Before mum died … seems like a life-time away, it also feels like yesterday.
Before mum died … I seemingly didn’t have a care in the world. I probably did but It just felt like I laughed constantly [especially with my mum] my world was good.
I was the girl up for anything. If you told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do it then you can guarantee I would probably try . I’d then run back to my mum and tell her all-about it. She’d shake her head while we sat laughing uncontrollably. I loved that. I loved sharing stuff with her. She would pretend to be shocked [at some things ] but believe me my mum was a little minx, an instigator and terribly encouragable.
For example my mum found this story particularly funny … [and ‘Tracey does Kavos‘ which despite being hilarious & very, very innocent I promised I’d never talk about .My mum was worried people would get the wrong impression . If I ever write my memoirs it’ll be in there for sure…]
My friend and I were once sat in a burger bar after a drink-fuelled night out when we noted the building across the road from us on Charles Street had a fire escape. Nothing new there as lots of buildings do but we became fascinated by it and decided we needed to climb it. We were drunk … our need was very real and we felt invincible
Half pissed, with a burger each we clambered our way to the top [ without falling ] and were surprised to find the door at the top was open! It was meant to be ! We stumbled in and found ourselves in a cleaning cupboard of all places . Very surreal yes!
Giggling we danced around with mops for a while before discovering another door that only bloody led onto the dance floor of a nightclub! Of course we thought this was amazing [especially as it was after 2am] that was before we got dragged out by 2 angry looking bouncers. We were still laughing and I’m sure one of us was still holding a mop!
Mum would sit and giggle as I recalled my escapades … usually ending the conversation with Something along the lines of “oh Tracey you are terrible …“
That was me back then … and while I know that that Tracey is still there I most definitely shrunk into myself a little, became a little less carefree. Not intentionally … I just didn’t care about anything for a while. I swear the only time I didn’t ‘feel’ was when I was sleeping … and I found it hard to sleep. I feel like the first few months I ran on automatic pilot.
I guess when your best friend and your one constant is taken away from you it’s ok to feel lost. Suddenly there’s no more Saturday morning ‘coffee and cake’. No spontaneous gin or afternoon teas. Nobody to ring for advice or a chat . I rang my mum a lot; everyday in-fact, sometimes for no other reason than to say hello
The weeks after mum’s death I found myself on social media a lot more than usual. It was pure escapism – nobody knew me , did anybody really care? I didn’t even care. I was conscious that I didn’t want to become all ‘doom and gloom‘ around my friends and family; burdening them with my grief day after day.
Pouring my sadness out to strangers especially on twitter became my normal. The ‘audience’ changes so quickly … it was a good way to let out what I was holding in… but at the same time not really bothering what anybody thought.
I believe grief never really leaves you , you just learn to live with it – to control it to a certain extent . I have accepted that my tears will come from nowhere and I’ve stopped apologising when they do.
I often find it’s during the happiest of times that I Suddenly find myself in floods of tears. The happy times you want to share … the happy times your mum will never see. That’s the hardest pill to swallow – the realisation that [god willing] I’ve a long life to live doing stuff my mum will never know about, or be apart of.
It’s been almost 2 years … I still can’t listen to Elvis… he triggers something emotionally. I miss mum as much ; maybe even more than I did back then. I also believe that to be normal. Absense makes the heart grow fonder. I know for a fact that it has mine
BUT this is NOT a woo is me post. This is a post about positivity, a little reminder to anybody unfortunately going through the same that despite living with your grief there will be good times; you will laugh again. You will be different, your ‘normal’ will be different … but believe me you will find your happy again.
There are the smallest hints that old Tracey is slowly making a return. According to the BF I’ve got the twinkle back in my eyes. To be fair that could well be the iron tablets I’ve been prescribed by the doctor … and the Gin I’ve grown rather fond of ! But I do feel my mum’s spirit in me ; her zest for life. I guess while ever I’m around , talking about and remembering her she will carry on living… through me. I love talking about her and no matter how uncomfortable that makes people, I shall continue to do so.
I can feel my mischievous streak rearing her head once more … I want to go climbing fire escapes and dancing with mops. I don’t want to be or feel sad. I don’t want to feel like I’m sinking.
I guess that’s part and parcel of loving somebody – those feelings are proof of the love we still feel so deeply. Of course I’ll still have ‘dark’ moments … I envisage having those for a long while yet.
So to end with I will reference my tunnel once again . The one I’ve often likened to walking down since losing mum. The one that’s dark and lonely…. the one I’m stumbling down trying to find my way in a new world , one without my beloved mum around.
Today my tunnel doesn’t seem as dark; I’m beginning to see little flickers of brightness. I’m finding and living my new normal. Finding my new happy.
There’s along way to go yet but it’s a start …