Where does time go?
How can something feel like it was yesterday and yet at the same time forever ago? I am sitting here writing this, with tears rolling down my face. It was only when a lovely friend text to say ‘thinking of you’ did I realise what date it is. Today it is ten years since we lost our gentle, kind, generous Mum. Tears because I am sad at all she didn’t get to see – the grandchildren, my much younger sister becoming an incredible woman, my amazing brother marrying the love of his life. Tears because I am so grateful to have had her in my life. I definitely didn’t tell her enough how wonderful she was. Back then I did not appreciate all she did for us and all she gave up for us. In fact I used to nag her a LOT.
Thinking of you
I think of Mum most days. A song she used to have on cassette tape, someone saying computer in a Norfolk accent, something I would love to tell her about or ask for advice with. I guess it’s partly why I am so drawn to the seaside or river. They were places Mum loved and I have plenty of happy memories there with Mum, Grandma, Grandad and those I am lucky enough to still have in my life. We try to keep the memory of Mum alive. I have her photos on the wall and in albums, my daughters both know all about Nanny Ann and we talk about her.
Knowing what to say
It is hard to know what to say to someone who has suffered a loss. Having lost Grandma during the pandemic my heart breaks even more so, for anyone that has had to go through this alone or socially distanced at a time when you need to be surrounded by people and be hugged. However, even when you feel alone remember you are not. Reach out. I know it is hard to ask for help or admit you are lonely but do. You will soon find you are not alone. Life is very much a team game. If it was the other way round you know you would want to be there for your friends. A simple how are you or do you fancy a coffee can really mean the world.
Normalising talking about loss
Of late there is a big movement to break down the barriers of talking about death and loss. For many, especially senior generations, upsetting things are not something to be spoken about. I personally have really found it helps to talk. To normalise death and loss and to be free to talk about those people who have passed away help keep the memory of them alive and potentially help others. There are now ‘death cafés’ and also ‘compassionate communities,’ as well as the more traditional support offered. I recently posted on Facebook explaining that I am happy to talk about those I am lucky enough to have loved but have lost, after a wonderful conversation with Bernie from St Nicholas Hospice. To be able to talk freely with someone that ‘gets it’ made the world of difference.
There are many places to turn to for support including St Nicholas Hospice and St Elizabeth Hospice. Take a look at our Virtual Leaflet Rack for further organisations who can offer support on a whole range of topics.
Here’s an article from the EADT from October 2020 about a death café in Ipswich: