Cherish Her Always

In the run up to Mother's Day it's hard to avoid the flowers, cards and gifts on sale, whether they are in the aisles of your supermarket, online or on television. For people whose mums have passed away, it can be a constant reminder of what they have lost.

My Mum died in 2013.  I spent the last seven days of her unconscious life at her bedside in hospital.  For seven days I watched her literally waste away.  I constantly talked to her, because I was told that hearing is the last sense to be lost.  I held her hand and told her to stop fighting; it was time to go.  That night she died.

In the days and weeks following her death I felt a physical weight of grief.  I missed Mum constantly: my days were punctuated by moments when I wanted to call her, to ask her questions and to seek reassurance that I would survive this agony.   I realised that of all the things my mother taught me, she had left out an important lesson - how to live without her.

That very unhelpful phrase "time is a great healer" is actually true.  With time my grief lessened and the weight I was carrying got a little lighter.

The first Mother's Day without my Mum, I wanted to ignore anything and everything to do with it.  I told myself it was just a commercialised occasion to get us to part with our cash on silly cards and over-priced bouquets.   But as time passes, to not mark the occasion seemed a waste to me.  It's still not a welcome date in my diary, but I can now leave behind the sadness the day brings with it. 

"That very unhelpful phrase "time is a great healer" is actually true.  With time my grief lessened and the weight I was carrying got a little lighter."

I now use Mother's Day as an opportunity to celebrate the fact that I'm the daughter of someone amazing.  I'll buy myself some spring flowers and raise a glass to my very special Mum.  It's my way of celebrating the bit of me that is her.  She is still here - just in a different way.

You may not want to mark Mother's Day at all - and that's fine.  It's all about doing what you are comfortable with and what is right for you, not what you think you should do.

With lockdown meaning avoidance of all non-essential contact to prevent the spread of Covid-19, many families won't get to spend Mother's Day with their loved ones.

To anyone reading this, I just want to say: don't wait for one day a year to show your Mum how much you love her.  Cherish her always.

Posted on February 25th 2021

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