It is days like today when I am reminded why I started this blog. At first, it was a way for me to vent and rant about daily life. Then it grew and became a life form of its own with recipes, cooking and fitness tips and pretty much anything I want to write about.
But the heart and foundation of this blog started as I shared my experiences with grief. Grief is something we all experience in various forms.
What is grief?
Grief is a feeling of loss or sadness when we say goodbye to something we didn’t want to say goodbye to. Even if we knew the end was near.
Grief can be caused by many things. The end of a relationship. The end of a project you put your heart into. The loss of a home. Or job. Loss of identity. Or worst of all, the loss of a loved one. I’ve felt grief for all these things in my life. But nothing hurts like the loss of my mother. Even seven years later.
Today would have been my mum’s 77th birthday if she had still been alive. My mother was great at so many things. She was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker. She loved to sew and make pretty dresses for her four beautiful daughters. My brother just got to wear “Mr. Furley” outfits (Three’s Company fans will know this). She was an avid activist, loved to write, draw, paint and was an amazing baker.
I guess you could say I got my “spirit” from my mother. We’re alike in many ways and different in other ways.
They say that with time grief gets easier. They say that all you need is time and it gets easier to move on. And I guess in part that is true. But I find that the older I get, and the more time goes on, I find it harder to get out of bed on this day. The grief can at times, be overwhelming.
If it weren’t for videos and pictures, I might forget what her voice sounded like. Memories of my childhood have faded somewhat with age. Pictures at least remind me of how I might have felt during that moment. And some pictures remind me of memories I lost due to age.
But the one thing I remember most and hold dear – the way she smelled. Her smile. Her laugh. The way her English accent popped up from time to time when she said words like “pram” or “bobby pins”. The way the kitchen smelled at Christmas time with her baking. The taste of her roast beef and roasted potatoes. And those Yorkshire puddings.
The way she would use a rolling pin to crush ice when I was sick. Or how she would make asparagus soup for family parties. Or the way she styled her hair when she was younger.
These are memories that will be forever embedded into my mind. I will cherish these moments and memories for the rest of my life – however long that should be.
And so today, even though the sun is shining – my heart is heavy. I sit in quiet contemplation while looking through family photos over the years.
How does one cope with over whelming grief?
Write about it. Like this blog. Work on some art. Spend time with family or friends and share those happy memories. Even if it’s through a phone call, zoom chat or texting. Do something that reminds you of that person but in a good way. Remember and focus on the good times.
Remember the laughter. And most importantly, the love that you shared.
And on that note, I’m going to work on some art and have a good cry while listening to my Rainy Day mood playlist. That’s what it’s there for – days like this.
Grief never really goes away. It may feel like your days are getting better – but special days, like today, can make it harder.
Just know that you aren’t alone in your grief. And if you need a listening here, my community on this blog is here for you in the comments.