Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with Interiors!
Today's blogpost is a something a little different and certainly not something you may expect to find on an interiors blog, but as this is my platform I've decided to share something quite personal to me. I always like to read about peoples experiences that are similar to mine, so perhaps a few of you can relate.
I lost my mother to a relatively short battle with bowel cancer in July 2008. I'm not sure why I feel the need to share this now, perhaps its having her anniversary a few weeks ago, or getting engaged and realising she won't be here for any of it.
It's been nearly 9 years. I have no idea where that time as gone, it feels like just yesterday but also so long ago. At the time, I didn't know many people who had lost parents so I did feel like a bit of an odd-ball for lack of a better term. I read an article about a woman who had lost her parent as an older teenager and how she was expected to get over it or move on and that totally struck a chord with me. Luckily for me, no one put this pressure on me but I suppose in someways I did put it on myself as I didn't really know how to act; I would just try to act as normal as possible (act being the operative word).
I've noticed I still try to avoid the subject of family when I can, and as bad as it is, in the early days if I met new people I wouldn't tell them. I always felt so awful straight after I said 'yeah my parents live back in NZ' or whatever vague reply it was but I wasn't quite at a point where I could actually say it out loud. I've later realised that this is actually ok. If you don't want to share something so personal and deep when another person is just making small-talk, does it really matter? No one wants to burst into tears at a morning tea or something equally as trivial!
I was 17 when she passed away and after missing months of school while she was unwell, I was 'encouraged' to drop out of school as I wasn't going to pass the exams so they didn't see the point/didn't want it to affect their student scores - I didn't think about it too much at the time, but ain't that some B.S. I honestly can't remember much of that entire year, I was basically just a shell of myself. I don't know how I would have got through without my fiancé, Ret who got me through the motions.
As awful as this experience has been, there have been a few positive lessons that I am able to now count myself lucky for (in some twisted way). No matter how nervous or scared I am to do something (I'm a pretty anxious person), I always think to myself 'if I can make it though my mum dying, then this is nothing'. Along the same lines, if things aren't going my way or things are looking pretty bleak, I try to focus on the fact that I am alive and healthy. I try to never take small things for granted. In comparison to mortality, most issues or bumps in the road are pretty inconsequential. It also made me grow up pretty quickly and to be come relatively independent. I also now try to just go after what I want and encourage others to do the same, I mean what are we waiting for?! Thinking of making her as proud as possible is a massive motivator for everything I do.
Everyone thinks their mum is the best, but I do think mine was (ha!). I count myself extremely lucky that in the last few years especially, I realised how cool she was as a person and loved to hang out with her. Her and my step-dad would joke that I was the constant third-wheel on their dates. But hey, who doesn't love good company and free activities?! She would let me skip school every so often and we would have a day of shopping, I always knew that if I got into the fitting room I would have a 99% chance of getting something after she saw me in it. I am writing this while wearing one of her possum jumpers that she was obsessed with in winter (I can now totally appreciate this). She would try to smack our bottoms when we were young and naughty but could never manage to actually do it hard, so my sister and I would just laugh. She most definitely passed her chocolate obsession on to me and was just such a nice person. The biggest compliment in my books is if people tell me I look or remind them of her. She is literally my idol.
I'm not really sure what the point of this post is, but it actually feels quite good to write about it. Sometimes avoiding talking about them in trying to hide the grief, we also miss out on sharing the positive things. I was lucky enough to have my sister with me and we are extremely close. Friends and family are there for you but until they have gone through something similar it's extremely difficult to understand, I hope that this can make someone feel like there is another person who gets it.