It goes without saying that everyone has a different relationship with their mum, some are more difficult than others, and some are unbelievably aspirational. Most go through a bit of both, varying through youth to teenage years and into adulthood, and then particularly when you become a parent yourself into a whole different level of understanding.
My relationship with my mum was no different; I was mummy's girl and then daddy's girl, a rebellious teenager, then a defiant, strong-willed, tenacious, argumentative, emotionally unattached, independent young woman, and then went through a metamorphosis into seeing her as the most aspirational person I have ever known. It wasn't because she was hugely prominent in my day to day life, quite the opposite, she was just there, ever-supporting, proud, strong, and always championed my decisions and my choices.
It is quite overwhelming, now that she has gone, the loss that I feel from not having that person who literally loved me no matter what, who I knew I could completely rely on and who would always have my back. How many times was I told to appreciate her and to give her an extra hug and that I would miss her terribly when one day she wouldn't be there? You can never understand that until it's true to you, that all of sudden you wish you had listened a little bit harder, asked a lot more, and accepted the hugs more readily. Then it is too late. The most relevant understanding of this loss has been described to me as the sense of wanting to be loved like a child, and your mum is the one that gives this love in spades, no matter what.
The culture surrounding grief is very much that it should be "fixed" or that you will "get over" the loss over time, and I would love this to adapt to a more realistic concept of learning to live with the hole left behind, and of encouraging people to keep talking about their loved ones after they have died. There's no medication to help, no rhyme or reason to your feelings, and should be no judgement if you never feel completely ok again.
We have undertaken a challenge throughout February to run 125km and have so far raised over £11,000 for St Luke's where mum died on December 27th 2020, you are welcome to still donate, if you haven't already, and we have received the most generous donations from the most wonderful people. Thank you so much.
One last favour at this time please, if you still have your mum, please take yourself out of any comfort zones to give her a huge hug next time you see her, ask her the questions that you never asked but always wondered, listen when she tells you any stories about her life. I know that, with Mother's Day just around the corner, there will be plenty of us that wish we could.
Thanks so much to everyone that has donated, my mum would be genuinely overwhelmed and flattered and feel so much comfort from knowing how loved she was, how loved I and my family are, and to know the level of support that there is around us all. Mum loved all my friends and colleagues and network of supportive clients who she worked with too for so many years, and she always saw the good in everyone so thank you for all seeing the good in her too, there will never be anyone like her and her shoes could never be filled.