Friday, September 24, 2010

Coping: Words that Hurt

Bookshelves are tumbling over with etiquette guides to all of life's major events: births, engagements, weddings, even divorces but there's a lack of guidance when it comes to death, and grieving. Unfortunately, there are no lessons on how to behave when someone dies, or how to deal with those who are left behind. Sure, it's not the most happy of topics to study, or discuss, but I wish there was some sort of protocol as to what should - and shouldn't - be said. 

"Isn't it time you moved on?"     "Feel better -she's in a better place"

"How long are you going to be like this?"                   "Life goes on."

"Get over it already"                              "You can't live in the past."

Just a sampling of my particular non-favourite phrases said to me, or others that I know - all of us members of the club of motherless daughters. Perhaps the people who uttered these 'words of wisdom' thought it was better to say something... even if it was somewhat misguided? I can understand the discomfort in speaking up when someone dies. It's horrible. I'm not a fan either, but a simple "I'm sorry" is always a good choice especially when the alternative can sting - even unintentionally. 

Sticks and stones can hurt but words can too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Milestone: Six Months

It was fitting that on the six month milestone of my Mum's death it was raining - nonstop, bucketing down. 

The weather was somewhat poetic - mirroring what I was feeling at this half-way point of my first year without Mum. 

A few months ago, I figured that with time I'd feel more settled, more accepting of my Mum's passing.

I still think of Mum most hours of the day. The six month milestone was very difficult, not only the day itself but the lead up to it. Missing her so very very much. Six months on, not much has changed. 

I wish that I could hear her voice one more time.

I wish that I could sit beside her, feel her warm embrace and soft skin.

I wish she was here to enjoy the glorious Summer just passed.

I wish for so many things.... 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mum Loved: Summer

For some reason this month, I'm finding it harder than usual to accept Summer's gradual exit. I'm notoriously an Autumn girl. I adore Fall clothing, sports and the crispness that the air brings. Suntanning and perspiring profusely top my list of pet-hates. I actually begrudge the odd bit of tan that I do have - obtained by daily walks with my dog - being pale is what I *do*. But this year, I let all the goodness of Summer wash over me. I couldn't get enough - I finally made it my friend. 

I think the main reason for my brief sojourn into Summer bliss is down to my Mum. She loved the warmth of these months. She would spend hour upon hour in her beautiful garden, tending to its every minute need. Perhaps I was channeling her joy of the season in an attempt to feel her presence?

Mum's passing in March meant that she'd never get to prolong her love affair with the Summer. The fact that she was robbed of this small pleasure breaks my heart. She would have been so thrilled with the heat, and made due with the lack of rain. Summer last year she spent primarily in hospital, and once she came home, Mother Nature decided to give us a lukewarm August - definitely nothing to get excited about. 

A part of me thinks that perhaps this year, Mum pulled Mother Nature aside and told her to create a Summer that would make her proud - one that would get her loved ones outside, into the fresh air - and away from being stuck indoors feeling melancholy and alone. It's true that a sunny, warm day does raise the spirits - it doesn't erase the pain of missing someone so badly, but it does make you feel a little bit more peaceful and happy... even if it's for just a short spell.

The fountains and reflecting pools at our neighbourhood reservoir park are no longer flowing. I actually had to wear a sweater *and* a jacket for my afternoon trek with my dog today. Without a doubt, Summer is taking its leave, and it hurts this time more than ever. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inspiration: Jewel's Shape of You

Last week's Emmy Awards broadcast featured many laughs and interesting speeches, but the most thought provoking moment involved singer, Jewel performing her hauntingly beautiful "Shape of You" during the program's In Memoriam tribute. 

Surprisingly, Jewel has never recorded this dedication to a dear friend who passed away. Her lyrics are very personal, and moving.

Here's a video clip featuring "Shape of You" from a concert of Jewel's last year. Enjoy.

(there's also a link to the actual Emmy performance which you can access by clicking here, but please note that NBC has a tendency to shut down the exhibition of their clips on YouTube. Have a look before it vanishes).