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Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Falling Softly

Like spring raindrops

Slowly trickling

Ever downwards

To the faint beat

The pulse of life

Always with gentle heat

The beat that’s all life

Slowly etched

In widening caverns

Like Tears of Acid Rain

Dreams unspoken

Love gave no token

By growing isolation

Rejection

Raindrops of blood

Acid etched by sorrow

Never more tomorrow

Alone

Tears of Acid Rain

Tears of Acid Rain

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

Ciao, Susan

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Mum 1980

Mum 1980

There are many ways of looking at anniversaries, but the first has to be the type of anniversary which is occupying your mind.  The best, of course, are the happy ones, the birthdays, weddings, births, graduations, when you met THE ONE, special holidays and holiday travels. In fact there can be so many highlights in our lives which can become anniversaries.  Strictly speaking an anniversary is defined thus:-

anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event.

Today I am deep in remembrance of an anniversary which, in itself is not as happy as the others I mentioned. It hardly seems believable that today marks the fifth anniversary of my mothers passing. I’m beginning to wonder if time stands still at times, since I recall this anniversary as an event which happened only yesterday. It is however the first time I have publicly acknowledged it. My normal practise is to withdraw for silent communion with a lady I revered above all others. A lady who was not only my mother but my best friend, the person I would turn to first and foremost to share the joys and sadness which populated my life. We were as close as sisters and I loved that special bond. So close in so many ways.

She was stunning, breathtakingly beautiful, and to me, wise beyond anything I could have imagined. I hoped to emulate her example as I became older and have to trust I honour that. She was a small lady, barely 5′ tall, yet she had a presence which made her seem much taller, imposing is the word I would use. She had the most amazing deep auburn hair which shone like a molten coppery gold. I wished every day to have her hair, and those beautiful curls, rather than my straight and black brown hair. Still, my beautiful daughter has inherited those incredible auburn locks, despite the pain they caused her as a child, being called ” carrot top” or worse still “Red”.

Mum and Dad 1977

Mum and Dad 1977

My mother, Patricia, was petite in every way. On her death I inherited much of her jewellery.  Her fingers were so small I am unable to wear any of the rings, not even on my little finger!  That, for me at least, epitomised her, small  and petite but she had a strength of will which placed her amongst giants.

Unfortunately she was ill for many years. The day my son was born in 1982 she collapsed in Brisbane and shortly thereafter was told she had inoperable emphysema and chronic asthma. It was heartbreaking to receive such glorious news of her first grandchild and the sentence of a slow death at the same time.

It was her indomitable will which refused to allow her health to dominate her life until much later. She saw her only granddaughter born two years later in 1984. She often said they were the most precious treasures in her life, and she and Dad spoilt them as much as they could. As their only grandchildren they were spoilt, but not overly so, and they adored their grandparents in return.

It is ironic how the future turns out. The family was as prepared as you can be in these situations, but we were all shocked when Dad suddenly learned he was ill. Terminally ill. He  passed away in 1997 and left her bereft at his loss. We all were, since Dad had been Mum’s rock for so many years. Despite  knowing how strong-willed she was, her health deteriorating, I prepared myself for the worst.

It is a terrible thing for someone with an active and clever mind to be confined physically as she was, yet aware daily of what was happening to her. The frustration and humiliation, for her at least, were a constant raw wound to her pride. To me she always looked beautiful, but when her health stopped her from being able to care for herself the way she liked she withdrew more and more. Her enjoyment came from her grandchildren, her craftwork, which we shared and the long, daily conversations we had in between visits.

Graceful and always ready with a smile.

Graceful and always ready with a smile.

During the last six months of her life I was privileged  to care for her so that she could remain in her own home as long as possible. She had a horror of dying in hospital, alone without her family. This stemmed back to her own mother who did pass away in hospital shortly after Mum had left for the night.

We talked more than ever before, and as much as her failing lungs would allow. We had one last Christmas together in 2007 before she finally went into hospital, another hard decision in February 2008. The next two weeks are indelibly etched in my memory. The hospital called earlier each day, until I was being called at 4.30 am because she was calling for me. I thanked the “higher powers” that my children were teenagers who understood and willingly worked around this so that I could be there for their grandmother.

I tried to get her to eat, bathed her and got her into her fresh nightgown, and made sure she got the only medication they could give her to ease things – morphine!  How she hated that, but at least it enabled her to rest peacefully. It was heartbreaking watching my beautiful mother slowly lose that will to live, to finally simply want an end to the torment. Still she fought it every step of the way.

