You’re my blog. I share all my toilet humour and wild fantasy stories of randy gentlemen who only speak pidgin with you.
I might as well share my grief.
I recently lost my mother and I’ve learnt some new things since…
1. Nothing Really Matters.
In our heads, some things do. In reality, nothing does. I would give up everything and be a different person and undo everything if it would bring her back. I would be shorter, more overweight, more dumb, less funny, anything. Just to hear that chic whine and nag me some more. To be clear, the whining got a lot less with time and age. I grew wiser, she grew tired and realized I was incorrigible. So in a way, she grew wiser too.
I really would trade in all my ambition, all my current hopes. Everything. I cannot say that enough. People say I am strong but am I really? I don’t cry a lot. I’m still nice to everybody – even though I secretly dream of punching their faces in – but does that make me strong? The only thing people say that rings true when they’re trying to console me is “I cannot imagine what you’re going through…” That much is true. Even if you’ve lost your mom, you’ve not lost MY mom. My situation is not necessarily worse or better than yours: it’s just different.
Those that genuinely annoy me are the mopes. The pity-ers. Every time you walk by, they look at you like you’re a brand new amputee because you’re bereaved. I don’t want your pity, motherfucker… Move away. (in my head I was whispering by the way. Too much Hank Moody.)
2. You’ll think you’re all better REALLY quickly. You’re not.
I hear there are stages of grief so maybe I’m going through mine.
Some mornings, I wake up and feel like nothing terrible happened on Easter Sunday. Like it was just another day. People died, nothing special. I move through the house coasting and being jolly and then I tell myself I’m a trooper. I can deal with this.
Sometimes, it takes a big thing like rummaging through her stuff or a little thing like hearing a conversation and remembering what her reaction would be. One way or another, some kind of relapse occurs. Some days are really woeful.
I can tell you for a fact that I am going to dread Fridays for a long time. A very long time. Because Fridays were our day. My brothers keep telling me to look out for my Dad and not be far from home and be strong this and be manly that. That grates on my nerves too because in their heads, my grief is somehow less. Maybe less than my Dad’s (he knew her since ’67) but mine is still profound. I say that to say this: Fridays.
We went to church every Friday. She went earlier because she always had other stuff to attend to around 5pm. I generally showed up by 8 or 9 pm.
We did that song and dance so often; it is really deeply etched in my memory. Because it was just us. My Dad was always home, my brothers didn’t have the assignment I had so they were not obliged to come. It was just us. Being the youngest, she had no reservations packing food for me when she left home by 4. No matter how grown up I tried to be, she just shrugged and doted on me some more. We always headed home together at 6.10 am or thereabouts. Early morning public transport could be problematic. Conductors are really whiny about change. All the buses we entered cost 50 bucks each so we had a mini-competition as to who could collect the most 100s before Saturday morning. I was always winning but she’d rush to pay anyway.
Yeah… those things. Little then, priceless images now.
I still have that assignment. I still have to head to church on Fridays. I still have to gather my change beforehand. Not 100s for two but 50s for one. I’d rather be gathering 100s. Every time I pass through those routes the memory is so vivid, I nearly pass out. Instead, I clamber into the next bus and ready my 50…
3. People Mean Well But…
When it first happened, I was absolutely inundated with messages from people telling me they were there for me whenever I needed to talk or blow off steam or cry profusely. Legitimate messages I must add and I do honestly appreciate every one of you that checked up on me and still check up on me from time to time. But the truth is that it’s not easy to hit someone up just to depress them or sour their day. I do it now and again but you have to forgive me for not hitting y’all up to whine EVERY TIME I’m down in the dumps.
