Grief is not a one-size-fits-all experience. If you are grieving, be gentle with yourself. Know that everyone copes differently. And when you do fall apart, know it is normal. Make room for it.
No matter how far I get from the place where she sanded down the floors, painted the walls and made memories with me, she will always be somewhere. I can hear her in my head saying “you can’t get rid of me that easily, Evee!”
I think this is a poignant question, and one I think about often; especially as a young person being without their Mum. I think a question that is good to ask ourselves when we are trying to work out whether we have done the right thing, is how do we know when we have done the wrong thing?
So, not because it’s Valentines Day, but because you deserve it everyday, I hope you give yourself a little self-love today and always in whatever form that may be.
Hopefully dear reader, by the time that this post is up, my essay will have figured out how to write itself, references will be arranged alphabetically in a long list and it will submit itself.
My brother was 17 months older than me. When he was 7 years old he won silver in the 50m run at the school sports meet. As he crossed the finish line, the wind raced past my ears and a surge of lightness rumbled through the wooden stadium planks. His joys and fears were mine and my hopes and victories were his. I could never truly accept that he was another person.
There is no consolation for missing someone who can’t come back, but there are things you can do to feel closer to your person, and I am thankful to be able to continue something that we both loved together.
As a little girl I loved doing things for my mother. Whether I gave her a drawing, a homemade gift, or a surprise breakfast, she would tell me I was so sweet and thoughtful and clever and artistic and creative and smart and wonderful in every way. And, being the trusting little child that I was, I believed it. (This was long before “self-esteem” was the buzz-word that it is today.)
I know it seems that this pandemic will never end, particularly as it follows us into a new year. But please know that you are not alone in your struggle, and this will pass. You will see that there are so many reasons to live.
But that’s grief, isn’t it? It comes when you least expect it. When you find a video you sent to your mum, of you in a pyjama set she bought you, tucked in a bed she kissed you goodnight in, cuddling the cat you both loved so much together.