Today is mum’s birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MUM!
I want to write about my experiences of positive examples of talking about those we love who have passed because many, understandably, feel over cautious or too nervous to talk about them with the bereaved.
Last night I went to the pub with my 2 favourite women from work (don’t worry, I wasn’t downing the vodka cranberries! I had plenty of water, soup and a cheeky pineapple juice. Well, since you asked!).
We started talking about what I was going to be doing today and then we got on to a great conversation about what it would be like if my beloved work wife met my mum. I’ve done that before with some good friends too. It feels and felt nice.
“Do you think we would have got on?”
“Oh, she’s a feeder!”
We pictured entering mum’s house and how the first thing offered would have been a cuppa and food. I always remember how I felt when that wasn’t the case at others’ homes when I just thought it was the norm everywhere, ha!
Whether she would have said ‘hey’ or ‘hi.’ The simplicity of this conversation sent oxytocin (the happy feel good hormone often felt after a decent hug if you like cuddles!) flooding through me as I remembered mum’s voice and got to picture it in different pitches and her in different moods.
We laughed, we chuckled, we started talking about those TV programmes/films that sometimes showed those who had died and other representations of the dead in others present. Religion aside we started thinking what would happen if they were up in the sky looking down and sending signs what they would be. Lights flickering? Sun shining in torrential rain? We used animated hand gestures to picture pressing a lift to go and visit them and what that would be like. We spoke a bit about faith and culture and what they say happens to the dead. It was all very normal, nice, and not actually morbid! Well, until we started picturing if work wife joined mum and talked about us down on earth, I was like nope, don’t want to picture that!
It just goes to show it doesn’t have to be difficult. It was such a simple scene. 3 mates in a pub. A good spirited conversation. Context and environment is helpful to be considered.
Also, it’s okay if it doesn’t go swimmingly well. As long as the intention is good. I spoke to my husband about this as bless him he’s bought mum up a couple of times recently (which I LOVE and is what I always say I’d like more of) but my reaction was more taken aback than anything because I’m just not that used to it. That’s not because it made me unhappy it’s because for years people seemed to avoid it or waited for me to bring her up. I can see why and that is a safer way to play it I guess. It’s just often I’m met with some uncertainty of how to respond when I do say her name.
Oh – that reminds me, she got a nick name last night that we tried out haha ‘Shells’. We laughed nervously / happily / genuinely using it and wandered whether she would have liked it and using it anyway for our own amusement.
It’s not always going to be happy and that’s okay too. Tears are okay. We can remember more difficult days or celebrate birthdays and each year I learn more and more about this and I’m so grateful for all the good conversations I get to have with others about mum.
I’m going to be a mum soon and so of course she is on my mind. I’ve not spoken about this with many but it’s very much there.
When I found out (and after sharing the news with my husband) I was pacing up and down the flat with happy tears streaming and crying “I want to tell my mum”. She knows. I know she knows. She’s with me. Luckily I get to decide her reaction because I’ll never know the earth one. That’s okay. Well it’s not really but I’m more at peace with it.
My other friend told me her friend told her it will be different when I’m a mum. I believe it could be. It’s different every year. Of course not at baby age but I wander how I’ll teach my little kub about their grandma. Who she was. Who she is. What happened. Something I care deeply about is how loss is shared with children and will be something I navigate in coming years.
Anyway, time to get on with the rest of the day. If I can. Currently sat on a very slow moving heavily delayed train. Yippee to London life.
Thank you to everyone who respects my way of keeping my sunflower alive in life and does what they can in their own way. No judgement. Not quite the deeply hurting teen I was before or in that bad space entrenched in my own anger and sadness.
Love, peace and birthday wishes to Shells 🐚 Abs 🌻