LIFE | the walk …

We walk . I talk mostly . Mollie annoyingly stops every 2 seconds to sniff anything and everything [mainly other dogs bums] and my dad asks me for the 16th time “you have got poo bags haven’t you?”

Have I got poo bags?

I’m queen bloody poo bag

Today they are strategically stuck in the top of my pants. The jacket and trousers I’m wearing have no pockets , the bags are easily accessible via the top of my leggings. I show dad the corner of one of the them popping out . He just gives me ‘that’ look and shakes his head. Yes dad I have poo bags.

In-between the ‘chit-chat’ I talk about mum in an attempt to get him to open up more. Sometimes it’s awkward; I sense it makes him uncomfortable. Dad gets teary and quickly changes the subject … but today it’s somehow ok .

He tells me it’s their 51st wedding anniversary in a few weeks and we reminisce for a while. I love talking about mum. This pleases me.

Over the past months I’ve learnt to become ‘friends’ with my grief. That may sound ridiculous but for as long as I am around I never want to forget a thing about my mum . I want to keep her alive; to talk about her, remember her … that’s normal behaviour right?

I guess I can’t have one without the other so I welcome my emotions wholeheartedly ; I figure the only way to move forward is to let them wash over me any which way they choose – come and go as they please so to say .Be that in the way of tears , laughter or everything in-between.

I’ve found nobody talks about death ; how to deal with losing a parent . It’s a conversation nobody wants , so you muggle through the best you can. In the dark without a torch.

Grief has no pattern. It hits you at unexpected times and places . It can be short and quick – a fleeting memory that strikes you down [ remember Portuguese tarts in Sainsbury’s ] Sometimes it lingers and your stuck on an emotional roller-coaster for however long that ride decides to last.

I guess grief will become my norm. Just like breathing, eating and sleeping it will become routine…not always so raw, but always there bubbling underneath the surface.

So please bear with me I am still ‘healing and adjusting’ … at the same time please don’t ever tell me to get over my grief because that would be like saying get over your mum …

I pondered over these thoughts today with dad . He is used to me , I was a ‘deep’ child. I didn’t think I was making much sense to be honest , but he nodded his head in agreement, his eyes glazed over and he said

“If there’s one thing I’ll never forget Tracey it’s your mum … never ever … how could I ?…”

[ I smile and we carry on walking in silence for a few seconds]

“Now you did say you had poo bags didn’t you ?”

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