Friday, September 18, 2009

Ten Years On: on bereavement

Ten years ago my mum died. It was also my dad's birthday. And their wedding anniversary. She wasn't conscious that day and life support was turned off that afternoon.

In the intervening years:

  • I started and completed a PhD
  • Neil and I travelled to New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and New Zealand
  • We bought a house

My dad died a few years later: he'd initially rallied after mum's death, far more than any of us had anticipated, before declining swiftly and begrudgingly.

I mourn the loss of my dad as a man who could have been great, whose life had seen events I have only read in history books and who never got the chance to fulfill all the promise I can see he had looking back on his life. (And who was only just well enough to be around for some of my achievements).

But I miss my mum: I got my dad's Germanic nose and what intellect I possess probably comes from him. From my mum, I feel I got the curiosity to do something with whatever brains I possess, and her heart and empathy. At least, that's what I hope.

Sorry for the self-reflection; I do occasionally indulge in thinking about what I'm like and my life, and thinking about loss.

But mostly, as further birthdays approach, I want to reflect that I have been incredibly lucky and have the love of a good man and good friends. I have a lot to be happy about and mum (and dad) would want me to celebrate that.


Evil Pixie said...

My birthday is fast approaching (next week) and every year I seem to become as reflective as your post - thinking about those family and friends who came and went before me and their influences on my life. I suppose it is my way of understanding myself, their passings, and even keeping them alive in spirit.

Sheila said...

Lovely post...
Share more if possible ie: handling your journey in loss/grief, as there are many out there who are pretty much in permenant bewilderment from this.
Lost my Dad at 16, Mom at 46, then my dear hubby/best-friend 29 months ago. Had no intention of sharing MY story, but it happened inadvertently from prayer & shot off into a full time job.
Finding the rewards YOU've provided for others, is of tremendous joy.
God Bless.

Jane Henry said...

Beautiful post, Lisa. I know how you feel, though thankfully have only lost one parent. I have been thinking all day today about my dad and the influence he's had on me coincidentally. It's my firm belief that they never leave you. xx

Ms Heathen said...

I hear what you're saying here, Lisa. I don't think that anything or anyone can ever quite fill the space left by a mother. I'm thinnking of you on this anniversary. Much love, sweetie.