Perfectly Untouched

When my Mum passed away, I willed my life to stay exactly how she left it – perfectly untouched like the crisp layer of newly fallen snow, blanketing my life. I daren’t take a step forward in fear of altering what she had left. I awkwardly lived around her belongings, preserving her life in our home.

But that’s not the way it goes. 

Our little home this year has seen the carpet gain a new coffee stain and muddy little paw prints on the wall where the cat climbed in through the window after it rained – sorry Mum. We’ve put some new photos on the mantel piece, and we have taken many down. 

The people in our lives have changed too. We have met so many new personalities that she would have loved to meet; personalities that have influenced our own. 

This weekend said goodbye to lots of Mum’s belongings and nearly all of her clothes. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be though. I didn’t cry. 

Though we emptied her wardrobe just this weekend, our home has felt empty ever since she left. It’s a little messier here and there and her trace is now all but gone. She doesn’t cook her usual Sunday roast. Rather, we eat a stir fry or sweet potato, and Evee has actually taken to eating a salad once in a while. We don’t sit beside her in bed anymore with a hot chocolate, rather Evee comes to my room with a mint tea.  

And while her trace is no longer preserved like a shrine between these brick walls, her memory remains perfectly fresh and untouched in me. It no longer wrenches my heart in two when I revisit those happier times or recount old conversations that we shared. 

She still lives in our stubborn independence as we take a ladder and a pair of secateurs to the wisteria that climbs the wall as we pretend that we are experienced gardeners who definitely know what they are doing. And she echoes in our uncontrollable laughter half an hour later as we double over at the sight of just how awful the wisteria now looks and maybe we should have just asked for someone’s help before ruining it.  

I can see now that, despite my initial reluctance, in 11 months and 7 days I have taken many steps across that blanket of snow. I realise that I am not the daughter that she left behind and my life isn’t exactly how she left it.

Despite the occasional stumble, my dance with grief is more fluid than awkward now. 

Today, I will myself to live my life exactly how I want to, with my Mum’s memory perfectly untouched. I look forward to the steps that I am yet to take that will carve the way for my future, away from our little home.   

"And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

After the Storm - Mumford & Sons

Katie

Copyright © 2019 The Grief Reality. All Rights Reserved

20 thoughts on “Perfectly Untouched

  1. Alexandra A – I'm just a skinny girl with a lot of hair and a couple of stories. I'm 26, married, and have two very active, sparkly-eyed babies. My mother lives with me so I've got my best ally and source of wisdom here, too. Everything I do is for my family. We like to garden, paint, start projects, read, and watch a little bit of Netflix. I'm working on my cooking, parenting with patience, and learning how to love life where I'm at. Though I've abandoned my degree three times in two different states (yes, I said three times), I have listened and watched and picked up a couple of tips. Most of what I write is entirely non-fictional because I let life spin the tales. I'm ready to learn more and am excited to meet others on the same path. This is to serve as a record of what I've done. All pictures have been taken by me, unless otherwise credited.
    Alexandra A says:

    The wisteria will probably be just fine 😉 What a sweet post; makes me think about my mom (who is still alive and I’m really lucky), and which is something we should all do once in a while.

  2. Beautiful post. It’s your life you need to live it how you want to. That’s often one of the big challenges after loss. I’m still trying to get my head round that one.

  3. shellteacup – Hi. I'm 49 and busy setting up a vintage china hire and afternoon tea business. I have three grown up children and a baby grandson. I live with my husband and our three dogs in a house we are currently renovating from top to bottom. My dream is to buy a chateau in France and run a guest house.
    shellteacup says:

    Beautiful words. Thanks for sharing. x

  4. Clearly i did not know your Mum, but i suspect that last paragraph is exactly what she would want for you. 🙂

    Regards the wisteria: they are practically indestructible, but there is a theory among some gardeners that you trim back to the 5th ‘node’ of any branch you wish to encourage to grow flowers on. They will ‘expand’ after you do. My white one is just beginning to blossom. 😉

    1. Thank you! I’m sure she would as well 🙂 and thank you for the wisteria advice too, theres still a lot to learn when it comes to gardening Haha. How lovely, we used to live in a bungalow with a wisteria that would flower so beautifully every year!

