“How Did I Not Make A Note of Every Word You Ever Said”

When I was 14, I used to be obsessed with social media and, most of all, my phone. So, like most people my age, I was always taking photos and constantly whipping my phone out to immortalise moments I thought were funny or a bit stupid.

At the time, my family used to get so irritated with it! I remember one time my phone was placed on the top of Katie’s wardrobe just so that I would be “in the moment” (but obviously that just led to a grumpy Evee). But there were countless times when we would sit around laughing at funny snapchat videos and the filters. I remember once Mum got her own snapchat account and she asked me “how do I get the rainbows coming from my mouth”.

And now of course, you know what I’m going to say, these little golden snippets of memories are invaluable. Sometimes I remember what it was like to live in that state of pure happiness; where my biggest worries were the same as everyone else’s, and sometimes I almost can feel the faint trace of the belly aching laughs we used to share together.

Other times, they make me cry. The want I feel is so great. The pull to this pixel Mum and the pixel smiles and the replayed laughs feels like it’s not from me it’s so strong. I remember a week or so after my mum died, I sat in my boyfriend’s bathroom whilst he was sleeping, swiping through the endless memories, just crying.

Now, so many social media platforms have the ability to pull up what you were doing 1 year ago, 2 years ago, 3, etc, and some days it feels like I can never get away from the grief. It’s a tempest in my body that runs riot, and then I get this reminder: “Hey! Remember this?” And even though it hurts worse than anything else, I treasure it. Because that’s my Mum, she existed, she laughed, there was a time she wasn’t dying or sad, when this wasn’t our reality, and when she could hug me and tell me everything’s going to be okay. The pain is just an indicator of how strong our bond was.

I don’t have many of these videos and photographs, and the ones I do, I share with Katie and she compiles them in a folder on her laptop. The other night I was afraid I forgot how Mummy said my name, but there it is in a video. I was afraid I had just forgotten what Mum’s voice sounded like; but Katie showed me a video mum accidentally took whilst she was worrying over her hair.

At the end of the day, however, we did not know that Mum wasn’t going to be here in 10 years’ time. How were we meant to know? So we didn’t film her all the time, take down copious notes of what she said and did. In one of my favourite songs, Beloved by Mumford and Sons, there is a line: “How have I not made a note of every word You ever said?” I think that’s how everyone feels when we are grieving. But we all have stored hours and hours of memories inside of us, and videos and photos only remind us of that. It feels like we don’t have enough, but if I could relive a day with Mum today, of course I would not be taking photos and videos, I would spend that moment enjoying her company and listening to her.

Whilst we always want more, we have the right amount.

17 thoughts on ““How Did I Not Make A Note of Every Word You Ever Said”

  1. Baffledmum – U.K. – I'm a mum to 3 lovely boys who can drive me crazy at times and a pet dog who listens to me more than anyone else in my house! Very happily married and generally settled in life. Love to laugh. Love to write! Love to read! Love to dream...
    Baffledmum says:

    What a beautiful post written with so much love & adorning for your mum… She must have been a great woman to have left such awesome memories for you to grow up with… I can imagine, over time, we do forget things but the most important memories will last forever in our heart…

  2. thetabooofgrief – Currently a University student studying Politics and International Relations. Created a blog to bring comfort to those who have grieved or are currently grieving. My ambition is to rid of the taboo of grief and being open about how grief can manifest itself in day to day lives.
    thetabooofgrief says:

    I love this. You write beautifully and your mum sounded brilliant. Cherish those memories forever

  3. What a beautiful piece, like you, I cherish everything, every memory, I wear my Mums jewellery, have some of her precious things around the house, she’s always near, I hope you feel the same way x

  4. Thanks for writing. It helps me to assist my daughters with the loss of their Mummy. Sometimes my little cries out for more memories. I believe reading this to her can help.

  5. Wow, I never really thought about it that way. I’m very fortunate to still have both of my parents here with me. My mom is someone who likes taking photos of everyone and everything, no matter how good or bad the picture is. I’ve always been really camera shy, and tend to talk my way out of having my picture taken. I guess I never considered that this could be her way of having things for us to remember once she is gone, since no one else was doing it for us. Something else that I realized is that no one is doing it for her, and maybe I could start. Thank you for this.

Leave a Reply