Mother’s Day. Dear Mum. Thank you and I’m sorry.

Today is Mother’s Day here in the UK. There are many of us going through Mother’s Day, today, without our mums. The loss of my mother has impacted my life, the way I view things, and how I parent.

For those of you mothering on Mother’s Day, with the pain of loss, be it an older, less sharp pain, or a fresher and more raw pain, I am sending love and light to you today. It is a pain we cannot explain and it never goes away. 

This is the letter to my own mum, that she will never read. She is gone. She has been gone for all of my adult life. She died 24 years ago. I was eighteen. Mother’s Day with all the joy of my own children, and being loved, still has a sting. I don’t think that sting will ever go, although time has eased it somewhat. 

Dear Mum

I wanted to say thank you.

Thank you for doing your best. At the time, I didn’t think you were doing your best. But now having my own children, I am sharply reminded almost daily, of how hard you worked, and what you gave to us. I swore I would never be like you or sound like you, all those years ago before I had children. Now I speak to them and your voice comes out of my mouth. The things you said and did. Your mannerisms and quirks. They are in me. I am ok with that now.

Thank you for being strong, and fierce, and brave. Thank you for passing on your sarcasm and sense of humour. Thank you for all that you did for us. I know I didn’t appreciate it then. I do now. Motherhood was, I think hard, for you at times, and I look back with much respect at your life.

Thank you for teaching me things I have taught my own children. Thank you for the mistakes you made, because I learned and watched then and maybe resented you, but now I know you were only human and I have learned from you to not make those mistakes. You were not perfect. Nobody is, but you were a good mum, you were my mum. I would never have wanted anyone else to do or be that.

I also wanted to say I am sorry.

I am sorry I was hard to understand, and for the challenges I threw you. I am sorry that I threw things in your face, and for being ungrateful and angry at you for things that were beyond your control. I understand now that I have to protect and help my own kids, that sometimes I didn’t understand your reasons and decisions. I do now. I am sorry I said some pretty harsh things, in anger. It must have stung so hard. I regret that with all my heart now. I am sorry if I made you feel that you weren’t able to parent me sometimes. I am sorry for being so fiercely independent and strong minded that we clashed more than we should have. I think I have your personality. As I parent my own daughter, who is a mini me, and a mini you, I see now how hard it must have been to parent a reflection of yourself.

I wish we could have had longer together. We were starting to click, as you became ill. I was growing up, and learning to understand you slightly better, and you were letting me go and grow up. I like to think it would have got easier, and that now, whilst we probably still would have clashed a lot, being so alike, I think you would also have been able to help me parent my own children. I think you would have adored your grandchildren and laughed at my parenting struggles. I think karma or fate or what goes around comes around has met with me, and I suspect that if you could see me now you would be nodding and laughing but also remembering as well.

I wish I could say this all to you in person. I can’t. Maybe you know it. It gives me a sense of peace to think that you do, somehow.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. I miss you. I wish you were here.

I think I get my love of Orchids from you. This was a day I remember, and a photo I treasure. One day I will have it reprinted and tidied up. 


Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged death of a parent, Grief, Mother's Day, motherhood, Mothering Sunday, motherless daughters, Parenting through loss.