I felt it the worst in my teens, when grief was a rabid beast and a daily reminder that not only was I a hormonal confused teenager but that I didn’t have a mum.
When I became a mother grief reminded me EVERY SINGLE DAY that I was a motherless mother and I didn’t have a mum to tell me that everything my newborn was doing was perfectly normal.
On my daughter’s ninth birthday grief turned into fear and panic which I wrote about here
I managed to get to my daughter’s tenth birthday without dying but I spent too much time panicking that history might repeat itself. Would I die and leave my daughter motherless?
I didn’t have a Mum from ten onwards (from nine years and 49 days if I’m being pedantic) so I’m well and truly making it up now.
I have no reference point of mothering. In some respects that means less pressure but at the same time it means that I could be making an almighty arse of the whole thing.
Parenting can be hard and I definitely feel it more with my daughter than my son because I will forever see myself in my daughter. I might be a little bit jealous and, at the same time, overwhelmingly relieved, that my daughter still has a mother. That statement is absolutely crazy, I know. See, grief is a complete and utter horror.
A relative gave me a disc this year, with hundreds of family photos on it. Some I’d never seen before – that person will never know what a delicious gift those unseen photos are. Since her death I have always found that I pore over photos featuring my mum. I soak up every minuscule detail that other people wouldn’t necessarily look at – her fingers, the way she holds herself, an ornament in the background, the inkling of an interaction between her and I. I imagine her movements and facial expressions, her head thrown back laughing, a twinkle in her eye.
So last year grief was fear and panic. This year grief is relief. It’s a little smile, a memory of love, of a touch, and a nod to some kind of wonderful that I feel around me every single day.