I realise I’ve been quiet on here for a while. My heart has maybe been quietened a bit too – not for good, just for now.
I’ve allowed myself to be sad, given myself space and permission not to be voicing my experiences, but simply to experience them instead. It’s been a busy six months without Mum, but it’s only now I’m trying to get used to what that really means.
After losing my Dad, a part of me naively thought I knew what to expect this time around, how to handle it. But I realise now that every time we experience the death of someone close, it will be different to anything we have experienced before.
I understand that grief doesn’t always take you the way you thought it would, because the relationships and the people we are mourning are unique, just as we are and our children too. So for the first time since she left us, just as Ivy does in my book, I’ve been really thinking about what the crater Mum left behind means to me.
This is the poem that came out.
Pieces of You
I put your smile in a plastic bag today, with the crinkles at the corners of your eyes and some of your scarves too.
We sorted through the times we kitchen danced and kept one or two of the best ones, along with a couple of your favourite CDs.
The black bags in the hallway have got all the times you sang my children to sleep and some of the bedtime books you liked to read in them too.
Your home cooking and the meals we shared are in boxes on the draining board, along with your recipe books and 40 years or more of family Christmas dinners.
We found every single one of the Coronation Street episodes that you watched lying underneath your bed, next to the missing remote control.
I’ve kept your favourite lipstick to use until it is gone, and so we had to let your loving kisses go too.
A lady in the village took your linen blouses and expensive shirts for her charity container, and the warmth of your embrace went with them.
A man bought your car for his wife and it wasn’t until he drove it away that I realised, all the times you came when we needed you were still hiding in the boot.
Your wellies are still by the door, but they don’t want to fit anyone else’s feet. The fire is in, but the house is cold. The grass is growing, the roots are not.
The marks that you made have been covered in gloss. The windows have been wiped clean, your fingerprints are gone.
The way that you laughed and the love that you gave. All packed up or thrown away.
We have no choice but to let them go.
Pieces of you.