Friday, 25 March 2011

Life is short.

Ever since my mother passed I find myself questioning my life.

There's a realisation that life is short.. too short.. and it can end unexpectedly at any moment.

Life is so often lived as though there is an infinite amount of time.  Life ending is unimaginable.

But then we are faced with mortality.

And with the significant loss I have just experienced, I also have the realisation that now I have opportunity via the inheritance I will come into.  And with it some freedom to make changes.

Of course given the choice I would give it all up in a flash to have my mother back.  I would give it up and more - my house, my money, everything I own.

But I can't.  And my mother worked hard for what she had.  And I don't want to waste it.

So I could use it to change careers.  To renovate.  Towards paying our loan.  To buy a new house.  To holiday.  To invest.  To have another child.  A combination of the above.

Right now I don't know what to do.  But I am entertaining the possibilities life suddenly has to offer.

Life is too short.  And I want to spend my days as fulfilled and happy as I can be.

I'm just not sure how to work out what will be fulfilling and happy for me.  But I haven't been enjoying my job for a while now.  Even before my mother passed.  And that is one area I want to work on.  But do I stay in my current career and try somewhere else?  Or change careers altogether?  Or become a stay at home mother again? 

I used to spend too much time worrying about how my decisions affect others.  But I need to start thinking about what I want and stop worrying about others.  I can't make everyone happy.  The only people I need to think about are myself, Greg and Maya.  And how we can make the most of our time together, so that it is as fulfilling and happy as it can be with the life we have.

Monday, 21 March 2011

If only.

Maya keeps asking to go visit Nana.  And it breaks my heart every time.  Because I really wish we could go visit her Nana.

I would do almost anything to have my mother back.  To have it so that she didn't die.  So that I could talk to her again.  Say all the things I wished I'd said.  So I could hug her.  And watch her play with Maya again.

I still can't believe a year ago my mother was coming round to visit.  She was picking Maya up from child care.  We had coffees.  Went shopping.  Went to the park.  Talked.  Laughed.  Hugged.  She was well, happy and alive.

At least we thought she was well.

And now she's dead.  Gone.  Never coming back.

Maya doesn't understand that her Nana has gone and that she will never be able to see her or speak to her again.  She's too young to understand the concept.  She loved (loves) her Nana dearly and wants to see her.  She probably doesn't understand why we don't take her to see her Nana.

But while it upsets me that we can't go visit her Nana.  I am glad that she wants to visit her.  That she remembers her.  I want Maya to remember her Nana and I am afraid she will forget her in time.

I need to get some pictures printed of Maya with her Nana.  So that she will continue to see her grandmother on a daily basis and hopefully continue to remember her from her own memory.

First time Mum saw Maya - October 2008

Maya sleeping in her Nana's arms - November 2008

Cuddles and kisses - April 2009

Playing with and feeding Maya - August 2009

Maya's first birthday party - October 2009. Mum never made it to Maya's second birthday party in October 2010 because she was in hospital at the time.

These are my favourite pictures because Mum and Maya were sharing a special time together that I was able to witness and capture - December 2009

I returned to work in January 2010 and didn't take any photos of the two of them till August 2010 due to less time, which of course I now regret. These two pictures are the last pictures I have of mum and Maya taken in August 2010. Mum was in a lot of pain and had her cancer diagnosis and we were waiting for her operation, which we thought would rid her of it. I never thought to take photos of the two of them after this time. Until the last few days I had no idea my mother would not recover. Until then we had a future in which to take photos.  R.I.P. Mum.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


It seems somehow that observers base their ability to judge your well-being on how they feel about what you are doing.  For example, if you are very distressed and crying, you will be described as not coping very well, but if you don't show your feelings, or at least if you don't show too many of them and the observers don't feel uncomfortable about what you are doing, they will describe you as coping well.  [From Coping With Grief by Mal & Dianne McKissock]
A lot of people tell me that I am "doing so well" or that I am "so strong" or that I am "coping really well".  And it annoys me.  Because it dismisses what I am feeling.  It makes me feel like I am expected to "cope well".  It leaves me wondering if I can express my grief and feelings.  And my outside behaviour does not always represent my inside feelings.

In fact I would love to crawl into bed for a couple of weeks.  But having my daughter means that I do not have the luxury to do that.  I have to get up, get myself sorted and be there for my daughter (as much as I can be there for her given the overwhelming grief I am experiencing).  And while some think the way to deal with grief is to get on with life as soon as possible, this method does not suit everyone. 

I need time to process, to grieve, to be me without judgement, to cry, to get angry, to yell, to scream, to be without responsibility (as much as possible given I have my daughter).  There is nothing wrong with my way of dealing with grief.  It's just my way.  So in order to get the time I need I have had to take leave from work for a few weeks.  Maya still goes to child care and it gives me three days a week to do all the things I need to do to grieve.
You are the only one who can feel what you feel; you are the only one who can determine how to express what you feel.  Others affected by the bereavement have their own feelings and their way of expressing them, but if you feel like going to bed for a couple of days - do it!  If you want to yell, scream, cry, curse - do it!  If you want to withdraw and have time to yourself - do so! [From Coping With Grief by Mal & Dianne McKissock]
So I'm not particularly strong and I'm not coping "really well".  I'm just doing what I need to do to get through this extremely difficult time.  Some may see me as coping, others may see me as not coping.  But it is what it is and I can't change my way of dealing with things.