Sunday, October 18, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

17 years ago today . . .

. . . my mother died.

I was 17 when she died, so it is now half my life that she has been gone. Well, if I were going to be *really* accurate I would say that it isn't actually exactly half my life because I'd already turned 17 when she died. So half my life will be in another couple of months, but who's counting, right?

One of my sisters and her children came over today and we all went to the cemetery, which is very close to my house. Despite the proximity of the cemetery where Mum is buried, I rarely go there. I don't suppose it's something that I'm keen to do although it was kind of nice (if I might use that word) to take my children there.

Since having children I've been a bit caught up in them to really remember my grief for my mother. I think because this year's anniversary is quite important, being the halfway point as it were, it seems to have come back and hit me at full force. Grief's funny like that. Sometimes I wonder whether I set myself up for it or whether Grief really has a mind of its own and comes and goes as it pleases. Quite probably it is a combination of both. I have been reading some books about Grief lately as I have been a bit apprehensive about this anniversary. I'm getting old enough to say that something happened "half my life" ago and I can remember the details :).

It is significant that this past year I have felt the need to move through to the next stage of my Grief. I was cocky enough to think that I was "over it" and that I had "moved on". Don't you love how we like to think of Grief as being "over" or "through"? I am reading Grieving Mindfully at the moment. It comes from a Buddhist perspective and as I'm learning some Mindfulness exercises and meditation at the moment it seems to really hit the spot for me.

I am quite surprised and a little perturbed at how distressed I was this morning. Possibly the anticipation of going to the cemetery, not wanting to be upset around my children/sister/ children/husband/anyone! Possibly not wanting to feel the anger and hurt and sadness that I feel when I remember my loss. I was quite surprised by the amount of anger and hurt. I think out of all the emotions, as I get older, Anger is predominant. And I mean that capital A. Just as I'm giving Grief a capital G. These emotions are becoming more than just acquaintances to me, and I think that's because they've been around for so long! So perhaps instead of dreading them I should welcome them with open arms and live with them. We have known each other for half a lifetime after all :)
I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from our trip to the cemetery this morning. Perhaps it's morbid to take photos at a cemetery? I don't know. It is what it is.