Because sometimes you guys are so happy and I don’t want to mess with that. How depressing is this blogpost already? Imagine if I had to send you a different version 3 to 4 times a week via bbm or whatsapp! Aha! Some of my friends are either basking in a new job or a promotion, newly married life, a cool new toy or a boyfriend that FINALLY realized they got their boobs done. I can’t see those pms or status updates or tweets and then hit you up to say “oh I had to go through my mom’s stuff and I found a letter I wrote to my folks in JSS3 and it made my heart tear in two” can I? Yes, the most kind-hearted of you will say “of course you can!” and actually mean it. That will not make me any more interested in sharing things all the time. I love to be leaned on because I know how therapeutic it can be but I also know how sad it can make a person who has to listen through all that. And meeeen, trust me, grievers can ramble (I was also surprised to find that ‘griever’ is actually in the dictionary. Who knew?) We could start off gisting you about our lost one’s last moments and somehow delve into some bittersweet anecdote from way back when. I have valuable experience from losing my sister in ‘98.
Oh and I’m not bottling it in. Trust me. That is some dangerous shit right there. Writing this actually helps. Writing “Hey Ma” was therapeutic like you can’t believe. Also, there’s that corny crap you see in movies and turn your nose up at:
You know that corny thing they do where they’ll say stuff like “I’m sure your mother is up there looking down on you blabbity bla bla…” yeah? I think that crap is corny as hell but I swear to every deity in existence I feel it sometimes. Maybe it’s the grief talking maybe it’s a real thing. Sometimes I’m talking and I get the distinct feeling that she’s listening in and taking mental notes like she used to and that feeling can be so comforting. Weird eh? I hope you don’t have to go through all this sha. It’s tough stuff.
4. I’m not sure I’m that magnanimous…
My mom was in a car crash with some people from church. Ultimately, two of them died. Out of about 13. I got to see a few of the survivors recently. Varying degrees of injuries and scratches. Some have really vile wounds others have minor scratches. Seeing them, I didn’t know what to think.
One the one hand, I’m truly thankful for their lives and I thank God that more lives weren’t lost. On the other hand, I wish they’d all died too just for the heck of it. They have flesh wounds that will heal – I lost my mom. No matter how much they apologize, they are not helping much. Because they are alive and Mma Dan isn’t. Simples.
In time, they will only remember that they were in a car crash that took someone else’s life. I’ve heard people talk about acquaintances that they lost XYZ years ago. After a while, they develop this matter-of-factly tone of voice. The emotion gets less and less. As it should. They didn’t kill her (although I hear some rat-bastards were egging the driver to go faster. Unconfirmed reports but I’m buying some rat poison just in case anyway) and they didn’t lose the single most important female figure in their lives at the time. At best, I will remain wry when I speak of her down the years and I will be wistful for quite a while.
Bah… so many words. Lemme see, are there more…?
5. You fear death a whole lot less…
Because the thinking becomes “if it’s good enough for mother, it’s good enough for me.” I genuinely thought of dying just to hang with her. (Forgive the weird executioner’s pun; unintended.) Not suicide or anything stupid or dangerous. Just dying. Death doesn’t really seem like a real thing till it happens to someone you’re especially close to. Someone who is intertwined with like half of all your pleasant memories. Someone you had plans to spoil to infinity. I always imagined I’d make a kajillion bucks and force cash through my mother’s ears till her pupils did like those TV animations and became dollar signs. So much for that. She’ll have to watch me do it and hope I can sneak her a bottle of perfume when I’m coming up to meet her whenever.
Bottom line, it’s no longer such a scary proposition. Especially with me now being one of those proudly brainwashed fellows who believe in God and Jesus and eternal life. Curiously, losing her has actually strengthened my faith. In a twisted, roundabout-ey way, I now kind of understand what Jesus meant when He said “He that loveth this life shall lose it…” my mother was sooo darn careful about everything. She had health issues but had navigated and managed all of them so well. She never took any risks. She was very ‘by the book’ but still…
I have few regrets though. There really isn’t much – if anything – that I would change about my relationship with my mom. I was a pretty decent son. I wasn’t too naughty growing up and I wasn’t mean to her as an adult. What will fill me with regret though is every achievement that will come after…
Attainment of financial stability…
Birth of my children…
And probably every noteworthy thing in-between that I would have loved to share with her.
I’m particularly thankful that we had a relationship worth remembering; worth celebrating. Ours was special. Nothing can ever change that. Nothing will ever replace that. I just await the day when the thought doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out.
I hear it gets easier with time though.
Can’t wait for that to happen!
Nice talk people. I’ll holler again soon.