After Mum passed away, we each looked through Mum’s jewellry box to find a necklace or piece of jewellery to keep from Mum. Every time we wore it, we would each feel closer to Mummy.
It was important and vital for our initial period of grief.
But my necklace, an amber pendant, popped out of its case and the jeweller told us that the amber was so cracked that the pendent was irreparable.
It was almost laughable.
I felt so lost, and confused, and a little angry. Why was everything, every little thing, so difficult?! We had a look at the rest of the necklaces in the jewellers like we used to do with Mum, and I saw a locket. It is a small gold, delicate heart and has flowers adorned on the side of it. When you open it, the inside is lined with a red velvet material. It suddenly made me think of when I used to tell Mummy that she sits in the right ventricle of my heart, and the cats in my left.
I didn’t get it, because i thought it was too expensive.
But naturally, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Later on in the week, I went down to the jewellery shop (which also happened to be Mum’s favourite) with my brother-in-law, and I bought the locket. He helped to print out the small pictures, and Katie helped to cut them out in the heart shape. (If you want to also do the same with a locket, you can go to a photo shop, and they will do this for you for a small fee).
When we put the photos in, and I put it on, I didn’t feel happy. I felt safe. I felt like, now I have my locket, Mummy will always be in the right ventricle of my heart, and I could always show people a picture of my Mum. I felt more relaxed, like I didn’t have to try so hard to keep remembering. But most of all, I felt close to Mummy.
The pictures I chose are the most important part of the locket. I chose a picture of Mum and I from when I was a toddler. This was a time when ‘cancer’ wasn’t in my vocabulary when Mummy could live forever, and my heart was full every single day with happiness. This was a time in my life when the biggest pain I felt was perhaps a scraped knee, and all Mum had to do to make me feel better was kiss it better and give me a croissant
On the other side of the locket, I put a picture of me and my sisters from my christening. This is another lovely memory. It was two days before Mummy died, but it is a good memory. The happiness on Mum’s face when she saw me christened, is always in my mind when I think of my locket. I got christened quickly, with the help of Mum’s close friend, my now godmother, and Mum’s church priest. It is very dear to me.
Having a locket is often deemed as an outdated concept but after you have lost someone, it can be a lifeline. It is a physical reminder that you can be happy, but also the person who died was happy and not in pain. After Mummy died I often found it difficult to not talk about her every five minutes, and my locket gave me the realisation that I no longer had to talk about her all the time, people were seeing my necklace, and thus, were seeing Mummy when they asked what was in it.
But most importantly, when I feel sad and weak, and that every day coming is yet another uphill battle, when I put on my locket, I am reminded of my Mum’s strength, which I have in me, and also that she is here with me; in this physical picture and in this beautiful heart.