke to her the day she died, around 1pm and she passed at about 5pm. It is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life and when it hits me still now, it still hurts just as much as it did back on the day I was told she was gone. The memory burns my insides. But she was the best Mother anyone could ask for, so loving, understanding, gentle, selfless, strong, kind, generous and thoughtful. I strive to be half the woman she was. What she gave me, when she was experiencing being a motherless mother herself, just makes me appreciate and love her even more. Even though I hate to think of creating new chapters without her, the reality is, I already have, it kills me to write this, but I know she wouldn’t want it any other way. She would say Jo, you need to put it into another compartment of your brain and get on with it. Which I have done for her, for my husband and for now my sons – just like she did for myself and my brother. It doesn’t get easier, it never will, because the cries and pain are still the same intensity but you can laugh again, smile again and recognise that one day we will meet again. I can’t wait for that day to catch up on everything, I just pray that you will say ‘I know baby girl, I was there the whole time’.

​Mum passed away from a heart attack. She had a pulmonary embellisum (blood clot) that went to her heart which caused her to have a heart attack. Mum died at the age of 63. Too fucking young. She always had ‘joked’ she had to beat Mum (my Grandmother) who died at 64 from a heart attack. Unfortunately Mama girl didn’t. Which breaks my insides. When Mum passed away she was the healthiest she had been in her whole life. Growing up she had cancer three times (cervical twice and then vaginal). But she had been in remission for 15 years. She was diabetic but it was controlled. It was a complete SHOCK to say the least. The week of her death, she had the flu and had the day off work. The night before she died, she went to hospital (in hind sight VERY unusual) Mum, never ever made a fuss even when she was having radiation, she didn’t tell anyone until she was in remission and still worked full time throughout her whole treatment (yep, she was effing amazing wasn’t she). So for Mum to go to the hospital she must of sensed something or been in a lot of pain. They told her she had reflux and gave her an injection to help stop her vomiting. Was it a warning sign? Was it coincidence? Why didn’t they check her heart whilst she was there? Questions we will never get the answers to. I hate myself for being so caught up in work that day she died. I spoke to her twice but wasn’t really ‘there’. My brother said to me Mum sounds really sick, the worst I’ve heard her. I didn’t think so, but obviously I was complelety wrong. Oh to have that time back with her. I am such a dickhead. Apparently she told my step father around 4:50pm that she was tired and wanted to lay down. He went with her (as he had taken the day off to look after her), and laid with her. He noticed within 5 minutes she wasn’t responding (I know in my heart that is when she died). That very moment in bed, she closed her eyes peacefully and met our Lord in Heaven. The most peaceful way, in her warm bed, next to her partner (which I will forever be grateful to, for not allowing my mum to die alone), she feel asleep in God’s arms. He tried resuscitation and called the ambulance who also worked on her and took her to Sutherland hospital (where she had my brother and myself). But it was too late she was gone. The best way I can describe that pain, that very moment you are told she is gone….it is like the world goes into complete slo-motion. Everything is muted, you can’t hear anything, everything is blurry, you feel like you are caught in a glass cage (no one else can see it but you), then it just feels like the glass cage is getting smaller and smaller and smaller and twisting your heart so you just can’t get any air. You can see everyone around you but they aren’t moving quick enough, they aren’t doing ANYTHING, why are they letting me experience this pain, you try to scream but your vocal cords are muted. Then the physical pain starts. Your heart aches. It is heavy, it is like it is dragging on the floor. The heaviness never really leaves you. I feels like your heart has a billion shardes of glass dug into it. That glass cage comes back every now again and when it does, it takes me right back to that square hospital room which they ‘walked’ me into, to tell me she was gone. All I could say is NO + even now that is all I can say. Why is this happening? My body just doesn’t want to operate. This is the worst physical pain I have ever encountered in my life. Everyone around you just doesn’t get it, they can’t, because they never experienced her heart beat from the inside. I just want to tell her, how much I fucking love her. I wanted them to give me something to put me to sleep so I would never wake up again. But we had just found out I was pregnant with Hunter. Something I think Mum made sure of, something to make me continue to push through, like she did.

I miss that look, that giggle, those hands, her little face, her sweet voice, her kindness, her generosity, sharing stories, going shopping, her outfits, I miss the look only a mother can give you, the one person whose heart beats the same….I miss all of you mummy. The grief doesn’t get easier, you just feel further apart. I would do anything to see her pretty face again. For now, I will see you in my dreams until we meet again.

One day you will loose your mum or my boys you will loose me (I pray it is when she is very very old) But you will. You have just read something that will prepare you for the pain you will experience. Do you think it will make it easier because now you have read what I went through? No. It won’t. You will still hurt like I did, there is nothing stopping that. This post is to help you through the grief afterwards, because nothing can ever prepare you.

You can prepare as much as you want, but you will still hurt as much, no less. Your path is your path. You can either strangle it, and squeeze all the blood out of it until it happens or not, and then have to experience it or not, OR you can live your life now, and then experience the pain. Why go through it twice?

What has worked for me is, when the lightening bolt of pain comes rushing back, I don’t fight it, I cry with it, you deserve that Mum, that pain won’t go away, it is best to respect it, not push against it. This has taught me so much about life in regular, we try so hard to control things but we just have to let it be and go with the flow & take us the path God as intended for us, if you push, the more the wound burns. So in honouring my Mama, which I’ve been trying to do over the pass 2 years when I can and when I feel I can breathe for a little bit, I promise to continue to honour you & try every day to become more like you. I love you dearly Mummy, & I know you are hugging me when I rock Hunter to sleep. You were our angel on Earth and now you are our angel in Heaven. I am who I am because of you & for that I accept life because that was the gi
ft you gave me. Go gently Mum, I do everyday because of you. 🙏🏽💜

I’ve included some screenshots of our last text messages and the last lot of videos I had of her on my phone – just so they never get lost. {in the messages we were taking about my wedding photos, that I had just received – the last message she ever wrote to me was ‘can’t wait to see them’}

​XOXO

Her last Mother’s Day

At my bridal shower 

love + grace

Jo 
xx

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