This week has seen the 1st anniversary of my brother Michael’s death. I had prepared for it. I have lost people before and I felt I had come to terms with this particular one partly because my brother lived such a full life and because he made such an impact whilst he was here.
I had a little wobble in the bar one night last week when Freddie Mercury was on the television singing “The Show Must Go On!” I should explain that my brother was often mistaken for Freddie Mercury and lived in the same area of London. I am a huge Queen fan and can cry for Freddie in his own right but I guess from now on, such tears will be added to by grief for our Michael.
Then yesterday it was the 9th anniversary of my Mum’s death. After such a long time, I was not expecting to be knocked sideways by the day. I started feeling irritable on Sunday evening leading to a row with my husband. He ended up throwing a remote control at me. It hit me which I do not think was his intention but that led to fitful sleep so yesterday was a difficult day in so many ways.
Dates do not matter much to my husband. He would happily avoid Christmas, birthdays and does not really see the point in marking the date when special people passed away. My own family always made a fuss about dates. When Mum was terminally ill, she insisted on Dad writing down all the key dates so he could keep up with things once she was gone. I am not saying my husband is wrong as such. We just see things very differently.
So I was in a woe in me mode yesterday. I felt so down and if it were possible would have cuddled up with a duvet all day. Of course, you can’t do that when you have children, pets and work to contend with.
I can’t really remember the details of the day. Lowlights included the Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door and a dress not fitting. It was just a very dark one altogether where I tried to shift my mood and just couldn’t. Having said that, it is amazing what will pull you out of a low mood. Yesterday afternoon, my son was telling me about his views on the book her is reading at the moment which is the Adrian Mole one. He was laughing how he had misread the title as “Dairy” instead of “Diary” and how this has fuelled his imagination of what the secret dairy looked like and what went on there. This was the first light moment in the day and I started to emerge as the dark clouds dispersed a bit. He then went on to analyse the book much as myself or my Mum would do. People really do live on in their children and grandchildren.
Then out of the blue my 17 year old son suggested not getting a takeaway last night but waiting until today when there are special offers on. He never budgets so this was a turn up for the books and again cheered my soul a little.
As for my 14 year old daughter, she stroked and hugged me again and again very aware of my feelings yesterday.
So the children survived me not being there properly for them yesterday. I guess another point is that we did not have to contend with any back to school hassle now that we home educate.
Today I have worked out that I was naïve to think I could just glide through two important anniversaries. I love my brother and Mum so of course I mourn them. That does not make me pathetic or weak, just very human.
In the evening, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I asked my husband to light a candle for my Mum. He did two so we had one for Mum and one for Michael. I am good Catholic girl after all and lighting a candle always brings comfort.
When Mum died, I lit a candle. Not long after my toddler son who was asleep on the sofa suddenly did a big giggly belly laugh in his sleep. He had not done this before and he has not done it since. I thought it was Mum telling me to lighten up a bit and today I can do that again.