In loving memory (grief)

Yesterday, I got the bright idea to start writing a short e-book. I wrote about 4,000 words before taking a break for lunch. I came back and started writing again last night around 10 pm. Before I knew it, I had written 7,300 words and it was 1:30 in the morning!

Writing is something that has always been enjoyable to me. I think that comes from reading a lot as a kid. I read thousands of books by the time I turned eighteen and then quit reading for many years out of boredom. Now that I’m getting back into reading, I feel the writer’s bug coming out in me. A lot of that is thanks to my mother.

Before my mother died, we had a conversation about writing books. She had wanted to write a book so badly. But her health took a turn for the worse, and she lived with a terminal illness for years. She wrote daily in her journals. We still find lists tucked into books even now, eight years after her death. I should have helped her write her story down. I feel so guilty about it now.

I wasn’t going to write about my mother today here – because to be honest, I didn’t really think about what day it was. But here we are. Eight years after we said goodbye to my mother.

It’s funny. Why did I get the strong urge to write last night and start a new book? It’s been on my mind for a long time. The last book I wrote was in 2019 called Dream Speak. And the first book, was a short story on my mother’s death called When I Get to Heaven.

That book is so personal to me even now. I remember crying when I finished it. In a way, writing was cathartic for me. I felt sad, that she was gone. But the anger finally washed away with the tears. I had held onto that anger for far too long.

My new book that I’m writing is about my dreams and nightmares. It’s called Dream Walkers, and I’m dedicating it to my mother. She was a force of nature. She was strong willed, determined, and nothing could stop her once she set her mind to it. I think in a lot of ways, I’m like my mother. I get told I look like her all the time. But I also have her stubbornness and the ability to hold grudges. I’m getting better at that though as I age.

Back in 2017, I had a dream about my mother. She used to visit me often in dreams. I believe that our loved ones can come to us while we sleep and we can have full conversations with them. Sometimes the dreams feel so real. I hug her and hold her. I can still smell her perfume.

In this dream, I walked into our beloved family home of 50 years that we sold a couple of years ago. Mum was in the kitchen at the sink. Getting supper ready. I was surprised to hear someone in the kitchen as my dad wasn’t well and couldn’t get food ready.

“Hello? Who’s up there?” I asked as I kicked my boots off and closed the front door.

I remember my hands were shaking as I walked up the stairs and held onto the railing so hard, that my knuckles turned white. I could hear her voice coming from the kitchen. She was humming off-key as she often did.

“You’re here! I have been waiting for you forever!” she exclaimed with a big smile on her face.

“Mum? Is that you?” I said questioning her presence. I had been tricked before in my dreams thinking that my mother had found her way to me, but it wasn’t her. It was always something else.

“It’s me silly!” she said.

She rushed over to me and wrapped her arms around me. She felt warm and I squeezed her right back, smelling the shampoo in her hair and Obsession perfume. She was wearing her favorite polka-dot dress with heels. Her hair was like it was back in the 80’s in an up-do. And more importantly, she was healthy. The oxygen mask was gone and she was moving around freely without pain.

“I have so much to show you! I’ve been so busy, can’t you see? Look at all of this!” she said as she waved her hand towards the table. I turned around and let out a gasp. The table was filled with notes, books, and journals.

“I’ve been busy! Writing non-stop!” she continued.

“Mum, where have you been? I’ve looked for you. I’ve called out to you. I’ve missed you so much,” I said as I grabbed her hand and held it tight. There were tears in my eyes. “I have so much to tell you too.”

“I’ve been here all along, just waiting for you and your dad to come home,” she said. “But look, this is for you. Take what you need out of it. Keep it close. And remember, I love you.”

“What do I do with this all?” I said as I dropped her hand and flipped through one of the books. It was an old book, bound with black leather and the pages were worn.

“Write. Just write. Tell them your story,” she said.

I looked up at her and tears were streaming down my face.

“I don’t understand mum. What do you mean?”

I looked back down at the books and looked back up at my mum…only, she wasn’t there anymore. She was gone. Before I woke up, I could hear her voice from far away…

“Just remember I’m always here with you. I love you.”

Instead of feeling sad when I woke up that morning, I felt warmth around. Comforted. The dream felt so real to me. All the dreams I had of her before that turned into nightmares that left me with feelings of guilt and depression. But after this dream, things turned around. I felt lighter. I could feel her around me.

Today, many years later, she feels so far away from me now. But I often hear her voice in my head – guiding me. Comforting me. She’s nagging me right now and telling me to keep writing and tell my stories.

And so mum, this next chapter, I dedicate to you. I’m here because of you. And all the goods parts of me, I know I got from you and dad too.

I miss you so much. And I hope when it’s time for me to go, that you’re the one who comes to collect me to take me home again.

I love you.

(Also… if you want to read the ebook – head over to my shop page…it felt wrong to advertise here.)

author unknown

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