If mum could see you now : How to Honour Her
For those of us who live without our mums, who wish with our might we didnt. For those who live with regret.. I hope this helps.
When I was 26 my mum died. she found a lump in her leg and 3 months later she was gone. Cancer. Fucking Cancer.
I hadnt had kids yet. I had just finished partying, was still largely a selfish human and had just met my husband to be.
No one could have predicted she would die so suddenly. I visited her often while she was sick, often, but not for long. Infact I was in and out.. most times..like I could escape the harsh reality of a dying mother. I was as unreliable as always.. when she needed me most. The time is largely a blur now.. my mind blocks most of it..frankly I dont want to remember the worse time of my life.. there is no pride in that 3 months.
It took me a long time to move past this.. a long time.. healed in part by the birth of my first son.. She knew he would be called Jack.. her first grandchild.. and so we did.
The fact is.. if i knew what I knew now.. and if I was the person I was now I would never have left her side. I would have been there from dusk til dawn, I would have juiced fresh juices, cooked her organic food and took her to mexico to see some spiritualist who would have cured her. I would have not been.. who i was.. selfish and bound to my own existence.
Fast forward 6 years. I have 3 kids. 3 crazy but amazing kids. I have a great marriage and a wonderful life.. I even live in the home where I grew up, surrounded and bathed in my childhood memories. I no longer party, unless you count the odd escape to cocktail land or dinner at a tavern with the kids. If mum could see me now.. people say.. she would be so proud. When people say this..for a moment.. I can imagine my mum.. looking down at me.. breathing the same breathe as mine.. just for a moment.. taking it all in ….. She would know that I regret, that I would do differently, that I would honour her better.. that she could have relied on me.
Guilt is a marvelous thing. It can kill.. eat you up… cause disease.. cancer.. and death. This could rob my own children of their mum.. the ultimate in a selfish act. So instead I choose life.. to live without guilt.. (I would say guilt free but every so often a little tiny droplet of guilt enters.. potent, dramatic and mind crushing.. weep worthy.. and I make sure I live that moment and move on)
My guilt crushing mantra.. “If I knew what I knew.. if I was who I was now, I would have done things differently- I would have been different..” and I breathe.. I remember that when people die that I believe they see the BIG picture.. and my selfish acts would have been looked at as learnings yet to be had..
If you like me are still struggling with the death of your own mum, you arent alone.. I am not sure we will ever be whole again. Having children is an awesome contributor to healing but we all know it will never be the same world without her.
- Raise your children to honour their grandmother, your mother. I try my hardest to remember things she told me.. like how a cold washer could lower temperatures, that kids should be read to every night.. frankly I dont remember that much.. because when she died I wasnt yet a mother..
- Give them some context of personality. My kids call her Angel Grandma because she deserves that title.. and she deserves to be thought of as something magical because she is. When we see butterflies I tell them that Angel Grandma sends a tiny bit of her spirit down so that she can fly around and check to see how they are going.. My boys greet butterflies now.. My 5 year old says she has flown down many times to check on him.. that in his mind she told him everything was going to be ok.. You could cook her food, hand her blankets on your kids beds, go through photo albums.. find ways to help your kids to feel who she was.. the best parts of her
- Perhaps you could plant a tree, fill a jar with memories or write her a card every mothers day.. light a candle.. talk to her.. remember her. Use mothers day every year as a chance to heal, to grow closer to your mother, to grow closer to your kids.
Mothers Day for me will always be about butterflies and the realisation that I understood nothing about how she must have felt until I was a mum.. I cherish that understanding and use it to have greater compassion for my own kids and their feelings and thoughts.. For me.. what I remember most about my mum are her hugs.. mainly the smell and feel of her hugs. So as we approach mothers day..
I have written this to encourage mums without mums to remember their mums, the best parts of their mums, the best parts of themselves.. because that is all that is really worth remembering.. and that is really the best way to honour her.. Happy Mothers Day Mum xx