"Life doesn't come with a manual, it comes with a mother."
Whether you are a son or a daughter, your mother is your first friend.
After nine months of nurturing you, and birthing you, it is your mother that holds you, comforts you, and walks the life journey with you. When you lose a parent, in particular a mother, grief can be overwhelming and all consuming. Why? There are many reasons but there is that one underlying cause. It’s that unspoken bond of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is the most powerful weapon that a mother has in her arsenal. If you have that form of love from your mother, you have won. Unconditional parent love means you can rule the world in your chosen field or simply be a part of it. Unconditional love gives you courage for adversity and the will to fight it. Unconditional love gives you passion for adventure and/or passion for people. Unconditional love from your mother gives you the power to do anything and achieve anything. So, when you lose a mother, that thread is cut. The unconditional love has gone, that support network has gone. Your life changes.
How do you cope losing a mother? There is no right or wrong way, but there is a way that you can manage the grief that comes with that loss.
Ask yourself this question.
"What did my mum give me?"
Did she give you strength to stand up for yourself? Did she teach you how to bake? Did she demonstrate how to be empowered in your daily choices? Did your mum give you the gift of hope when the world seemed like it was falling apart? Did she give you her blessing to just ‘be happy’ in life? Was your mum a constant in your life, always there? Was she encouraging in your chosen career? Did she give you life advice that has been invaluable to you? When you can think of a few things that your mum gave you, that’s the way to manage the grief. Hold on to those things. The things she taught you are the most precious gifts she gave you.
It may sound strange to say this but also celebrate her. Celebrate every great quality she gave you. I think of my mum every time I’m cooking a meal she would love, every time I’m shopping and every time I just want to chat. I think how proud she would be of my achievements and then I remember, I am able to do what I do, because of her.
If we are lucky in life, our mothers are with us for many years. However, we know that at some stage we will experience their loss. Losing a mother, is losing an identity. We’ve all heard the saying that ‘it is far better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all’ but we have grief with us after that loss. The deeper the love, the stronger the grief.
The late Queen Elizabeth II once said “grief is the price we pay for love” and she was not wrong.
We cannot outrun grief. We cannot escape it. We must wade through it. For each of us, that grief will be different. For each of us, that grief will change us. For each of us that has lost our mother, we will never be the same person again.
There is no notebook or rule book for grief. We are writing it ourselves. But once thing we must always remember, is that grief is with is forever.
I sit here today, writing this piece, incredibly thankful that I was blessed with having my mum in my life until she was 70. We shared holidays We shared meals out. We went out shopping together. We had lunches and drinks together. We shared highs and lows of life together and supported each other through those. She saw my first book published and supported me through the start of a new career. I have so many memories, that there is always something to make me laugh and smile.
By smiling and laughing at memories and stories, I can remember the good times. Thanks mum.