      1. Alexandra A – I'm just a skinny girl with a lot of hair and a couple of stories. I'm 26, married, and have two very active, sparkly-eyed babies. My mother lives with me so I've got my best ally and source of wisdom here, too. Everything I do is for my family. We like to garden, paint, start projects, read, and watch a little bit of Netflix. I'm working on my cooking, parenting with patience, and learning how to love life where I'm at. Though I've abandoned my degree three times in two different states (yes, I said three times), I have listened and watched and picked up a couple of tips. Most of what I write is entirely non-fictional because I let life spin the tales. I'm ready to learn more and am excited to meet others on the same path. This is to serve as a record of what I've done. All pictures have been taken by me, unless otherwise credited.
        Alexandra A says:

        Your story of her life planted a little seed of wisdom. Wow that’s cool.

    2. Alexandra A – I'm just a skinny girl with a lot of hair and a couple of stories. I'm 26, married, and have two very active, sparkly-eyed babies. My mother lives with me so I've got my best ally and source of wisdom here, too. Everything I do is for my family. We like to garden, paint, start projects, read, and watch a little bit of Netflix. I'm working on my cooking, parenting with patience, and learning how to love life where I'm at. Though I've abandoned my degree three times in two different states (yes, I said three times), I have listened and watched and picked up a couple of tips. Most of what I write is entirely non-fictional because I let life spin the tales. I'm ready to learn more and am excited to meet others on the same path. This is to serve as a record of what I've done. All pictures have been taken by me, unless otherwise credited.
      Alexandra A says:

      Lwbut, that is great information to know!! I don’t have any wisteria, but I’m always pruning something 😉

      1. Wisteria is a beautiful vine with a wonderful perfume… but it will get away from you if you don’t cut it back pretty frequently after it blooms! 😉

      2. Alexandra A – I'm just a skinny girl with a lot of hair and a couple of stories. I'm 26, married, and have two very active, sparkly-eyed babies. My mother lives with me so I've got my best ally and source of wisdom here, too. Everything I do is for my family. We like to garden, paint, start projects, read, and watch a little bit of Netflix. I'm working on my cooking, parenting with patience, and learning how to love life where I'm at. Though I've abandoned my degree three times in two different states (yes, I said three times), I have listened and watched and picked up a couple of tips. Most of what I write is entirely non-fictional because I let life spin the tales. I'm ready to learn more and am excited to meet others on the same path. This is to serve as a record of what I've done. All pictures have been taken by me, unless otherwise credited.
        Alexandra A says:

        It’s downright invasive I’ve heard lol. That’s the only reason I don’t have any!! 🙂

      3. Mine ‘covers’ a large pergola which stood next to a 30ft high ficus tree. I made the mistake of not trimming it back every three months until one day i just had to hack it back.

        Several hours of painful and injurious attacking saw us call it a draw! 😉

      4. Alexandra A – I'm just a skinny girl with a lot of hair and a couple of stories. I'm 26, married, and have two very active, sparkly-eyed babies. My mother lives with me so I've got my best ally and source of wisdom here, too. Everything I do is for my family. We like to garden, paint, start projects, read, and watch a little bit of Netflix. I'm working on my cooking, parenting with patience, and learning how to love life where I'm at. Though I've abandoned my degree three times in two different states (yes, I said three times), I have listened and watched and picked up a couple of tips. Most of what I write is entirely non-fictional because I let life spin the tales. I'm ready to learn more and am excited to meet others on the same path. This is to serve as a record of what I've done. All pictures have been taken by me, unless otherwise credited.
        Alexandra A says:

        I bet! It’s a lot of work to do that stuff. I’ve got some pruning scars already lol.

        It must have all been beautiful though.

      5. I do love the scent in the Spring evenings and the flowers are just this moment beginning to cover the bare branches! 🙂

    1. Our uncle took quite a few bits to his house too. He told me it was really comforting to have some of his sister’s stuff in his home. I think it made him feel less lonely and more connected 🙂 Thank you for commenting, Luisa

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