When I was on holiday on the Isle of Arran back in August of 2007 I sat down and wrote an article I’d written many times over the years about the death of my mother. I’d wanted to explain what the process of losing her had been like from the first days up until years later when I’d come to terms with it. But every time I sat down to write it I just wouldn’t be happy with it and hit Delete. Not so this time.
I hadn’t really thought about the loss of my mother for a while but for some reason after a day out walking on the hills I just sat down and wrote Losing My Mother (what I believe to be the best piece of writing I’ve ever done) in about half an hour. When I read it back to myself with tears streaming down my face I realised I’d captured the essence of what the experience of losing my mother and learning to live with it was and is like. I handed it over to my good lady (who knew my mother very well and felt the loss almost as much as I did) to proof read (she proof reads most of what I post here believe it or not) and she soon had tears running down her face before agreeing that it was “a lovely article”. Almost immediately I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders having put into words what I’d spent the previous 5 years learning to live with.
But it wasn’t until a couple of months later that I actually published the article here and was very tempted to just post it with comments disabled. Fortunately I thought better of it and left comments open and I’m so glad I did. If you have a look at the comments people have left you can see that I’m by no means the only person this has happened to and a lot of people have thanked me for expressing the same things they’ve been feeling and offered their own thoughts too. From my point of view it’s so nice to realise that I’m not alone with other people out there having gone through the same thing as me. It’s given me a great deal of comfort and those people have often said they feel some comfort from what I’ve written.
Friends often ask me why I have this site and why I talk about my life so openly and I can never really answer them other than to say “because I do”. But writing a very personal post for me more than anybody else on a subject I’d not often talk about in the real world (it’s not a good topic to bring up at dinner parties) and getting so much positive feedback, connecting with people I’d never have touched otherwise is a pretty damn good reason if you ask me.
Days like today are tough. Not only is it Mother’s Day, but it also happens to have fallen on my Mum’s birthday this year. Unfortunately my father isn’t here to share it with her.
You’re right, it definitely helps to know that there are other people out there (and there are a lot of them) who know in general terms what you’re going through. Not specifically, because every situation is unique, but that doesn’t matter. It’s enough to know that there are others who understand.
Keep doing what you do, John.
Thanks John, I will do!
It has been two and half months since my mother has passed.. and I remember seeking information to guide me through this time. Your mothers article articulated my feelings towards my mothers loss… Today after along day.. for some reason I find myself seeking more guidance about my mother and I found your mothers day piece..
Touched and comforted once again through your words..