When do we finally start to ‘adult’? What I mean by this, is when are we finally classed as grown up? Does ‘adulting’ mean we are financially dependant? Home making? Have off spring of our own, or a successful career? Is being an adult purely based on age? Independence.
We are simply animals in our groupings. We follow social roles and rely upon an order and structure to ensure our needs are met. So isn’t this simply co-dependency? Reliance?
Is adulting merely then about honesty and integrity? Being able to admit that we need support and that we have strengths but also limitations?
I love the wolf theory, about the alpha wolf choosing to walk behind the group. He did not walk up front to look after himself, to show off his strength, puff out his chest, and salute. He walks behind to ensure everyone else was accounted for. He walks behind to support the weakest, to encourage the smallest, and to ensure everyone remained safe. Status has its place but not as a priority, and certainly not as a definition for being an adult.
Being an adult is being wiser. Admitting ones faults and rejoicing in ones accomplishments. Realising that the lone wolf never won the war, and that if you have to prove it, then you certainly are not there. Yet.
So today the coroner rang and told me the reason my mother died was due to bronchial asthma. I can’t believe that she died from an asthma attack. I didn’t expect that! I’m in shock. My beautiful mum struggled. My caring and compassionate mum was on her own and afraid. It feels so wrong, and she needn’t have died.
When we had cleared her house, her inhalers had been in her handbag in the lounge so she hadn’t got to them. She had gone to the bathroom looking for them and collapsed.
I hate playing detective and I hate my thoughts and imagination. Being a nurse makes it hard. Knowledge makes it worse. All I can think about is that I wasn’t there with her and she died alone.
She had visited the GP the day before to seek an appointment as she had indigestion pains, had a chest infection, and a rash on her legs. They offered her one 2 weeks later. I am appalled. She had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and asthma. She should never have had to wait two weeks. Frankly I feel ashamed of our national health service.
The problem with grief is that we get stuck in an emotional whirlwind. It’s like taking off in a wind tunnel then finding that you cannot get out the sides. You are stuck with the emotions hitting you hard in the face, the stomach, the heart. You cannot do anything but cower and use your hands to protect yourself. The feelings are going to hurt whatever you do.
I walked around the supermarket, it hit me. I felt myself gasp with the thump of pain. I had to escape it I felt I would drown myself. My tears melting my resolve, my ‘strength’ turning to mush like the remnants of snow in the warming light.
Once the funeral is over ‘you will feel closure’ – who the hell are you kidding? Closure? Hell no. It hurts worse. There’s no longer a distraction and my poor battered heart simply has to be pulled along with the increasing days.
It has become weeks now. 26 days or 3 weeks and 5 days. But who’s counting? There is no finale. The end result remains the same.
I think I will call my grief ‘the zombie’ as it is foul and has no soul. It keeps on coming, however many times I chase it away, face it, challenge it. It simply does not relent.
Writing is my therapy. The pen is my choice of weapon. I am in control on the paper and it feels grand.
So now I am officially initiated into this god damn awful ‘exclusive’ club, I feel branded and left out to dry. My tears soaking through the dam I keep on trying to create.
You are the trickle of rain, the first droplet surprisingly gentle and pure, nourishing the earth,
You are the sound of the breeze, the sigh of the wind, gently stroking my hair, as you continue on your path.
The warmth of the sun on a summers day, the glistening light warming the coldest heart, drying my tears,
You are the sweetest snowflake, gentle kisses of crystal, your beauty evident in its whitened trail.
The deepened roots and the droplets of dew, you remain fresh and alive like the bloom of new petals, everlasting and pure.
You are everywhere, in every smell, touch, taste and sight,
No longer in body, yet I see your reflection in the ripples of the water, the shadows from the trees,
As I feel you still, my heart whispers and I hear you whisper back, Then I know you are not gone.
My wedding day will be so many things. A day that we planned, you and I.
As I put on my dress, I can see you next to me, whispering that I’m your Angel and that our bond is unbreakable and strong. I know you are right and I know that even death can’t separate us.
In my mind I can see you, your beautiful dress and your smile in the sunlight,
I see your eyes sparkling and your face glowing as you take your place next to me.
I can feel your hand In mine as I walk towards my new husband and I know that you will be so proud as you dab your eyes. My ever constant.
As I whisper ‘I do’, I know you will be smiling and nodding your head. Family meant so much to you.
I can hear you saying that I am not alone and I know that gives you peace.
My tears will encompass so many emotions. I will cry for the day that is, but I will cry also for you and the day that never was. A day without you.
I can see the table and the empty seat, but I know I will feel you.
As we raise our glasses and toast a new life, I will also toast yours too.
As I dance and enjoy the music, I will imagine you are dancing and celebrating too.
I will look towards the stars like you told me, and I will smile and whisper ‘I love you’. As they twinkle, I will hear your reply.
My beautiful mum, now my forever Angel.
Always in my heart xxx
A myriad of memories blur the edges of my despair,
Wash away the crippling pain with their softened touch.
I can see them before me,
Playing on, like a muted movie,
My life stark in the spotlight,
I watch alone.
I see a child dancing to her own music,
Her innocent mind punctuated only with love and security.
I feel her childlike hope,
Her dreams, laid out before her,
No fear as she looks to her side,
Her hand held tight.
The reel quickens as I fall for it’s lure,
I feel myself falling into the web,
Reliving moments gone,
The odour of old, filling my senses,
Sleep engulfs me as I lose my reality,
Floating, I hear the sigh escaping,
Forgetful, I pray,
In my minds eye,
she’s there smiling,
Yesterday feels closer now,
My hand reached out,
Not letting go
I awake to the sound of bird song,
Dazed, My eyes remain closed,
Refusal, I can only hope,
The light is brighter,
My hand is empty now,
Her touch still warm.