This is for my boys who will experience this same pain one day but also to help others who haven’t experienced grief themselves or are in the early stages…grief never ends. I’m sorry, I am an optimist by nature, but I have to be a realist about this. Until I meet her again which I will, one day, my heart will never be whole again. Please don’t get me wrong in thinking, I am not grateful for my life, my husband or my children – I am , so very much. But anyone who has lost someone who is truly part of them, knows what mean. My husband says to me all the time, I know your heart broke the day Mum died, everyday, it is my goal to try and mend it.
I want to talk about the pain that is raw and how that wound continually is opened (everyday or every few hours or every few days – I can’t tell you when or how, it just opens). Whilst I want to honour my mother’s life and her legacy, I want to also speak my truth, as writing helps me process but also to possibly help my boys one day when I am not here.
I recently read a blog about a woman who lost her baby at 22 weeks pregnant. In her words, her baby was born into heaven. Heart breaking. She described her grief which is very real and very true for me. Particularly how others react. Now while, this is not a guide on how to react or not to react but I want to share my thoughts on things I struggle with even now. I ALWAYS hear, ‘but I just don’t know what to say’ or ‘Jo, don’t be so hard on them, some people just don’t know what to say’. Here is a the truth. I DON’T CARE. Sorry for being blunt. But I don’t care how awkward you feel. I don’t care if I make you feel uncomfortable and I don’t care, that you have a few moments of uneasiness and then you go ahead with your life. I am not saying I want you to have my pain because I would NEVER want to inflict this pain onto anyone (it is the worst f*cking pain a human can experience). But what I am saying is, stand in my shoes, just for a second. What would you want? It is really simple. I’m thinking of you. Was that so hard?
The next one is the utter loneliness you experience about a month after your loss. The messages stop, the flowers stop, the people stop. Everyone else’s life continues (and don’t start me on Facebook, people uploading ‘I locked my keys out of the house’ or ‘my kid is teething’) my mother died, my heart has been ripped out. I will never see her again. Never ever. She won’t ever meet her grandchildren. We won’t ever laugh together. We won’t ever shop or cook together. But I am sad for her future too. It won’t happen. Never again. Something that really gets me all the time is when a new style in fashion comes out. Mum and I would always talk about it. She won’t ever get to see what is on sale in her favourite shop or what is in. I am trying to have some structure to this post but I just can’t, I feel I have to speak from the heart. This is how I speak to my husband (2 years on, this can still happen daily these conversations). The triggers are always there. The one that hurts, is seeing other people with their mums. And don’t you dare, EVER, complain to me about your mum. NEVER. I am not blaming you for having a mum but it just hurts me that I don’t have mine. I want her back so desperately and there is NOTHING I can do about it. NOTHING. Think about the word NOTHING. It is final, there is no change, there is no progression. I often hear people complain about certain things in their lives. Everyone has hardship and no one should judge someone else’s journey but I sometimes sit back and think about how people can be selfish and often ask myself, how would they feel if they experienced this level of pain? As you can see, my pain is deep, 2 years on.
You know something else I have little patience for and you will notice a lot more of these topics on my blog posts – are people who just are shit (jealous, bad energy, not thoughtful, fake, self absorbed). Prior to mum, I struggled with people not understanding, respecting, being kind – and always thought I was the problem. But you know what?! I am not the problem. I am a genuine and kind person which is what anyone says about me (I am not trying to toot my own horn), but I seriously could not give a shit or have time or patience for rudeness, indifference or disrespectful people. I choose to have a select few people in my life, if you are a jealous, selfish, unkind, disrespectful person, you just won’t be in our lives. I have no problems cutting you from our lives (sounds harsh) but I just do not have time for people like this anymore. I would procrastinate or justify for hours on end, but they are family or I have had them in my life for so long – nope! If I don’t get Mum in my life and you are shitty, you aren’t getting any of my time and I am unapologetic about it.
I miss her calling me Jo Jo, or Hi princess, love you. Or where are we shopping this weekend? I miss her. My body aches for her. I hate it that other people experience my life and she doesn’t. And I hate it she doesn’t know my son. She never saw me pregnant, she doesn’t get to hear about Hunter’s personality. And I hate it that other people do. I hate it when people underestimate their time on this Earth, the relationships they have with others, particularly my son. My mother would of been the best grandmother. I hate she never got the chance to even know she was one. It also upsets me when people say, well at least you have Adam and Hunter. Yes genius, I know what I have which I am grateful for and thank the Lord for everyday, but that doesn’t mean that erases my pain from not having her. Plus why should I have to have one or the other? Do you get to choose between having a child or keeping your mother? Or your partner dies when your child arrives. No! It sucks. Take away my car, my shoes, my handbags – not my mother, and please don’t compare them.
