February two years ago – life was pretty simple. I was pregnant and beyond excited about having my twin girls to complete my family. Dilemmas would be what date I’d finish work or when Next would get another stock in of the gorgeous cow print sleepsuits I so desperately wanted.
February one year ago – we were told that my Moms Cancer had spread and there was nothing else they could do. The bottom of my world fell out hearing the two words – stage four. No one ever wants to be stage four yet here I am trying to process this.
February now – heartbroken. Lost. Bewildered. Stunned that the past year has gone by so quickly. That this world of pain that hit me then has not shifted by intensified more than I ever thought was possible. How has it been ten months since I last saw her and spoke to her. How have I coped ten months without having a Mom. How can I even comprehend this being normality?
I had an incredibly eye opening conversation with two different people at two different times. One had never had any trauma in their life. The other had been dealt a pretty shit hand. I was humbled by how differently people react to things having traumatic life experiences. The mundane crap no longer seems relevant. Your tolerance to trivial issues hits an all time low. Grief has made me bitter. Grief has made me angry. Grief…has changed me completely.
I am angry when I see people moaning about having a splinter or having to wait in a queue; what I would do for this to be the worst thing to happen in a day!
I am bitter when I see people who are my Moms age sitting with their Mom; I’m half their age yet will never ever get to do this. My children will never grow up knowing stories about their Mom when she was little. They will never get to pop round and spend an hour with their Gran. Charlie will never get to drive her to pick up her shopping like she always used to joke with him about. The girls…won’t even remember her. That absolutely floors me.
But you know what else grief has taught me? How bloody strong I am.
I’m not one for ever tooting my own horn but my god. I think it’s pretty amazing that since my girls were 3 weeks old we have had Cancer hanging over us like a dirty horrible cloud but everyday we got up, got dressed and got on with it. I had 2 tiny babies, 10 school runs a week and never once have been late. My husband works away and often at weekends too and with very little support I’ve done it. I’ve had to deal with the trauma of my mother dying and I’m still standing. Some days less upright than others but I’m here. And my kids are happy. I did it! I’ve survived the worst pain imaginable and still have 3 beautiful children who love me and keep me sane(ish!) This pain will never shift but I promised to look after them all and my god I will.
When all you want to do is fade away into that duvet, closing all the noise and light from the outside world off, these little people depend on you. So no matter what time I was up until breaking my heart, no matter how angry bitter and distraught I feel, grief has shown me – you can get through it. Not over it but through it. It hurts; bloody hell it hurts like hell but I can and will cope. I am – every second on every day. I have no choice; my children need me and I need them.
Grief – I wish we hadn’t had to have met for at least another 20 years. But we are stuck with each other. So when I’m having a down day try not to be too hard. Show me the glimmers of good in each day. Remind me to smile through the pain as these treasured memories sadly now are all I have left. But give me the energy to make more wonderful lifelong memories – with my babies just like my Mom had with hers.