Four years ago today, my world turned upside down when my mum died. At that time, it seemed that nothing would ever be the same again.
I remember shortly afterwards bumping into an old work colleague - an American gentleman. He usually kept himself to himself at work and didn't tend to get invovled in the usual chitchat and banter that went on around him. But he'd heard my news and stopped and said "Boy that must be hard - mums are hard to lose."
I had lots and lots of touching messages from friends near and far and yet for some reason this is the message that stayed with me most - mums are hard to lose. He'd hit the nail right on the head. They are hard to lose or certainly in my case, mine was. My greatest fan and well intentioned critic, the teller of bad but immensely enjoyable jokes, a listening ear, a storyteller, a messenger that every cloud holds a silver lining was gone. Until that point, she'd always been there for me. She was a constant in my life. She was the person I ran home to when I didn't like what life offered me. She was the one that made a pot of tea and told me everything would be all right.
I was lost for a long time. I felt like I was searching for something and I just couldn't find it. I gave up reading, something that had always given me immeasureable pleasure. Gatherings of friends became difficult. It all sounded like noise - noise in my head that I wanted to go away. As a friend put it, the sparkle had gone from each experience and the sparkle had gone from me. These were grey, heavy days - days when sleep was the best escape.
But time passed both quickly and slowly and with it came acceptance. Love, friendship, new experiences and shared joy brought colour back into my days once more. Also came the realisation that my mum helped shape who I am today. I know that she would want me to be happy, content, well-travelled, independent, loving and someone who is able to take joy from small pleasures as well as the bigger experiences in life and you know I think I'm doing it.
And so with a glad heart and a smile on my face, we will celebrate your life mum. Today we will take a trip to the lakes, walk in the air, disappear amongst the palette of brillant autumn colours, reminisce about old times, find somewhere to drink tea served from a china pot, tell some bad jokes and laugh and smile and remember.