One thing I am struggling with at the moment, is the feeling of people making me feel like I should be ‘over it’ by now. News flash – I am not and I never will be. You don’t like it, don’t be around me. While I don’t mope and let it control my life (I try to maintain my bubbly personality but the reality is, I cry myself to sleep most nights into my pillow and have a big cry at least once a day for her) it is part of who I am, it is now part of my make up and if you don’t like it, I wish you the best, but we are no longer meant to share this journey together. This is the same feeling I started to feel a few months after she passed. When the communication stopped from people (and it wasn’t a few it was ALOT of people). I have been dealt some hard cards this life – a chronic undiagnosed illness for 20 years with crippling chronic pain, Lyme disease, cancers, brain tumours, divorced family, sexual abuse – I have lost a lot of friends over the years, why??? Because people don’t like hardship. They don’t know what do to, they distance themselves. They think about themselves and how ‘awkward’ they feel rather than how the person experiencing hardship feels. ‘Friendships’ are a hard topic for me. I hear a lot of people say, a true measure of someone is their friendships. Or why do people think they are a ‘better’ person because they have a lot of friends? Let me really point out a huge thing. Have you had hardships in your life? I don’t mean a few, I mean heart breaking, crippling pain? Because people don’t stay around for this. People get ‘sick’ of it. So before you judge someone on their friends, think about what they have experienced. I know I am a good
person, and friend, but I don’t have many friends and I have lost a lot of them along the way. Loosing mum I probably lost at least 5 good friends. But in the end I didn’t need them, I only need her, my husband and son.
What else makes me sad about Mum not being here is not only how she doesn’t get to see me grow or my babies. But it rips my heart out knowing she doesn’t get to see my brother’s either. The three of us were extremely tight. I owe that to both my parents. But my Mummy got to meet my beautiful husband and was there on my wedding day. My brother doesn’t get to have that. Mum was his idol. His go-to, his confident, his rock – the one person he would want to meet his wife or see him marry, would be her. And it breaks my heart into a trillion pieces that he misses out on that. As a mother you pray for healthy and happy children. I just want to scream to her, I wish you could see him, I wish you could meet his soul mate. I wish you were here when he says ‘I do’. He told mum, on my wedding, it was the happiest day of his life (not many brothers say that), I just wish she could of seen his happiest day because I know when he marries or holds his child for the first time, that will be it. It just breaks me. And hurts me so deeply that she doesn’t get to see it either.
Shopping is my hobby and it was mums. We always did it together. Shopping is hard for me but I try and enjoy it for her. But it breaks me when I am out seeing mothers and daughters together. I just want her back here so much. Even just seeing someone driving in the car with their mum, it is like someone got two bricks and squished my heart in between them.
Two big things that I have noticed that I ‘can’t’ do or find difficult doing is putting music up really loud and singing and dancing to a song I love. For a long time after mum died, I couldn’t even listen to music. Sometimes now there are certain songs that are definate no no’s. But enjoying a song (you know how music can take you to a euphoric state), I just can’t do it, I can’t allow myself that pleasure, maybe it is because she loved music so much and it reminds me of her and how she used to sway to her little songs, I don’t know, but guilt rushes through my veins.
The other one is the phone. Something I struggled with ever since she died. And I’ve spoken to a lot of people who struggle with grief and loss and they find it difficult too. When mum died, I couldn’t talk on the phone for at least a month. Some people now I still won’t speak to on the phone. And you know what shits me the most, I’ve told this to certain people, and I’ve opened up and said I really struggle talking on the phone, can we text instead? I had one friend get really offended and ALWAYS just called me, rather than text. I kept saying, it isn’t personal, but I struggle with talking on the phone. But she kept calling.
Maybe it was because I can’t ever talk to my mum again on the phone so I don’t want to speak to anyone else or because the last time I thought my mum was calling (it was my step father calling me to say she is in the ambulance – f*ck that just hurt typing that), I was about to tell her I was pregnant. I don’t know. But now I push through a lot / most phone calls. People hate it and get frustrated with me because I don’t always answer (I will always text you back though), but I can’t do it. But what hurts are the ones that know this and still call me when I’ve said it is too hard.
So the pain hasn’t gone. There is a wound, that just needs to be peeled back ever so slightly and the rawness is exposed.