Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Courage and Grief

I remember the day my Brother called me. It was a hot sunny bank holiday weekend in August five years ago and we were on a camping trip with the kids. The previous six months had been hard on us all with me travelling 200 miles back and forth to Essex every few weeks to care for Mum during her Chemotherapy treatments. 

Those six months were of course harder on Mum. The side affects were awful for her as she battled to beat the disease that had taken hold of her body. I spent those months with her talking about life, remembering past happier times. We talked about the future and Mums plans for retiring to Bulgaria, a place she had come to love so much. Eagerly Mum would tell me how beautiful the Rhodope mountains are and how much I would love it there and that as soon as she felt better she wanted Me, Papa and the kids to join her on visiting her new found paradise. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.

I answered the phone to my Brother. I could instantly tell there was something wrong as he paused before telling me "I think you should come home now...Mum's not good, she's in the hospital." 
Of course I jumped on the first train to London. With a stomach full of knots I approached the hospital ward. Mum looked OK, a little weak but OK, She smiled as I walked into the room and I felt a lump in my throat. My beautiful vibrant Mum looked totally exhausted, I could tell she had no fight left. I saw fear in her eyes for the first time.

Mum didn't say anything but later that day my Brother explained that the chemo wasn't working and that Mum probably only had a few months left. I felt like I had just been punched in the face as a wave of stomach churning nausea overcame me and a fear I had never experienced before engulfed me. We were going to lose our Mum. What the hell was I going to do without my Mum. Selfishly, I suddenly realised how much I relied on her as I struggled to absorb what I had just been told. My heart ached a real throbbing pain as it hit me how frightened my Mum must have be feeling.

Up until that point we had been hopeful for a miracle and to be honest we had been living in total denial even right up until two weeks before she passed away we didn't believe she was actually dying. Mum was gone within two weeks...My Mum Gone.

Living a life without my Mum is a constant struggle and I feel like I have needed all my reserves of energy and courage to deal with the grief of losing her. At times my life completely fell apart and without her on the other end of the phone times have been hard. Mum was the glue that held our family together and now she is gone even the relationship with some of my Brothers, who I have always adored has suffered and become estranged. This deeply saddens me and again has tested my courage to the limits.

Mum was always so brave and never showed signs of any fear during her last days...Only Courage, even though she knew she may never see her children ever again.  I'm not sure I could ever be so Brave.

This post is linked up to Josies Writing Workshop


  1. I'm one person who understands loss of a mum from cancer. Love you patsy we will all meet up again one day.
    Love you em xx

  2. Thanks Jill, Love you too xxx

  3. I am just begining my journey of life without my Mum. She died on Christmas Eve and I am finding it ever so hard at times.

  4. The Madhouse, So sorry you lost your Mum. I personally found the first year the toughest as I battled to accept she was actually no longer here. I became really angry and impatient with everyone around me.

    All I can say is that it does get easier to cope with...I promise you that. I still miss Mum today just as much as I did 5 yrs ago but as time goes by the heartbreak becomes less raw.

    I love using my blog to remember her, especially on her birthday and anniversaries. I'm pretty sure blogging has helped me cope, like a therapy. It makes me feel like she is here with me as I read my posts back. Although to be honest our lost Mums are always with us anyway in everything we say & do.

    Sending you a big massive Hug x

  5. Lots and lots of hugs. Not easy I am sure to remember that day.

  6. Huge big hugs. I know what you are going through, I haven't lost my mum but I love my dad. He was my rock, he was the one I was closet to. He too died of cancer, two weeks to the day we were told. It's hard, you can never say good bye. You never come to terms with it, you never get over it, but you learn to take it a day at a time. x

  7. I'm so very, very sorry for your loss and your post must have been hard to write, but is beautifully written.

    This might sound silly - but I recently came across a beautiful little book called 'Heaven is for Real' - I think it might be worth a read, no matter what your beliefs are, it really does have some beautiful gems in it. I wrote about it in a blog post here - http://www.catchingthemagic.com/2011/05/heaven-is-for-real/

    Wishing you strength each and every day to walk forward x Hugs and best wishes x

  8. Too much emotion - you have reduced me to tears. A beautiful post!

  9. I lost my Grandmother very suddenly nearly 20 years ago now....sometimes I remember it like it was yesterday, but most of all I try to remember the wonderful person she was and the fun we always had together.


  10. A lovely post, must have been so hard to write *hugs*

  11. Gorgeous post - I've got tears in my eyes. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like losing your Mum. My Mum has had breast cancer twice but has fought it so it's loomed a couple of times for me and the thought was unbearable so it must be so hard to actually have it happen. Hugs to you my lovely - it must have been a difficult post to write x

  12. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your mum would be so proud of such a beautiful tribute. It sounds like your time together was rich and full of love and memory-making. I'm so sorry you had to lose her when you did - wishing you peace and strength and healing as you begin to move forward.



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