It's difficult to write about this subject without feeling tears prickling at the corners of my eyes and a burning sensation in my chest. I've wanted to write about it on my blog for a while because it's a massive part of who I am, but I've never had the courage. Today that changes, although only in a small way - I don't have the ability to write as gracefully and eloquently about this topic as I would like, so instead I'm going to share with you something I wrote 18 months ago.
On Saturday it was exactly 18 months since my mother passed away. She died aged 55 from the happiness ruiner that is cancer. Even writing those facts brings tears to my eyes, which is why I haven't written publicly about this before now. Instead of telling you all about the gaping wound that still inflicts my life daily I'm going to share the eulogy I wrote for my mum's funeral that was shared with her nearest and dearest. Thank you for reading.
Growing up I never really thought I’d be without a parent. Of course, nature designs it that way but in all my thoughts of the future, in all the imaginary musings of things to come I always pictured both parents, alive and happy, offering moral guidance and endless cups of tea. I thought they were invincible. I hoped they were.
Since mum passed away people have been asking me what kind of childhood I had, what kind of mother she was. I pity anyone who can’t answer as I can; that I had the kind of childhood that I wouldn’t change for the world and the kind of Mum who, along with Dad, taught me that life isn’t black and white.
Mum encouraged me to question the world around me and not to blindly follow the crowd. She nurtured my individuality and even when I’m sure she disagreed with decisions I made she supported me fully, something which can’t always have been easy.
Mum was one of the most intelligent people I knew and I will miss not being able to turn to her for a swift dose of reality or a chat about our shared disdain for poor spelling and grammar.
I will miss calling her every day from work and us greeting one another in French.
Whenever I neglect to do the housework I will remember it is because I inherited her belief that a tidy home is the sign of a wasted life.
When I go to the dentist I will smile when I recall how she’d tell me to pull myself together if I said I was scared although we both knew she was really the one in need of a hand to hold.
Mum was full of wisdom; “Youth is wasted on the young”, “always bend your knees slightly when standing”, “drink more water”, “be kinder to people Simone, you don’t know what’s happening in their lives”.
Mum always put her family first and in the weeks before she passed away she was more concerned with how her illness was affecting her family than about herself; were work OK with the amount of time I was taking off, did I have enough petrol, could I please sort out Sean’s tax return, is Dad getting enough sleep? Mum asked for very little but gave so much.
There will never be enough time to tell you how much I owe to my mother and how much pain her loss has caused me, but it is said that happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed, and so when I remember mum I will remember her love of cats, and the colour orange and Maltesers. I will remember her beautiful smile, her honesty and her integrity.
Finally, to my mum I say this; everything I am, I am because of you.
Memory Monday #2
Memory Monday #3