I’m so very happy that the days are getting longer again! Spring is in the air. Which means, it’s time for Rebirth and Renaissance, after Grieving Gracefully for most of 2016! Time to look to the future and to dare to dream once again.
In August 2014 I came home to the UK from Panama, at a moments’ notice when I heard that Mum had collapsed and the prospects were not good; she’d been given about 48 hours to live, so you can just imagine that flight home across the Atlantic back to the UK! She’d had cancer for about seven yrs by this stage but most of the time you’d never even have know, she looked so fit and healthy. I came home with just my handbag, thinking I’d be back in my adopted home in a week or two.
On seeing Mum, I made the instant decision to stay home and care for her, no matter what that took, nor how long. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, leaving my life behind to come home and be with the woman who birthed me. She fought the most incredible battle I’ve seen anyone fight. Her story is one of sheer gumption, courage, grit and determination; and one of enormous creativity, boundless energy huge accomplishment, and an insatiable knack for remembering peoples’ birthdays and making them all feel special.
Despite being given 48 hours to live, nothing was going to stand in her way of living to a ripe old age of 100, just like her mother. Coming home was one of the best things I could do both for Mum and for me. It gave us both strength…and it gave us both time to be with each other, to talk, to laugh, to say things we might not have otherwise said, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Unfortunately over the next 18 months, she very gradually became weaker, despite defying the doctor’s predictions time and again.
Eventually pneumonia took her within 3 days, on June 8th 2016, aged 69.
I’ve since spent the last few months at home, organising her funeral, then her memorial service with my brothers and step father, then the sale of all her own amazing paintings (well over 200, which no one knew she’d even done), a pop-up shop of all her clothes, quilts, curtains, jewellery etc (thanks to all Mum’s amazing friends who helped!) much of which she’d made herself, as well as sorting through all of her belongings.
I have a couple of weeks to go of finalising the sorting, selling, storing and the paperwork. And then I say goodbye to my Suffolk homeland, my heartland and I will head to the big smoke.
Oh and my bicycle (need to start training for that half Ironman in Sept!).
March 2017 is nine months since she died, and also the month she would have turned 70; miraculously it has been a full gestational period of Grieving Gracefully for me; 2016 saw Mum’s passing, my Grandmother’s passing a month later (at 100) & Monty, our dog’s passing too.
After 9 months, I’m beginning to feel ready for this Renaissance, to look to the future once more & to start my life over again, from zero, as if I were fresh out of uni and 21 again, except with almost 20 years’ life experience in between.
Slightly scared, yes! Excited? Absolutely! I have a whole new book to write. A blank canvas upon which to paint my masterpiece!
Be sure to watch this space!