The Administrator for the hospice was kind and gentle, yet even so Mum didn’t want to go. She decided it meant it was the end and the day of the transfer has been carved in memory as one of the worst I can remember. It was hot and she hated the heat. It was crowded and noisy, which bothered her then. The warder wanted her to lie down which made her breathing worse, so that was another problem. The short transfer from the P.A.to Mt. Olivet seemed to take hours. Once there I bathed her and settled her in a fresh nightgown. She curled up like a child in her bed.

My brothers all came for a brief visit. I think I was the only one who realised we were saying goodbye. I wasn’t ready to leave , although it was much later than usual. Bombarded with urgings and cajoling from my three brothers I finally left, intending to have a quick shower to freshen up and return. As I walked through the door the phone was ringing.

My darling mother had passed away as I was driving home .

I knew how much she hated the sombreness of funerals so I arranged a white casket to be covered with her favourite flowers,  yellow roses and red carnations.

So, one stage of her life was finally over and, as a soul in a human body she is now enjoying the next stage if her life, pain-free, able to run and dance and move freely once more. I rejoice in her freedom again and know that missing her is a normal reaction, yet I am disappointed that believing as I do I still grieve. I grieve for myself, my loss and somehow that feels selfish.

I wish my mother an eternity of happiness and joy, free to dance and sing as she wanted. I believe that one day I will be able to talk to her again and I long for that day.

So today I will look through my albums and with a heart overflowing with love, remember a wonderful lady who was my mother, a woman who taught me so many things, and be eternally grateful that she is free and happy once more as I lay flowers on her physical resting place.

This is for you Mum. Thank you for making my life so wonderful.

image from MATTCLARK_01’s media

Ever your loving daughter, Susan xxxxxx

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“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
Rose Kennedy

angry and alone

image courtesy of diabroticd.wordpress.com

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There are times when, for no apparent reason, we feel depressed and alone. Grief wells up and carries us away for a time. Then there are the times when we know why we feel as though our insides have been ripped apart.  There are also times when the knowledge of why isn’t enough to pull you through the barrier to the next level and we can begin to move forward again.

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As this full moon draws closer it seems it has been a time of  reflection on those we have lost and the memories they evoke. At times they can be bittersweet memories and as I type this I’m listening to the mournful call of my Mopoke owl.  Normally I’m thrilled to hear him and on one level I still am. Yet I cannot help but associate that sound with the mournful calls I heard on the long nights I used to babysit in England when  the wind blew and whistled around the house causing chills to run up and down my spine. There were plenty of owls calling throughout the nights there on the edge of the Yorkshire moors.

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yorkdhire dales
image courtesy of lovetoescape.com

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It’s a strange feeling since most of my memories of the moors are the idyllic days spent in the heather, listening to the birdsong, my dog by my side, watching cotton puff clouds lazily float across the sky. We would picnic under the blue sky and visit Haworth Manor, home of the Bronte’s.  Perhaps they are so closely linked to my family it’s the reason I’m thinking about them so much now.

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north yorkshire moors heather

image courtesy of north-york-moors.co.uk

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So for the past week I’ve been remembering all those I’ve loved and lost, here and back in “the old country” and remembering the times we spent together walking the sheep trails through the heather. As the weather warms up so quickly I’m reminded of the fresh breezes on the moors and how we could walk for miles without turning into a puddle of perspiration.

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My grandparents were all left behind in England. My parents I lost here, my mother only a short time ago.  They try to say “time heals all wounds” but I think it’s more we become better at handling the painful memories of loss. When those losses coincide with Christmas – well, it’s as though a knife is jabbed into an open wound and it’s as raw and fresh as the day it happened.

So,  this full moon I’m releasing the hurts of lost loved ones.  I will endeavor to pull memories of happier times from the memory vault and try not to let the sadness of not sharing a special day with them make me feel too sad, at least for my children’s sake. I will share stories of the madcap things we all did together – in the heather and around the Christmas tree, and of course in the snow!

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sorrowful lady
image courtesy of gsp-shadow.blogspot.com

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Yes, the memories are bittersweet, especially at this time, but there are many more happy memories and those are the ones I’ll share. The sadness I’ll carry for a while longer, although I have a shoulder to lean on now. In time everything changes, yet everything stays the same.

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hope

image courtesy of lilliesloves.wordpress.com

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“Sometimes, however much you plan, however many precautions you take, something happens, and in a minute the world is changed. After that, you’re the person on the other side of that minute.”
Frederick Weisel, Teller

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