So its been a year since my very own Mama lost her fight with cancer and was taken up to heaven…here are 12 things I have learnt since last August…
- You only get one Mama, treat her amazingly no matter what because even with all the mistakes in the world no one will love you as she does.
- Make memories, I regret all the things we never did together as adults; afternoon tea, shopping trips, a foreign holiday, the theatre, the cinema…the list is absolutely endless
- Not everything needs to be perfect. My Mama was a firm believer that the house needed to be spotless and the washing up done before anyone went to bed. I have learnt that the house doesn’t fall apart if the washing up is left to dry over night.
- Unspoken words start to rot. There was a LOT of things I wanted to say and ask my Mama before she passed but I didn’t have the guts to, this will be one of my life regrets – I’ve now learnt that if something is on the tip of your tongue you need to ask it not bottle it up
- It’s perfectly okay to cut off from the world – I stopped answering my phone around November time. I just didn’t want to talk and I needed to process the difficult year that I had survived. I didn’t feel bad about it, well I did to start with but I don’t anymore. I hadn’t spoken to hardly any of my Irish family because I found it hard to speak about my Mama with them. I now know its totally okay to cut off from your family and friends temporarily so you have the time needed to think, breathe and heal.
- You don’t need things to remember people by. Growing up my Mama always had something belonging to her parents, my brother her dear friend and she would bring them out during her spring cleans and reminisce. I read a book earlier in the year by Marie Kondo and she teaches people how to let go of items in their life that no longer brings them joy. Just because my Mama’s possessions brought her joy doesn’t mean they will do the same for me. I let go of almost everything my Mama left behind and I gave them to people who could use them rather than hanging them up or having them in a box somewhere to hardly ever be seen.
- Its okay to talk about her and even to her. I am always laughing about things she did, moaning about things that were said, telling the boys how much she loved them…some people are uncomfortable speaking about her and I know thats okay too.
- There is an emptiness. Not just in our home but in me. I have an empty feeling I can’t describe. She left a Mama shaped hole in me somewhere. It has gotten smaller over the last year but its still there.
- You’re not a bad person for feeling joy on days you should be feeling sad. Birthdays, christmases and anniversaries will not be the same again but I don’t have to spend the day in bed crying, I can remember the good times we all had as a family.
- A year is a short period of time. I can’t believe how much has happened over the past year. Although it has been 365 days it feels like its been 36.5 days. Its flown by and although its been a year it feels like a month ago I was sat in the hospice and watched her slip away.
- Hospices are where angels work. I had never been to a hospice before taking Mama to St Josephs, I didn’t know what to expect. The month she spent there she was cared for by absolute angels, who put up with her mischief, moods, deterioration and the constant flow of visitors. All with a smile on their face, a sympathetic ear and a warm hug if ever you needed one.
- The biggest thing I have learnt and something I got from my Mama (and I think I have taken over from her) is to give. Give your time, love, energy to whoever needs it. Mama used to take in anyone who needed something, she would give until she had nothing else to give. I have spent the last year raising money for the hospice that looked after her so well, giving advice to anyone who needs/asks for it, helping people when they need it, giving our
clutterno longer used items to those who will use them. And to do all this without wanting or expecting anything in return.
So its been a hell of a year without you Mama, I just hope I’ve made you proud. I hope you will continue looking down on us and showering us with your love because we can still feel it!
Hope you’re having a toast up there with a bottle of Jacobs Creek….I’m surprised they haven’t gone under over the past year from a rapid drop in sales hahahaha!