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A little bit of Everything - Carers UK Forum

A little bit of Everything

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
It’s now eight months since I lost Mam .. my birthday, Mother’s Day and Mam’s birthday are all past, but the first Christmas without her is looming and I’m dreading it.

Mam loved it. All of it. Planning, shopping, making the cake and pudding, writing cards, putting the tree up .. Everything. I really thought about not having Christmas at all, but common sense tells me it’s all around me already starting in the shops, and Mam would’ve gone mad at the idea of not doing anything. Going to concentrate on my niece and the baby, make it nice for them because she’s on her own now.

So - it’s October - I’m going to make the cake etc, her recipes minus the ‘secret’ ingredient she added to the mixtures while I was out of the room, I think it’s cinnamon, well that’s what I’m putting in anyway.

Songs I hear on the radio, or out and about, can still upset me .. the other day I heard one of Mam’s favourites, In the Mood, Glenn Miller, and the start of it brought back how we sometimes danced when she had her records on, and I couldn’t stop thinking ‘I’ll never hold her hand again’.

That reminded me how I was having to hold her hands just to help her walk around before she went into hospital. I was really low all day, then at teatime I remembered we were at the garden centre once and that song came on the radio there, it was fairly quiet and we couldn’t resist ! ‘Strictly’ it wasn’t Image C.R.H. would’ve said ‘needs more work daaaaahling’ but the few people round us were smiling.


I wondered why I hadn’t remembered that happy memory earlier when I was so upset.
Some days are easier than others still, I was looking at batches of photos a little while ago, and I wasn’t too bad, mind that was the first time I’d felt able to do it.

Keeping occupied at the moment with some long-overdue decorating, a bit at a time, but once you start ………

Sue x
I think you just have to go with what feels right when it comes to occasions like Christmas which are coming round for the first time since the loss of a loved one. The first Christmas without Dad (2008) I couldn't face the thought of putting up decorations - this was something we had always done as a family, ever since I was a little girl, and I couldn't bear the thought of doing it alone. Last Christmas, however, I did put up the tree and a few decorations. I took great comfort from the fact that many of the decorations, particularly those on the tree, go back donkey's years, some of them I reckon my parents had bought even before I was born, whereas others came in when I was a young child, a teenager and an adult, some started life with me in London when I had my own flat and excitedly put up my very own tree for the first time. Some were bought by Dad and me since Mom died in 2003 and I have even bought a couple since Dad died. So they remind me of every stage of my life, provide a real link with my family's past and represent both continuity and change. I know I will experience a whole range of emotions when I put them up again this year - sadness and nostalgia yes, but also joy and many, many happy memories!

Lots of hugs

xx

D
Sue

Sorry, I should have added that your adding your own secret ingredient to the Christmas cake is a good example of continuity / change in action at the same time - your're doing somethng your Mam would have done, but taking the tradition forward in your own way and I bet your Mam would approve of that!

I wholeheartedly agree with Joni Mitchell: "Something's lost but something's gained in living every day".

xx

D
Sue, one of the hardest things about losing someone is that your most recent memories and the shock of their loss drown everything else out. It only comes back when the little things happen to jog the good memories loose. You may not have your mum but you have the memories of the daft and wonderful things you did together, and you're carrying on by producing your own "secret" recipe as Dee said.

All power to your elbow!
It's very hard, you don't 'get over' the loss, although I believe you do cope better, as time goes by. Your mum is no further than your next thought, you cant touch her but you probably can hear her, in your hart/head.
Hi,

Thank you all for your replies,

Dee, I never got my tree or any decorations up at home last year because Mam was so poorly and I never got time, but made sure I did hers for her to enjoy. (There was a bit of a drama on Christmas Eve cos her stair-lift broke, and the on-call service engineer got lost, then stuck in the snow before he found us, but at least he got there !)

My niece got her own place and is going to have Mam’s decorations etc, so you’re right, continuity and change. I’ll remember that.
(I guess the proof of the cake and pudding will be in the tasting Image )

Hope you have happy memories this year.


Charles, there are too many daft and wonderful things we did to count them all, thank you, I’m thinking of one now and smiling .. when we were going to weekly clinic appointments last year, there were a set of bollards in a row that we just had to weave in and out of in the wheelchair, a bit like agility training, which I needed, because the attendant electric wheelchair controls meant to turn left - move the lever right, and vice versa .. practise made perfect, eventually.


Jimbo, I often feel like I can hear Mam .. when I’m going out to the shops, she worried all the time till I was back, ‘watch the roads’ was the most important one and I can hear her now when I check the traffic. (She lost two relatives in traffic accidents)


Thank you again, I feel a lot better today

Sue x