On the 19th November it was 5 years since Mum passed away.
I wasn’t able to follow my usual routine of placing a rosebud at the site of the accident on the highway and then at the memorial garden in the cemetery this year. Instead I was hours away visiting a friend on the anniversary of her death, and somehow it seemed pointless to do those things either earlier or later than the actual day.
Time really is a healer. I said last year that I felt the rawness of pain of her death had faded and that process has continued over this year. I still miss her dreadfully and I still long to have a few minutes with her to hug her and feel her hug me back.I wish she could meet her great grandchildren, I wish I could share the highlights and lows of my life with her. I wish I could ask her for help to make things. I wish I could ……. so many things.
I still see her in my mind’s eye and can even feel the last hug she gave me sometimes.
I’m not forgetting her.
But death is a natural part of life….. here in the west it seems like we somehow think we can escape it and are surprised and horrified when it comes. Not that I’m not saying that my family and I weren’t distraught at her sudden and unexpected death. There was no chance to say goodbye….. no warning…. it came out of the blue and decimated us. As a Christian I don’t fear death itself ( I freely admit I fear the process though). However it is something that we will all need to face.
I do not want to trivialize the feelings of those who have lost loved ones and never get over it. Please don’t think I am, but we are not meant for our lives to stop when that happens. I believe it is such a tragedy when someone grieves so hard and long that they give up on the rest of their life and shut out everyone else around them. Is that what the loved one who passed would want?
Our earthly lives are finite and we must accept that and not waste the ‘span of our years’ . There are no guarantees as to how long we will have….that is why it’s so important to make the most of it and enjoy each moment (well maybe not every moment-there are many that I certainly haven’t enjoyed! ). I know Mum enjoyed most of her moments. She loved Dad and us. She loved to travel. She had many friends and was involved in many interest groups. She helped others often and was trying new things. In short she was making the most of her life.
This 5 year mark seems to be an important point in my grief. I will never stop missing her and loving her but the buffer of time is now between the grief and my life.
It’s 2 years today since Mum died. So much has changed in that time and yet the grief stays the same….not as raw perhaps although at times it still overwhelms me, but those times are further apart these days. In fact there are whole weeks now when I barely think of her…. does that make me a bad daughter? I don’t think so …. It just means life continues…. it doesn’t mean I love her any less.
I can drive past the place she died now without crying. Just as well really as anytime I have to go to Sydney or to Nowra I have to pass it. Today I’m going out there to leave a rose…. a pink rose for Margaret Rose.
I sometimes still feel a crazy kind of resentment that she isn’t here when I feel like I needed her most after my marriage broke up and I came to live with Dad. My adult mind knows how silly it is at 57 feeling like an abandoned child because I want my Mummy to hold me and make it better.
I’m sad too cause I understand so much better now about how she felt when we moved so far away …..and I also understand how hurt she felt when I was too busy or didn’t think to call her regularly to chat and tell her about what was happening in our lives. Now I’m the mother so far away who longs to hear from her kids and to know they care about her and hear about their lives. If only I could go back and change things.
I feel helpless today with Dad too… I want to comfort him and yet don’t know what to say or do and feel like a clumsy oaf. He is surrounded by a wall of grief and I don’t think that I can do anything to ease it….. how can I when he’s lost the wife he shared so many years with and that he misses so desperately?
I also feel so sad for my friend Monica who was found dead in her home a couple of days ago- there are crimestoppers bulletins on the news channels asking for anyone to come forward with any information as her death is considered ‘suspicious’. I was supposed to be working out with her how we could do some kids workshops together…. How can she be dead in suspicious circumstances? How can one of the few people I count as friends down here be gone? When she wasn’t at church last week I was going to ring her and then when she wasn’t at scrapbooking on Tues night I was going to ring her…. But once again I didn’t listen to the voice telling me to do something and now it’s too late. I’ve been told that it was probably too late to ring her anyway… that she was probably already gone but it doesn’t assuage the guilt I feel.
My Bible reading the other day was from 2 Corinthians 5 and the commentary said
‘Our lives are so frail and vulnerable. We walk through life always on the thin ice of our mortality and who knows when it will crack beneath us. As you can see from this section of 2 Corinthians Paul lived with a strong consciousness of death. He did not fear death but was always was aware of it……….. Jesus came to conquer death. Through His victory we can now face death not as the end of togetherness but as the beginning of eternal togetherness.” Another one of those ‘coincidences’ that so often occur when you’re a Christian!
I know that both Mum and Monica were Christians and are now with the Lord … that is truly comforting to know. I don’t have to feel the desperation of those who don’t KNOW that this is not the end. I am also so grateful for the love and comfort I receive from my Lord. It doesn’t mean though that I don’t go through the grief and the questionings…..I guess it just means that I don’t have to stay there.