Being Mum – Being Child

May 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Posted in parenting | 4 Comments
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For every mum there is a child and for every child there is a mum. This is one thing we all have in common: we all have a mother. There is this one person in your life you call ‘mum’. What happens to you when you think of your mum?

8 months ago I became a mother and my daughter is just starting to say mum-um-um… to my delight, of course. 4 months ago however I’ve also lost the person I called mum.

My mum’s death was sudden and as such unexpected. It left me wondering how orphans feel growing up without this one person to rely on, to talk to, to get support, love, encouragement and guidance from? Am I now an orphan?

It also made me contemplate the relationship I had with my mum over the years. I always felt close to her, even though we had our moments of disagreement and relationship challenges. I spent intensive times with her, especially in the last 15 years as I lived overseas and only saw her once a year but then for a few weeks or on holiday trips together. Growing up I always felt supported and never doubted her love for me. Still, like every mother – daughter relationship, we had our ups and downs, differentiating myself and my life from hers and practicing allowing her to be different to what I expected her to be.

Mothers, like sons or daughters, change. For me it wasn’t very easy to see her change, becoming older and partly more stubborn in her own ways. Even though I believed she had every right to make her own choices, I was annoyed at certain ones and downright angry at others. I had however learnt to keep my frustration and anger to myself, probably as I had learnt it from my parents. So outwardly I might have seemed accepting but naturally inwardly I had my human thoughts, emotions and reactions.

Having a child of my own opened my eyes to motherhood in a whole new way. I’m amazed at the intensity of what it takes to mother a child and it’s only been 8 months. In comparison to my mum, I have a very actively supportive husband who is taking his role as a father seriously, where my father, representing his time, was far less involved.

Mother’s Day has been created to remember those amazing things mothers do and show them our gratitude. (No, I haven’t forgotten Father’s Day but that’s another time of the year.)

The role of a mother (or a father) never stops, not even with death. As mentioned above, it is 4 months ago that I’ve lost my mum, but 8 months ago I also had the younger of my twin girls die. So not only do I have a child, I also have lost one and so have experienced the whole spectrum of having a child, losing a child and losing a mum in a short timeframe. I still very much feel this child of mine with me, as well as my mum. I will always remain mother to two girls, if people ask or not. I am a mother by honouring her soul who has passed on.

My mum and my younger daughter are still with me, even though not on a physical level. Neither mothering nor being a child never stops. Now I might not have ‘real’ conversations with them, but I still have them inside of me. I think of them, am angry and sad for their leaving me and my other child and I miss them.

If your mother is still alive, what are you waiting for?

If your mother has passed, what are you waiting for?

Have you found peace in the relationship with her?

My Child Died – A Conversation Stopper

October 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Posted in grief/loss | 25 Comments
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Hope 🙂

Many people are lost for words when they hear me say that my child has passed away. Losing one’s own child is one of those experiences that we don’t know how to deal with – an untimely death.

I want to encourage people to dare to speak to me about my child, to mention her name and to ask me how I feel about it now. It does not have to be the only topic we talk about but it definitely shouldn’t be the one topic to avoid.

It might bring up emotions in me and it will definitely bring up emotions in you. What you are doing with them – allow and welcome or hide and suppress them – is the question.  You are meeting your own grief. You might be afraid of what you think it must feel like for me.  The chance is that I’ve already gone through and experienced the sadness, despair,  hopelessness, anger… This however is no absolution from feeling it again and again whether you mention it or not. Sooner or later I will go through the emotions and so are you. There is no way of hiding from this experience in life.

So the question really becomes: Can you bear standing in the face of any emotions, mine or your own? Are you ready to be authentic and share your tears with me? Or are you more comfortable hiding them?

There is no right or wrong way and no judgement of mine. It’s whatever you are comfortable with in yourself.

 

And remember – there is no set time frame for grief.

It will NEVER be over, so don’t expect me to ‘be over it’.

I don’t want time to heal this wound.

Yes, it will (and already has) get easier.

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