What Grief Has Taught Me

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.

B xx

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  1. Karen
    20th February 2015 / 8:16 am

    Sending you a hug

  2. 20th February 2015 / 1:53 pm

    You are strong. Your mom sounds amazing, and she made you strong. I cannot imagine your grief, and can only send you hugs, which I know is so inadequate in the face of your pain xx Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  3. 20th February 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Beautiful. Lots of love xxxxxxx

  4. 20th February 2015 / 2:26 pm

    wow you are so strong an amazing to be able to cope in the way you have. be proud of your self your are an inspiration to your children and they will remember their nan because you will tell them story’s her xx

  5. 20th February 2015 / 2:40 pm

    Oh Beth, this is beautiful. I watched my best friend go through losing her mum and she is an amazing and strong woman, just like you. Big hugs xx

  6. 20th February 2015 / 4:54 pm

    I totally relate to the annoyance it causes when some people moan about the smallest things, when in reality those things are not even worth a mention.
    You have been immensely brave through such sad times,
    Sending Love and Hugs your way, Stay strong x #WotW

  7. 20th February 2015 / 5:38 pm

    I was crying. I have been feeling weak lately.

    I am sorry for your lost. #wotw

  8. 20th February 2015 / 7:23 pm

    Sending love and hugs! It’s things like this that do make you realise how strong you are. Thinking of you xxx

  9. 20th February 2015 / 10:54 pm

    I know so many of the feelings you’ve spoken about. Especially when you see people with their mums, or people with mum’s who’re wasters, or nasty to their children, and you wonder why it was your lovely mum who cancer picked on.

    But it’s great that we can be strong, and you’ve definitely proved it with what you’ve achieved and kept going.. While it’s awful to think that your children won’t have their Gran around, I found that having N probably made it more bearable to focus on.

  10. 21st February 2015 / 9:28 am

    Sending you hugs sweetie. My husbands mum was taken too soon from cancer and it was a tough time. I often feel sad that the kids dont have their nanny around, and won’t remember much about her. xx

  11. 21st February 2015 / 1:07 pm

    Aaah Beth — what a beautiful post. I just want to give you a big hug!! Grief is such a strange emotion; it can manifest itself in so many different ways and people cope with it so differently. You’re amazingly strong.

    You’ve lost your lovely mom but she’s inside you — she makes up half of you — and your children will get to know her through your memories, the things you do and say. She’ll never be totally gone from your lives. Sending you lots of love xxxx

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

  12. 21st February 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Oh, this is such a heart-felt post. Beautifully written but so emotional. I am sending you a big hug. I can’t imagine how difficult this has all been for you and your family, but I hope writing about it has helped in some way. You are indeed a strong person. x

  13. 22nd February 2015 / 2:26 pm

    So beautifully written. As you know I relate to every word. I too felt an intense anger when I first lost my Mum and an overwhelming envy of women my age out with their Mums. It was a horrible, gut wrenching heartache. I promise those feelings pass, and you will feel ‘normal’ again, you will always miss Mum and crave her presence but you will find ways of coping without her. Hugs & love xxx

  14. Alison MacDonald
    24th February 2015 / 11:46 am

    This post is very eloquent I lost my mum when I was 32 and even now all these years later I still miss her and wish she was here. You do learn to cope it takes time but you do sending you (((hugs))).

  15. Jemma Bond
    24th February 2015 / 1:04 pm

    Sending my thoughts and a big hug! You are a very strong woman! xxx

  16. Denise C
    24th February 2015 / 6:27 pm

    What an emotional post

  17. Potty Mouthed Mummy
    24th February 2015 / 9:28 pm

    You are amazingly strong and you should toot that horn more often. This is a beautiful post lovelyxx

  18. Honest Mum
    27th February 2015 / 10:25 am

    Touching post, you are so, so strong, much love x

  19. 27th February 2015 / 4:47 pm

    I hope it felt cathartic to get all that out. It’s so unjust when good people go too soon. The Beth Orton song Pass in Time is now swirling around my head. Google it if you aren’t familiar with it, beautiful heartbreaking lyrics. Hugs lovely xxx

  20. 27th February 2015 / 10:44 pm

    This is such a beautiful but tragic post. I felt every word that you wrote and I am sitting here with tears in my eyes. This world can be cruel. And cancer is evil. It takes and destroys. But I am glad you recognise your strength in all this. You should be proud of yourself and you should be kind to yourself. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  21. Marie Evans
    2nd August 2016 / 5:20 pm

    I read your post with sadness has i too lost my mom to cancer,My sister & myself looked after her for several years & even when we knew her time was near we still did’nt except our mom to go she was so brave.After her death we went through all the feeling i daresay you went though it’s not fair,why? etc.The years go by the first few are the worst Christmas,birthdays Mothers day.The said thing is she never got to see her great grandchildren.Things happen you want to phone & tell her.But time goes by & like you it’s a case of coming to terms with it.Now 4yrs on i try to remember all the memories we had.You are brave & i applaud you for it you had small children at the time which in a way took a lot of your time.But she will always stay in your heart.And in the the future even your kiddie make do or say something that will remind you of her. x