As I recently was reminded, losing someone you love so much is such a heartbreaking life event. I had lost my sister in 2005 and I still wasn’t over that. When the initial shock sinks in, the overwhelming disbelief that you will never share their company again is gut wrenching.
For the few days between the death of my mother and her burial service I was not part of this earth, I was searching and searching for a way to connect with her. I could still see her face, hear her voice and smell her around me, but, she wasn’t there. I would close my eyes and imagine floating to her, reaching out to her. It was as if I were pulling her back, or moving towards her. All my life I felt her presence. I hadn’t lived at home with her for over 25 years, but I always felt her there. I knew she was only a drive or a call away. I was lost, not she… it was me that felt ripped away so violently. I couldn’t bare the pain. I wouldn’t except her not being here.
The day of her funeral I was a spectator floating miles above. I saw myself read her eulogy, I didn’t believe the words I wrote were for her. I was an actor in a movie, a horror movie and I wanted to run, keep running.
The numbness stayed for weeks after that day. I was still locked in this nightmare. Instead of lucid dreaming, I was lucid living, wishing it was a dream and I would wake up, and all would be well again.
All of the 49 years of memories flooded back, things I can’t imagine why I remembered. Ordinary days, eating a sandwich at school lunch-break at home, my tea ready beside it, and a kit-kat bar for afters. My mother chatting away to me, and the smell of sweet tea. Nothing very special, just another day like every other school day. I don’t remember storing that memory.
My communion day, and the hand crochet stockings with the tassels on them, little crochet rings they were, I loved them. She had them made for me somewhere, her face beaming at her first born’s big day.
Laughing and laughing so hard that I felt ill, when she would tickle me and my sister. Playing ball against the bedroom walls in our flat, her singing
‘One, two, three O’Leary
Four, five, six, O’Leary
Seven, eight, nine, O’Leary
Catch the ball.’
My mother and my sister and I wearing my dad’s woolly army socks and skating up and down the hallway of our flat, polishing the floor after my mother had poured polish on it. I could smell the lavender scent all around me. My whole childhood playing like a movie every time I closed my eyes.
Both of them gone, only ghostly memories. I was overwhelmed with grief, I didn’t think I would laugh ever again.
As my business is seed papers and all things seed, my very good friend suggested I grow something for my mother and sister. She said it would focus my memories and help me carry on. So that is exactly what I did.
I remember my walks in those days in the 70’s ( I have a blog post about it) , running through meadows of flowers. My sister and I would pick them for my mother and she would make a big fuss putting them in a vase on the good table. Flowers especially wildflowers remind me of my parents and sister, and all of my childhood days. They always make me smile. I wanted so much to smile again. To remember them with joy, and love, not fear and pain. So I got to work.
This is what I created for them. I have also created it for you! because it has helped me so much. Helped me heal. I can now smile and watch the wildflowers growing. I feel connected again with my mother, she feels here again. She is after all memorialised forever in my garden.
You can email me at email@example.com if you would like to know more