I mapped the majority of this post out while on the train from Manchester to London. I should probably point out that I’m no J.K Rowling and this definitely isn’t an introduction into a magical world, just Yinka writing about something that has been on her mind for about 10 years now.
I’m not sure how many times I have to explain, on average I would say its about 3x a week. I know it seems like a lot doesn’t it? Try being the one breaking the news. I work with people you see and I look super young so when meeting new people (happens very often) they assume I live with my parents and *cue explanation*
I almost drop it into conversation; “My mum passed away 10 years ago.” If I am honest it isn’t casual at all. Not that it breaks my heart each time I mention it, its just awkward for the other person so I actually feel bad every-time I say it. Sometimes I try to make jokes but then I get the pity laugh and I think that might be worse than the awkward silences and apologies. But it really is ok, and it really was so long ago that I really am used to it now.
Although I would be lying if I said that it didn’t still affect me.
When I think about the last decade I am amazed quite equally by how much and how little I have achieved. I mean I’ve got a degree, a pretty amazing job and found myself a great partner but sometimes I am hit with a wicked sense of emptiness and we can only thank God that I haven’t turned to drink and drugs to try and fill. (I joke… Kinda)
You see, the awkward jokes to make you, the reader of this a little bit more comfortable with reading what is actually on my mind. The weird jokes come very easily to me when I approach the subject of losing my mum when I was just a teenager.
This is a significant time of year for me and one that causes me to reflect. Most people do this whilst hung-over on New Years Day or on their birthdays but for me it is mid November. It is the anniversary of my mums passing, and this year feels even more important because this anniversary marks 10 years.
I think I am doing ok, sometimes though I feel a bit overwhelmed. My mind brews with conversations we will never have and question she will never answer. Of course it is natural to have questions, questions for my mum about things I am doing, things I have done. What she thinks of this and that and so on. But I have also accepted that it is up to me to answer them myself and have conviction in my actions. Honestly, I don’t know how proud my mum would be of me, I don’t know if she would even understand my job. She most definitely wouldn’t come to all my shows although I am sure she would be offended if I didn’t invite her to absolutely everything.
I smile when I think of how she wouldn’t have approved of some of the relationships I had and I know she would think I spend too much money on Uber, wigs and make up I never wear but bought anyway because the packaging was just so pretty.
When I first started writing this post I considered not even posting because I thought it would be all negative but writing has almost been like a therapy to me. I realise that I knew my mum well enough to have a good guess at what she would say. It pangs a little bit to know that my kids wont get to meet her and she’ll just be a vague figure in my memory much like my grandma who passed before I was born, I feel a little sad that she wont be there to see me get married and that she didn’t get to witness me FINALLY graduate. It’s a funny feeling: grief. It creeps up on you after months or years of being ok and makes you sad that your loved one is missing Sunday dinner. Grief is something that happens to all of us at at-least once but personally I think it can also be the most isolating thing to experience. It just seems so personal when its happening to YOU.
I used to write letters to my mum when big things happened in my life: the first time I got my heart broken, when I graduated and even when I was finally able to pay my bills working as a presenter. I don’t feel the need to do that anymore although it was definitely something that helped for a while. I definitely believe that time is a great healer as-well but I don’t think that the pain ever goes completely, first you learn to live with it and then you learn how not to think about it constantly but forgetting isn’t really an option an option and I am ok with that. The pain isn’t in the bad times or remembering my mum sick, it is in the good times that we shared. The jokes around the dinner table. The watching Poirot in bed drinking Orange Lucozade and eating Ferrero Rocher.
The tears threaten to come when I hear Shaggy “Angel” because it was on a CD I burned for her in year 7 and she used to play it EVERY Sunday while screaming at us to get up and clean up lol. Thats where the pain lives, in the smiles & fond times and honestly it’s worth the cost just for the memories alone.
So now that I am sitting here 10years after my mums passing no longer the kid I was but a pretty awesome woman who has learned, over time how to be confident in my actions. I don’t have the luxury of asking my mum to book DR appointments for me but I have the trust in myself that she would be proud that I not only do it myself but hte rest of my life isn’t going too bad either.