Ouch, typing the title hurt a little.
It’s my birthday today. I’ve had a lovely weekend. Action packed. Filled with many of my favourite people. Well, those on this planet.
This is not meant to be ‘sad’ blog. I’ve had a happy few days with a tender few in the lead up to this. I’ve been keeping busy. Extra, perhaps, to distract me from the reality. To beat last year’s birthday in the midst of extreme anxiety and easing out of the depths of depression. Yet sitting now in the salon, pampering myself, I breathe. I remember.
Recently I was having trouble sleeping, often thinking about mum’s birthday (9 days after mine) and I realised that perhaps this one was extra sensitive because of, well, this title.
I have now lived longer without mum physically in my life than with. I don’t think I’ve said this aloud yet. Only in writing.
These blogs aren’t about sympathy. Or the “I’m so sorry’s,” from others. Sometimes it’s also okay to be sad if it is sad, about this, and it’s just me acknowledging it. It’s why I write. As well as helping others through these milestones in grief.
I miss her face. Her words. Her voice. Her beauty. Her everything. She’s in my job. My activism. My everything.
I can’t believe I got this far to be honest. I spent most of my teens playing with life like it was fire. Dancing with danger. The aftermath, the horror, the trauma, the okay, the not so okay. Suicide bereavement is a whirlwind.
Resilience as popular a buzzword as it is, is hard. Life knocks you about a lot and your strength isn’t always there.
I made it though. I’ve many good times alongside the deep sadness and depression I relate to that darling mum experienced. The weight of anxiety so heavy on chest.
I write as the smiling girl in pictures. Pictures that don’t lie. That show happiness. Inside and out. Yet it doesn’t eradicate the pain. You learn to live with it. I’ve grown with it.
I grow and stretch my circles of trust.
Mum wasn’t there to see the happiest day of my life last year and she won’t be there for the next chapter yet she’s always in heart. I can say that. Others do but it’s better when I do. Sometimes I just need to say it. Sometimes the grieving need permission to hurt. To not have someone try to put a plaster on the wound.
Empathy, sitting with someone with their sadness, as hard as it is, is sometimes more powerful than the ‘fixers’ and more in tune what I need these days. A held hand. An arm on the shoulder. A kiss. A look at her photo together. A sigh. A cry. A tear. Being okay with sadness. A level of emotional intelligence above many other due to its often level of difficulty and discomfort.
I don’t expect you to make it better. Ease that pressure of yourself.
To those that love me throughout. I love you too.
On to the next year. The sting from the realisation of title has stung, but I’m okay.
And if you’re going through this, I hear you, I feel you, and I acknowledge your experience.
& mum, I miss you lots.