Mums without mums

It is 14 years since my mum died, but at times the pain is as raw as the day she passed away.IMG_1082

Sadly my mum didn’t even know I was pregnant, and of course she never got to meet her grandchildren. And my kids have missed out on having an awesome grandma.

For women who become mothers without their own mother around, it is especially tough. It is something we often gloss over as we are simply expected to “get on with it”. But the grief continues long after the funeral and we should acknowledge this.

It isn’t simply missing our mother, it is the void they leave after they have gone – the fact our children won’t get to meet them or form a relationship with them. And of course this is also true for fathers who have passed away too and other family members and loved ones, but there is a special relationship that a woman shares with her mother – especially when they go on to become a mother themselves.

So if you have lost your mum then please keep a picture of them up in your home and close to your heart. Celebrate them, miss them and keep them in your life.

Every year on the anniversary of my mum’s death the kids and I go to a special place in nature (it doesn’t have to be the same place – mum is now a free spirit) so it can be anywhere that feels right. And we each place a frangipani flower on the ground, we say something if we want to, or just sit with our emotions.  It helps keep her memory alive and strong.

If you have lost a loved one – write a special letter to them.

If you would like, please share yor letter here – celebrate their life, who they were and remember them always

Missing Mum

My mum in Sydney
My beautiful mum, Sandra

I remember my dad greeting me in the hospice corridor, a look of utter anguish etched on his face as he mouthed: “we’ve lost her.”

I can’t really remember what happened after that. It’s a blur. But I do remember seeing her – her body surrendered to the cancer, her face finally  at peace, but I knew her spirit would be soaring high.

A few days later, I visited her in the funeral parlour – and as I bent down to say goodbye a single tear fell from my eye and landed in her tear duct, before rolling down her face.
It was such a poignant moment. My dad just looked at me. It was as if Mum was saying goodbye. The grief, the sadness was too much, she’d been taken from us way too soon.

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years. To be honest, I try not to believe it, but there are times when it hits you in the face. Times such as these – the anniversary of her death, her birthday, an aroma that evokes a memory, something you see that brings her back momentarily. Then you realise she’s no longer here. That’s it. Final. She’ll never meet my children, never marvel at their cuteness or pick them up from school. She’s lost out on her opportunity to impart her amazing wisdom and love – and they’ve lost the chance to receive and learn from it.

My life has changed more than I would have ever thought possible since Mum died.

Mum died in another era – a few months before 9/11, a few months before I fell pregnant with my first child. What would she think now of our world? It all feels so turbulent, so fragile.

We all have to face trauma at times in our lives and we’re reminded of it constantly. All we can do is keep the faith. I know my mum is watching from above, I feel her in my heart and I feel her love wrapped around me.

It’s the only way I can cope – knowing she’s still with me in spirit. Knowing her love and life lives on within my heart and within my children. You are beautiful, Mum and I love you so much. I miss you more than you will ever know and I thank you so much for being there for me.

All you asked was that I wouldn’t forget you, and I never will xxx