I think the thing with grief is that I always want to know the 'why' or the 'what'; Why did I break down after a perfectly nice weekend? What was the trigger? On Sunday night, I went to bed and woke up 23 again, in 2018. I woke up with all of the fresh pain and the memories of my mum passing away. I felt frantic and only wanted to speak to the people who were around me then.
The very first photo is my lovely mum in a blue ballgown, taken on the 14th of September, 2013. I would have been 13. The royal blue of Mum's dress brightens and flaunts her clear blue eyes. A faint, hesitant smile has only aged 7 years with fondness and love. Her hair is short, and slightly messy. I love it, but I can imagine mum brushing her fingers through it only moments beforehand.
Crying is a natural response to the world. Yet, here we are insisting it takes place behind closed doors, and it is something we should be embarrassed about.
Yes, and I am finally living it.
But this is my world. Those were the cards I had been dealt. I have been living without my Mum for 14 months now. I have been doing okay.
I thought I’d never be able to endure this loss. But I suffered my biggest fear over the last 10 months and I’m still surviving it now. More than that, I finally feel as though I am in a position to start living again and putting myself back together.
I felt emotionally exhausted and wanted the opportunity to transfer this emotional struggle into a physical challenge that I could overcome, learn and develop from.
When I wake up, my heart doesn’t split into a thousand pieces. My head doesn’t pound with questions asking me why us, or how are we here. When I reach for a mug for my coffee, my hands don’t shake when I see Mum’s mug.
When you hold your thumb, try and think of a safe and calming space. This could be a place that you imagine, like a beach with the sound of the waves, or it could be a memory where you remember feel particularly calm. For me it is lying back on the trampoline, feeling warm by the evening sun, at about 12 years old.