My lovely Mam died of cancer in 2005 and I still miss her every day. I found something amazing last week which I wanted to share with you because it’s made me very happy.
To my beautiful Mam,
It’s probably not going to come as a surprise when I tell you that I really struggled when you left us.
I struggled with not having you in my life.
I struggled with looking after toddler Miss Frugal and her baby brother.
I struggled with knowing how to help my Dad while he was grieving.
I even struggled with finding time to grieve because I was so busy looking after everyone else.
It sounds odd to say this but I don’t think I really missed you at the time. I was devastated that you’d left us as you would expect but I didn’t really MISS having you in my life, that came later.
For a few months, I just got on with my life the best I could and I tried not to think about the huge hole you’d left in our lives. Miss Frugal was very challenging as she’d been so close to you and couldn’t understand where you’d gone. You started to become a regular part of her dreams and for a good six weeks of so she’d often wake up and tell us that she’d enjoyed a picnic in heaven with you or that you’s been teaching her to sew again. That was hard as I was a little bit jealous that she got to spend more time with you, even in her dreams.
Master Frugal was only about six month’s old so he doesn’t have any memories of you although he sometimes says that he does – I think he feels sad because he doesn’t remember you rather than sad that because he misses you if that makes sense.
I continued with my life as normal because there wasn’t any time to stop and let myself miss you but then one day, without thinking, I picked up the phone to tell you something cute that baby Master Frugal had just done. I dialled your number, Dad answered the phone and it really hit me in that moment.
I was never going to speak to you again, never going to be able to share a funny story with you or ask for your advice. You were never going to see my two amazing babies grow up into the amazing little people that they are now.
That’s when I really started to miss you.
I had a good cry (when I got off the phone as I didn’t want to upset Dad) and I think that day is when the grieving really started for me as there were lots more tears over the next few months. It would often hit me at the oddest time, driving to work as a bad time as it was often the only time I had on my own to really let go so I’d often have to run straight to the toilets at work to sort myself out so people didn’t think I was a blubbering mess!
I think it was about six month’s after you left us that I actually felt OK again and even though I’ve never stopped wanting to tell you about the things that happen in our lives, the pain that I would feel over those awful months lessened to a point where I could feel sad but then quickly move on rather than it hanging over me like a cloud all day.
By this point my Dad was starting to come out of his grieving period too although he was still struggling a lot. I had questions I wanted to ask him, things of yours that I wanted to keep for myself to remember you by and things about you that I wanted to know. But I stupidly didn’t talk to him about it, we just talked about mundane things – nothing that could upset either of us – it was almost as if we were walking on eggshells with each other for a long time.
Time passed, the pain continued to fade, and life moved on although it was never the same.
By this point it seemed wrong to ask him the questions and to ask for your things which I know is silly and I kept resolving to talk to him but I never did.
But last week something amazing happened, I was helping Dad sort through some of the things in his flat and I found your wedding and engagement rings as well as a signet ring you wore every day. They look so familiar to me even though the last time I saw you wearing them was almost 15 years ago – it’s like having a part of you back in my life which I know sounds silly but I don’t care.
I also found the little lucky black cat you carried at your wedding instead of flowers so he’s now home with me although he’s definitely looking a bit worse for wear to be honest. I still love him though…
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