After some one much loved dies, I think it is the ticking over of that first year and the passing of ‘special’ days that can be most difficult to bear: the first Christmas without them, the first New Year, the day of their birth and the day of their death. I managed to cope quite well with Christmas and New Year: I steeled myself and held it together. But over the last week or so I have been feeling an increasing sense of dread, the welling up of grief and a dissolving of my carefully maintained composure.
The last two nights I have gone to bed and cried, missing my mother, wishing that she could have been around for a couple more years, wondering if there was anything we could have done to hold on to her for a bit longer. All of these things are of course part of any grieving but it was her birthday that was my undoing. Last night I tormented myself thinking about her last birthday and whether she had any inkling that it would be her last. I went back and read my diary for this time last year and was relieved to recall that we were all there for her birthday – that she had her two cherished grand-daughters pottering around her house for a couple of days; I’m pretty sure we got a cake to celebrate. So it wasn’t such a bad last birthday. There was some consolation in that at least. But I still miss my mother and although 84 and a half years was a pretty good run, I still feel the loss and the unfairness of losing someone who still had a bit of living left to do.