Mother’s Day is here again and like so many who have lost their mother I’ve struggled during the run-up to it.
The barrage of non-stop advertising on social media and television has been relentless and it’s hard to escape.
It’s more than twenty years since my mother died of cancer; she was just 51 at the time and I was 23.
Two decades on, a lot has changed, I have a lovely life and I’m really happy.
That being said, Mother’s Day is still hard, and I can’t help asking myself, ‘shouldn’t I be over this now?’
And the answer to that of course is; it just doesn’t work like that.
As anyone knows who has experienced grief it is a constant entity in your life. It comes in waves, sometimes small ones and other times tsunamis that knock you over.
If you have loved someone so deeply and they have been a big part of your life, grief never completely leaves.
My mother had a huge impact on me, she taught me so many things, not least how to be a mother.
She remains a leading force in my life and has influenced everything from my career choice to my political views and my outlook on life.
She is still involved in my daily life. I still stop when I hear a song she liked, read books she loved and watch her favourite films now and again.
I often walk where she loved to walk and if I see a jumper in a shop which she would have liked I stop for a while to look at it.
I talk to my boys about her, share memories with my Dad and brothers and read the letters she wrote to me when I was at university.
That being said, I owe it to her to be happy and to live a full life and that I am most certainly doing. It is entirely possible to simultaneously feel sad for someone who is not there while being happy and grateful for those who are.
So for now my grief will sit with me in whatever form and rather than expecting it to disappear I’ll allow it to be ever- present in my life.
For those getting to see their Mother’s from the doorstep or via FaceTime today, I don’t begrudge you one bit. I have my own happy memories and am eternally grateful that I was able to be a mother myself.
I am however thinking of all my friends today who are also sitting with their grief, not just for mothers who have passed away but those with damaged relationships with their mothers or no relationship at all.
And those who were not able to be mothers when it is what they had so desperately wanted.
For anyone struggling with this day you are certainly not alone and I hope the waves are manageable for you.