At the time of writing this, on March 17th, today is the second anniversary of my Mum’s death. I’ve missed her every single day since, and there comes the realisation, as you process your grief, when you know you’re going to miss them for all your days to come.
My Mum was my parents. My Dad left when I was about eight or nine-years-old and she worked long, hard hours in a sweet factory, to pay the bills and make sure we had everything we needed. (I’m the youngest of five, but two of them had flown the nest by then.)
When I was a young boy, I would run down the path in the estate I used to live in, and she’d have just got off the bus, and I’m jump up on her and she’d swing me around. If I’d done that in the later years of my Mum’s life, when she was frail and had turned into an old woman… I would have been charged with manslaughter.
I love her so much. Always. I always did and I always will.
When you lose a parent, your world changes. There becomes a before and an after. Reality fractures.
Losing my brother last year, combined with the sobbing mourning of my Mum, then being exiled from London and the woman I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with… and becoming homeless. It’s no real surprise I went a bit AWOL in a mental sense. It’s quite a lot to deal with. I think I said elsewhere that it’s been something of a psychological tsunami… wave after wave of heartbreak, confusion and loss.
For months on end, I actually believed… I’d made myself think this was the only sensible option… that it was my last day. Suicide was imminent. It was terrifying – every waking moment and in jagged dreams… that’s all I wanted… to end my life and escape the agony I was in. I think I annoyed a lot of people with my sporadic ramblings about topping myself… but they weren’t cries for help… that was actually how I was feeling… right on the edge of ending myself, actively plotting on how I was going to do it. I was having a ‘nervous breakdown’, as they used to call it. Full on. I had a Crisis Team from the comfortable hospital who’d meet me every day and have a chat and try to bring me out of my malaise – essentially, my new best friends were paid to talk to me.
And from the depths of that despair and horror and heartbreak… I’ve risen up again and I’m ready to forge the life I want to live.
My Mum gave me the most precious gift… consciousness. She created me, loved me unconditionally all her life… and now she’s gone, I still have this amazing gift – the present – and after months of tumbling confusion and self-hatred, lost in my own head, returning to my peaceful centre is such a heartening relief.
I cried a little, this morning, when I woke, but with a snot-bubble smile at the end. The rest of the day, I’ve been feeling energised, positive and creative, and it’s been such a long time since I had this drive and this focus on the truth that I can actually build the life I want to lead, if I work hard and stay conscious. I’ve got at least ten books in my head that have been percolating up there for years, with plots imagined at bus stops, supermarket queues and sleepless nights. They need to get written, so that’s what I’ll do.
It’s hard to build a raft when you’re trying not to drown, but I’ll get out of here. I’ll find a home to call my own – get some rescue kitties and lots of soothing purring. I’ll write and keep on writing until my imagination runs out or death guides me someplace else.
In the late Summer and Autumn, I was really so confused and angry at people in my life, who I love, just turned their backs on me. I was ill. I have a note from the doctor to say I was having a breakdown! I’d gone rogue, or whatever. I said a lot of hurtful things, lashing out in pain, and rather than burning bridges, I think I may have nuked them.
Now, all the anger and bewilderment and negativity has fallen away again.
If I hurt these people I care about, then I hope, someday, they find it in their hearts to forgive me. I’d gone bananas, proper. I cannot, though, hold their current lack of forgiveness as a burden. It’s not mine to carry. It’s up to them to deal with that business. I felt betrayed and rejected by the people I loved the most… and they weren’t very nice to me… but all is forgiven, this end. And, most importantly, I have forgiven myself. The past is done… it’s gone… you can’t change it. I’m in an awkward situation, being a homeless, but getting out of here and finding my own home… that’s going to be a great chapter in my autobiography. I’ve had an interesting, sometimes surreal life.
“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.” – Eldridge Cleaver
You’ve just got to let all the psychological debris you’re carrying fall away from you. Live in the moment… practice conscious awareness… meditate… there is only now, for us, and it’s such a wonderful present. It’s the greatest gift any of us will ever be given. Tune out of the repetitive, looping nagging in your brain and stand silently, listen to the traffic or the sounds of your area. Look at the clouds and actually look at them, rather than just glancing up like you’re checking for rain. Feel the breeze on your hands and face. Take deep breaths and be conscious of them. Focus on your lips and take notice of the rush of air as you breathe.
You can overwhelm your nagging mind by falling into the senses. Taking a hike up a mountain overwhelms the senses and the mind falls quiet… consciousness takes over. It’s almost impossible to look from the peak of a mountain and have worries about bills or relationships running through your head. I’m sure the same is true with many other activities.
I feel like the real me is emerging. All the negative emotions have been discarded. I knew how to do that all along… but I guess grief is like an addiction, and you have to go through that mourning process. It’s an important phase of recovery, so I was told at the comfortable hospital.
But here, now, again, I am happy and at peace with the world and myself. And I’m fired up and determined to use the new psychological and spiritual strength I’ve ripped and knitted and bulked through my trials, to build a new life and set about making a raging success of myself while helping others through their own dark times. I’m stronger than I ever imagined I could be. Proof of that is I’m still here.
I made it through the toughest time of my life. I did it. I had a lot of help from some incredible friends, but in each challenge and tragedy, I’ve gained the strength I needed, just at the right time to get me through.
My future is a blank page. I have no ties to anywhere or anybody. I’ll find a home and I know I’ll fall in love again, and then some other woman would become the most beautiful in the known Universe. I wonder if I’ve seen her face, yet, or chatted with her on Twitter or Facebook? Perhaps she’s a complete stranger to me, now, and there’s an adventure ahead to make sure we bump into each other? The Universe/Multiverse moves in mysterious ways! I’ve been witness to that many times.
And this adventure that’s coming… and the blank page I’m going to write a great life on… it’s all because of my beautiful, selfless, eternally loving Mum – Brenda Floyd.
Apart from the tears, this morning, today has been more of a celebration of her life, rather than there being a focus on her passing. I’ve thought about her so much and smiled. Precious memories warm my heart, whereas before, when I was losing the plot, those memories would break my heart over and over, balling me, crouched down on the floor, inconsolably sobbing – rocking with tears.
My Mum gave me life, and I truly want to live, now. I have – hopefully – a few more decades ahead, and it’s going to be a most splendid trek into the unknown. I have lots to do, and I’ll do it. I will find treasure through my work. My best writing is yet to come.
Thank you, Mum. I love you and miss you so much.
Ah, for one last tight hug… out of the ether, just for a minute to say goodbye properly…
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