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Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum


This might be an angry blog…I’m not sure yet…let’s see how this goes.

It’s Mother’s Day today and it can be a hard day for people. One of my best friends lost her mother-in-law very recently. She has been with her husband a lifetime and I can’t imagine what she must feel like to watch him trying to deal with his loss. My friend, along with his mother, have watched him grown from a boy to a man. Without going into detail, my friend tells me that there was criticism about how he dealt with the lead up and how he is dealing with it now by others. Which is sad. And wrong. Because no one has the right to tell you or judge how you mourn for your mum.

I have re-written this line 7 times and not sure how to put this statement so I’m just going to go with how ever I type this now. Unless you have a very bad relationship with your mum or abuse took place…I don’t know……But you and your mum are not close…you can not prepare for the feeling that engulfs you when she goes. I am sure that people can feel like that about Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Nans…you get my drift. So, I want you to imagine the person you are closest to in this world (Not your kids…that’s some next level stuff) …the family member you hold dearest.

I want you to close your eyes for a moment and I want you to visualise how they say your name. Or your nickname. Close your eyes and try to picture and hear your loved one say your name.


Imagine the day when you never get to hear that voice again.

I just did it. I closed my eyes and tried to hear my mums voice. How I remember it. But I’m not sure anymore if that is how it sounded. I can sometimes see her face in my mind but not hear her. I have one video of her in the whole world. Its up in the loft, probably ruined with damp or something.

You may think “How can you leave it up there? If that was all I had of my mum I would treasure it”

I tell you why. Because it fucking kills me to hear her voice on that video. I watched it a few years ago and it flawed me. Typing now, sitting on my bed I have got upset and the letters are blurry. Because now I want to turn the loft upside down and find the video. Keep it safe. Make a hundred copies.

But I also don’t.

Tell you the worst thing about losing someone. Not being able to say their name.

I can never say “Mum” again. Mum is actually my favourite word in the whole world. Mum. Mumsy. Mummy.

The loved one you pictured just now. Say the name you call them aloud. I don’t care where you are right now…who is watching. Say it.

I will.

Mum. Did you say it? I’m gonna do it again but louder. Mum.

I hear nothing. No one has answered. No one ever will when I say mum again. She always answered. I could be laying in bed and my mum in the living room and I would shout mum…and she would say “What now”. Even if I had not spoken to her for hours. I used to giggle to myself and not answer. Because when I didn’t answer back …she would always call back “What do you want” …I would stifle my giggle and not answer…and then she would start cussing under her breath and come to where I was. (I would usually ask for food to be fair). She would stamp off, saying she was not my slave and then come back with the most amazing food to grace this earth.

Imagine never tasting the food the person you love has cooked ever again.

Let me tell you about my mum. She was amazing. She was brave and loyal. I am biases but she was the best mum in the world…serious. She was funny and she used to make me be sick with laughter. I have actually thrown up from laughing.

She sung like a dying cat. I have an awful voice but Jesus…my old dear…it was painful. She would whack on Patsy Cline to do the house work and you would leave the house rather than listen to “Crazy” being killed in our flat.

I would give almost anything to hear her sing. To watch her laugh. To make her smile. And now I am crying again.

My mum has been gone 11 years this year. I have not seen my mum for 11 years. And I really miss her. I’m sitting here now with big stupid tears and maybe a snot bubble just popped out…. My little girl has just walked in and I have just said can she give me a minute.

Do you see that…11 years down the line and just because I remember my mums smile, I have had to lock myself in the bathroom for a moment. Because I don’t want my little girl to see me upset.

When my mum died. I am talking like…the second she died…as she died in my arms…I felt nothing but calmness. She had been thrashing and making this mad noise for hours. So, when she started to go calm and limp…I felt calm also. And when I realised, she was gone. I stood up, walked around to the other side of the bed, held her hand…dropped to my knees and howled. I have written a blog about my mum dying before. And the person that was also there when she died…. he said that the noise that came from me when I realised she was gone was animal like. I asked him to describe it. He said it sounded like a soul being split in half.

He was right.

Then…I wiped my tears…and I went and cooked a full roast dinner. There were lots of people outside the house when mum died. Lots of people had come to say good bye. And I could see on their faces they were thinking…” I thought she was close to her mum…how can she be cooking a roast 10 minutes after”

Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum

I went back to work 2 weeks late. My boss tried to stop me, Sharon. She said not to. But not in a forceful way. And when she found me drunk in the staff toilets sobbing under the sink, she took me home and made me safe.

Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum.

Then I moved away from everyone I had known my whole life. As she was dying my mum kept telling me “Don’t you dare run away”. She knew me well that women. So, the second I had an excuse to get as far away as I could from every memory I could of my life with her. I did.

Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum.

I never visit my mums grave. The last time I went was when my uncle was laid in the same plot as her. I could not tell you what number the gave is and she has no head stone.

Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum.

I have cried dark tears. I have been so angry at her for leaving me. For not fighting. For leaving us with these people. I begged gGd that night…the night before she died…not to take my mum. I made all these deals with him. I knelt on my bathroom floor whilst my mum was on an oxygen machine in my living room…. hours before she died…and I begged him silently. I said I was sorry for all the things I did. I said that this was not a fair punishment, I said that I am 28 and I have the boys and that ITS NOT FUCKING FAIR!!!

My mum suffered so much in her life. She didn’t deserve any of it. Yet I watched her die in pain.

She never saw any of the things me and the boys achieved.

I have only one picture up of her. I took the rest down. They may go back up. They may not. I may take the last one down. I might get a fucking giant canvas of the picture I have of my mum holding me as a baby and have it covering the whole fucking wall if I want to. I might not.

I might have had a little girl who is sitting in her room right now…. who may have the middle name of the most brave, amazing, wonderful women to walk this earth. That little girl might have some needs that means she can’t understand why mummy would cry over someone she has never met. Why her mum has to go away by herself for a second when people talk about “Sleeping nanny”.

I might have two sons who never got over the loss of the women who really acted like their mum. The women who stepped in to act as a parent when their fathers were no where to be found. Them 2 boys may also struggle to ever come to terms that the core of our family was snatched from us just …like…that. The two boys may be in the last year of uni…might be graduating this year.

How about that…Little old Nell from Battersea….2 grandsons at uni …about to graduate. A granddaughter so special and beautiful that its lucky Nell is not alive because boy would she be spoiled.

Maybe my friends husband wants to just go back to work. Maybe he just wants to carry on. Maybe that because his mother raised a king…a king who knows he must carry on for his queen.

Maybe I am pushing myself and my children to achieve so much in life so that I can look up every now and then and say “look mum…look what YOU achieved. You made this happen. You made me a fighter. You have made these 3 wonderful grandchildren and they are yours”

Maybe I will write an angry blog…even though I am not sure who I am angry at…have a cry…wipe my nose and go and make us some crumpets and when I walk past her picture, I give her a little nod of respect. Maybe I will have a likkle Bacardi and coke.

Whatever my friends husband decides to do…whatever I decided to do…. just know we earnt our stripes …and

Don’t tell me how to mourn my mum.

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