I think we overcame a huge hurdle yesterday, with Mum’s first birthday without her around, and it being a significant birthday too. It was not easy but we survived her 80th and I felt surrounded by love and support all day long. I felt empty when I woke up and unsettled with my grief. It was raining and that seemed the right weather to match my mood. I took the dogs a walk to shake off my gloom and i headed towards a park that we used to picnic and walk in, but I drove passed the entrance I was looking for as it was more overgrown than I remembered and so I parked in a rural car park , unloaded the dogs and started walking up a track that I had walked along many years ago. After a gentle climb of around 5 minutes, I stumbled across a small homemade chapel where I was invited to sit a while and light a candle and I did both. It was such a peaceful spot as I looked out over the misty hills and I felt so much better just being there. I did not know that this chapel was there and I felt that something had guided me there as it then changed the tone of my day as it made me feel better as I read this bible passage on the wall :
” You shall go out with joy and be led out with peace; the mountains and hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”
I went on to walk through the hills with a smile on my face, albeit with tears in my eyes, and with gratitude for having known Mum, rather than focusing on our loss.
Soon after I got back to Mum’s house, my sister arrived and so we hugged ,cried and laughed together. We achieved a lot yesterday : we survived and celebrated her 😯 th birthday and we finally made a start on clearing her house. We want it still to look lived in and so we agreed to tackle the kitchen as what felt like the least emotional room. But while I waited for my sister, I opened the kitchen cupboards with her baking tins and bowls in and I shut them quickly as even they had memories. I tackled her food cupboards instead , rescuing what we could use or that a food bank would use, and throwing away a lot of opened packets and half-used bottles. It was rather satisfying to make some progress but it also showed us how much work there will be to do in the coming months. If getting upset by throwing away a half used jar of mincemeat – as her mince pies were unbeatable -then how much harder will it be to look through her wardrobes and photo albums for instance, but I am hoping that we get better at it and perhaps become more discerning.
We walked down Mum’s high street and we ate lunch in a cafe that she loved. In the afternoon, the sun came out and we sat in the garden and we invited one of Mum’s friends around to join us for a cup of tea as we knew she would be missing Mum too. All in all we think that it was a day that Mum would have approved of and that she probably had a hand in too. Happy Birthday Mum x