Five years ago, I was told that my Mum had died. I remember it like it was yesterday because you would never forget a day like that would you? Or do some just block it out? But I remember it. It seems trivial but to me, it’s not. It’s the day my life changed for ever – the day I become more of a mother, the day I realised I should have said I loved you more…
We found out the day after she had died on a Tuesday afternoon. I remember that because I had double Science and I went to my Science teacher to give my homework in saying ‘I’m going to see my social worker at lunch time, I might be back in time for your lesson but just in case – here’s my homework.’ Little did I know that I would not be returning to school that afternoon. As I signed out of school that afternoon, I was still blissfully unaware that I was going to a meeting that would change my life. Walking towards the carpark with one of my sisters, we were just glad we were getting out of school, we may even have had smiles on our faces we still didn’t know.
There’s this place called the Family Centre, it probably has a proper name but that’s what we called it and that’s where we were seeing our social worker. Which looking back was a little odd, because she would have come to the school or come to our house – on a normal day that is. So we arrive at the Family Centre and we all bundle out of the car: me and my two sisters. Standing on the path was our Social Worker at the time, waiting for us. Odd again because usually we would walk into the centre and find her in some room. She walks us through the centre, through all the corridors to the smallest possible room. It was very, very green and sat in a chair to the left of the room was someone I would never have expected to see: my father.
Being in the care system meant that my care order said I could only see my biological parents four times a year: Easter, July, September and December. We saw mum and dad in December, what was he doing in the centre in January? That’s when I twigged something was up, something was wrong. I was sat to the right of my dad, there was a sister between us and another sister the other side of Dad. Our social worker said in front of us and very solemnly told us that mum had passed away suddenly in her sleep. In a matter of seconds my eyes were leaking and it was dignified, my littlest sister was crying and my middle sister? No tears. She didn’t cry at all that day but that’s okay, because everyone reacts differently.
I don’t think I have ever cried as much as I did that day, the day I found out. The day I found out that as a 14 year old I was motherless. That I never got to say goodbye that the last thing I said to her was about my weight. Not I love you, or I miss you or…it was about my frigging weight. And I’ll always regret that. Always. When we got home after finding out that mum had died I was just in a state of shock, I couldn’t quite compute anything – which is completely normal. But at the time, it didn’t feel normal. Nothing felt normal.
Five years on. It doesn’t quite feel like five years, it either feels like yesterday or ten years ago. There are still days when I think I’ll see her around a corner, or I’ll have a text from her…but I don’t. There are days when I want to pick up the phone and talk to her, to ask for her help, to get a hug. There are days when I want to sing with her, to play a song to her, to perform a monologue. But I can’t. Every day there is something that I wish I could say to her, every day there is something that I wish she could have experienced with me. There are people I want her to meet, places I want her to see, things I want her to do but she never will.
I’m a second year university student, I don’t think I would be at university if it hadn’t been my mum telling me to follow my dreams. My dad was dead set against me going to uni, he tried to persuade me not to go but mum? She kept telling me that I should go. I wouldn’t be a musician if it hadn’t been for mum. She got me playing violin at seven, and when that didn’t work we moved to clarinet and then recorder. I wouldn’t be playing guitar if I hadn’t been given hers after she died. I am very much like my mum, which is great but also not great. I don’t like looking in the mirror and looking like her. There are days that I can cope with it, but there are days that I can’t because I don’t want the reminder that she’s not here. Sometimes I can’t even look at pictures because the reminder is too much, I don’t want to be reminded. I was just looking through my Facebook pictures to see if there were any on there, and I can’t find any.
014 was a massive year in my life, such a big year and there was only one person I wanted to share it with. One person who would share my excitement, who would be at every event…but instead, I went through it alone. Well not alone but without any family support, it’s time like this that I wish I could talk to my dad. But I can’t even though I really, really, really want to. I wish that I could talk to him and tell him all the things that I want to tell my mum (maybe apart from all the things he wouldn’t get like boys and stuff…)
I realise that this is a bit of a rubbish blog but it’s been in my head for a while but maybe a bit more coherent. The guess the main point is I wish I could have told my mum so many things, I wish I told her I loved her, that I was proud of her for trying to lose weight and to stop smoking. I wish that she could meet my friends and visit me at uni. I wish she could come to my church and experience what I experience every Sunday (even if it is Anglican). I wish she could see me grow as a person, see me become more confident, more social, more than what I was when she was alive. There’s so much that I wish but I know there is no point because it won’t happen.
The most upsetting thing is, I’m forgetting her. I’m forgetting what she looks like and what she sounds like and what she smells like. When I close my eyes and try to picture mum, I can’t. And that breaks my heart. I try and imagine her voice and I can’t. No one should have to go through that. I feel so sorry for my littlest sister who hardly remembers mum because she was eleven when mum died. So I’m here trying to tell her things but I can’t remember them myself which sucks. I’m the eldest sister, I should be able to help but on this occasion: I can’t. I don’t like not being able to help, I want to help and protect and enlighten but I can’t.
I don’t know what I was trying to achieve in this blog, maybe it’s meant just for me but thanks for reading it. I’ll go carry on crying now.